Asia: Air Pollution and Deforestation Paper
Along with these problems of deforestation comes a serious problem of Air pollution. Because of the rapid economic growth and the demand for more arbitration in Central Asia, it is causing a huge environmental problem in the continent. According to Michael Richardson (1997), “No other area has as many heavily polluted cities. The World Health Organization found that Of the 15 cities with the worst air pollution, 13 were in Asia. Widespread coal burning in China and India is a major source of sulfur and nitrogen contamination.
The Asia-Pacific region consists of a socially and economically heterogeneous group of five sub- regions. The region hosts 66 per cent of the Earth’s population and accounts or 28 per cent of world economic activity. It accounts for 26 per cent of global commercial energy consumption and depends significantly on non- commercial energy sources (World Bank 1997). Economic growth and rising energy consumption are causing increasing air pollution, particularly in many urban areas of the region.
According to the World Health Organization, 12 of the 15 cities with the highest levels of particulate matter and 6 of the 15 with the highest levels of sulfur dioxide are in Asia. In many countries in the region, the ambient concentration levels of suspended particulate matter and lupus dioxide exceed WHO standards, and premature mortality and respiratory disease caused by poor air quality have been documented in 1 6 large metropolitan centers in the region. Exposure to harmful airborne particles is high or very high in some countries such as China and Mongolia.
Air quality is improving in South Korea and some parts of the region but is still significantly below the WHO standard. Among different environmental pollution problems, air pollution is reported to cause the greatest damage to health and loss of welfare from environmental causes in Asian countries (Hughes 1997). The air pollution problem is expected to become worse over the coming years if no action is undertaken to improve the situation. It is estimated that the region emitted approximately 38 million tons of sulfur dioxide in 1990.
China, India, South Korea, Japan and Thailand accounted for over 91 per cent of the regions sulfur dioxide emission, with coal use being the dominant cause of the region’s total sulfur dioxide emission. Among the economic sectors, industry contributed the largest share to the total emission, followed by the power (Sheerest 1996). It is projected that the total lupus dioxide emission in the region will reach 1 10 million tons by 2020 (Downing 1997). Across a large part of Asia, the problem of acid deposition is becoming increasingly evident.
Rainfall in some countries, including China, Japan and Thailand, has been measured to be ten times more acidic than unpolluted rain (Downing 1997). Large sections of southern and eastern China, northern and eastern India, the Korean peninsula, and northern and central Thailand are projected to receive high levels of acid deposition by the year 2020 (Downing 1997). It is estimated that emission levels of sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxides in 2030 in the business-as-usual case Will be about three times 1 990 emission levels.
Air pollution problems similar to those experienced in Japan in the 1 adds have emerged in many developing Asian countries; atmospheric concentrations in some industrialized areas have already exceeded the critical level experienced in Japan in the sass when serious health damage was observed. Part of what can be done by each person is to be more environmentally sound. Singapore, Hong Kong China, Tokyo, Koala Lumps and Bangkok are now developing light rail and mass arrant systems to reduce the pressure on the roads and provide an opportunity to reappraise city-wide transportation plans (KNEECAP, 2000).
Many Asian countries are making progress in reducing vehicle emissions as a major source of urban air pollutants by phasing out leaded petrol, introducing stricter emissions standards and requiring new cars to be fitted with catalytic converters. The role of traditional, non-motorized transport can play a major role in moving towards a more sustainable transportation system. However, developing country governments are being encouraged and assisted in pursuing transport policies based on increased car pungency.
The response to increasing rates of car ownership and traffic congestion has been expensive road building schemes, which have further encouraged motor vehicle use and dependency causing adverse environmental and health impacts. All of these things would be easily solved by the consciousness and awareness of the population living in this area. How do we solve the issue with Deforestation? Unfortunately, deforestation and air pollution go hand in hand. Without the trees, there isn’t enough oxygen being produced to help break down the air pollution. So this leads into a very confusing question of the 20th century.
Why are these trees being torn down? The World Wide Forest Report found that when the Roman Empire was in control of Europe 90% of the continent was forested (Downing 1997). There is no one easy answer as there are many causes at the root of deforestation. One is overpopulation in cities and developing countries. Population is continually growing in the third world. Some had land until increases in population forced them off it and they became landless peasants that are forced to look for land in the untouched forests. This movement to the forests is in some ways a result of government pressures.
In place of implementing programs to help the poor these governments concentrate on the cheapest, easiest, way to keep poverty out of sight and give the poor no other choice but to force other species out and themselves in. According to Norman Myers, bad land tenure, a shortage of modern agricultural tools, and government neglect of subsistence farmers have put an influx of human interference in the forests. The poor are pushed in further and further and destroy more every time they must move on. What the poor do in the forests is the most devastating.
In attempts to settle farmland, the poor become shifted cultivators” and resort to using slash and burn methods of tree removal. Slashing and burning involves what its name implies, trees are cut down and the remains are burned. The ash is used as a fertilizer and the land is then used for farming or cattle grazing, however, the soil that is cleared in slash and burn is left infertile, the nutrients in the soil are quickly absorbed by surrounding organisms. The farmers must move on sometimes to other areas and repeat this process and worthy land and trees become scarce.
For farmers in places like Brazil, slash and burn methods are the only way to effectively clear land of parasites and unwanted organisms; chemical means contaminate water and soil and farmers continue to turn to slashing and burning. So what can we do to help prevent deforestation and help air pollution? We can Start with recycling. By reusing anything that is made Of trees (for example paper, bags, and furniture) it leads to the less destroying of trees and allows the products of trees to be used more wisely.
By recycling, this will help lessen the production in wood factories that cut down trees to make all of these products. By changing your basic needs as a person, you ooh can help prevent misuse and overuse. As time has come, we have come to rely on paper for everything we do. But by recycling paper, reusing it, and not wasting it, we can help lessen the dependency on our forests. Most importantly, when we remove trees, we need to replant them. Reforestation is just as important as recycling our paper products.
This process provides a good balance for the ecosystem however it does not happen enough. Some options to reduce emissions of air pollutants include utilizing clean technologies, fuel switching, increasing energy efficiency, and promoting non- motorized and public transport. Motorcycles, cars, trucks and buses have become a serious cause of lung disease and breathing disorders in Asian cities. With growing economic prosperity in the region, the number of motor vehicles has risen dramatically during the past two decades, and is expected to double by the year 2030.
In many Asian cities, including Bangkok, almost half of registered vehicles are two-stroke motorcycles, which are some of the dirtiest engines on the road. It is not unusual to see Bangkok residents on the street covering their noses and mouths with surgical masks to protect themselves from the hazardous fumes. While many Asian nations have begun to address this problem, clean air programs are behind those in the United States, Western Europe and Japan. Some solutions to help ease the air pollution could be reaching out and asking other nations what they would suggest for a cleaner experience.
One obvious solution is working on environmentally friendly vehicles and emissions inspections and cleaner burning fuels. The problems that Asia has are not unfamiliar from the rest of the world. We are all facing deforestation and air pollution problems as we continue to further populate this planet and abuse what we have. In every country, there are government programs in place to help lessen the abuse but I don’t think that we follow them close enough.
The biggest problem that we have implementing these plans that we have come up with globally as a planet are that some people just don’t care. There are a lot of people in this world that don’t do the little things that it takes to help prolong the life of our world. Little things like car pooling can help reduce air pollution. Or as afore mentioned, things like recycling paper use and reusing land instead of just slash and burn methods can help reduce our deforestation problems. By using the lumber that is being torn down for farm lands can help reduce the use of trees from other areas.