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Ben McCoy
Rasheedah Alexander
English 112
2/18/2014
Toulmin Argument
Environmental pollution
Environmental pollution is among the major problems on Earth in the Twentieth century.
The atmospheres temperature is increasing at a constant rate. As the environment is polluted
plants, animals and humans are affected in negative ways. Humans play a great role in the
increasing temperature of the Earths atmosphere. Types of pollution such as burning fossil fuels,
chemical run-offs, and improper disposal of chemicals these types of pollution affect human
health and the quality of the air.
Pollution is referred to as the introduction of harmful substances into the environment;
substances like methane and soot. Pollution can occur from many different ways. Two primary
sources of pollution can be traced back to cars and factories. When pollution occurs, the
environment is greatly affected; air quality is affected, public health is affected, and animal
health is also affected. As air quality decreases, the amount of lung problems among humans
increase. Many health issues occur when air quality is bad. Eisele states, In the days when East
Germany was highly polluted, its population had higher rates of asthmabut fewer allergies
than West Germans (Eisele). The number of people that are being diagnoses with asthma has
consistently increased each year. Researchers have found that as air quality decreases, the cases
of asthma have increased dramatically.
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Asthma is a respiratory condition marked by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs, causing
difficulty in breathing. It usually results from an allergic reaction or other forms of
hypersensitivity. Since air quality is decreasing scientists believe that asthma is also being caused
by environmental pollution. Wee explains, Beijing has committed US$277.5 billion over five
years to preventing and controlling air pollution and if targets are met 200,000 fewer people
would die prematurely each year (wee). Since the air quality is poor in China, cancer is
becoming more prevalent than ever before. Scientists believe that poor air quality and smog in
the air is directly related to causing lung cancer.
China has extremely poor air quality. Due to its air quality and the amount of pollution,
there are more than 350,000 people who die each year due to problems caused by extremely bad
air quality. Wee states, Yesterday Guangzhou activated its orange alert and ordered 11
mandatory air pollution emergency measures for the first time, which included taking one-fifth
of the 13,000 government vehicles off the roads (wee). One of the main causes of these
problems in China is the burning of fossil fuels that is causing smog in the atmosphere. Smog is
a type of fog or haze that contains harmful chemicals, due to the high number of cars that are
being driven in china each day smog levels are very high. Smog has been linked to cause cancer
asthma and other lung diseases and problems.
Chemical run-offs are putting dangerous chemicals into the water and sending that water
into places like lakes and rivers. Factories contribute greatly to chemical run-offs. Peterson
explains Factory pollution is often thought of as mostly smokestack emissions, but industry
pollutes water and land as well (1). Peterson also says that factories are responsible for 50% of
all of the fossil fuel burning leading to environmental pollution. As chemical run-offs occur,
many fish and water animals consume these chemicals and it causes diseases and health issues
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for them. As the health of fish become affected by chemical run-off, many of the fish become
unsafe for human consumption.
The ocean is another place where pollution takes place. As the ocean becomes polluted
many marine animals and plants become affected. The ocean is being polluted for different
reasons like oil spills, runoff from farms, and sewage disposal. These are three reasons why the
ocean is polluted. The WWF explain, People once assumed that the ocean was so large that all
pollutants would be diluted and dispersed to safe levels. But in reality, they have not
disappeared (3). Ocean pollution is becoming a big problem in the world. Fish that humans
consume are dying and are becoming unsafe to eat.
The burning of fossil fuels is one of the worst forms of pollution. Burning fossils releases
carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Mckibbin said, That CO2 traps heat near the planet that
would otherwise have radiated back to spacethere is, simply, more energy in our atmosphere
than there used to be (2). Too much carbon dioxide in the environment can be a bad thing
because the temperature can rise, weather patterns can change, and ice glaciers can melt. Lynas
explains, We must abandon the old mindset that demands on oil-based economy, not just
because it sparks wars and terrorism, but because the future of life on earth depends on leaving it
behind (1). Alternative forms of energy need to be discovered because the amount of carbon
dioxide being released into the atmosphere is going to cause problems like plants and animals
dying, and ocean levels rising.
Glacier shrinking is becoming a problem because glaciers store fresh water that many
people depend on for their drinking water. Also the water that melts from the glaciers runs into
the ocean and is slowly increasing the water levels of the ocean. Glaciers hold about 75% of the
whole worlds fresh water, the rise in temperature in the world is causing the glaciers to melt fast
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therefore we are losing up to 20% of the fresh water they contain. Many artic animals live on
glaciers and as the glaciers melt these animals are losing their homes.
The increase in temperature is causing weather patterns to change across the world. When
the weather patterns change humans are affected in multiple ways. Places that the weather
patterns change are experiencing problems like extreme drought and flooding. Places that
normally do not have a lot of rain are now having more rain and places that normally have a lot
of rain are having drought problems. Lynas states, I listened as the village elder, Clifford
Weyiouanna, told me how the sea, which used to freeze in October, was now ice-free until
Christmas (4). The people in Alaska depend on the ice to form over the lake so they can use the
lake as a hunting ground. But due to global warming when the ice forms over the lake it is too
thin to walk on making the lake unable to hunt on.
Alaska is only one of many different places that are experiencing problems due to
environmental pollution. In northern china they are having the worst drought in more than a
century, lakes dried up, farmers crops died, and much of the landscape dried up. Lynas
explained, One lakeside village in Gansu Province, just off the old Silk Road, was abandoned
after the waters dried upapart from one woman (4). The drought got so bad in that village that
everyone had to leave, the farm lands dried up, there was no rain, and the environment became
unconformable to live in. One of the main reasons for chinas drought is caused by shrinking
run-off from nearby mountains. Because of the increase in temperatures across china, mountains
do not form as much ice or snow. Many villages depend on the run-off of melting ice and snow
for their fresh water supply, since the mountains do not form much snow or ice these villages
have not been able to obtain enough water.
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Soot and Methane are two reasons for why the environment is polluted, they are two fast
acting chemicals that affect the ozone in negative ways. These two chemicals are released into
the environment from various places such as landfills, diesel engines, and coal mines. Siegel
states that reducing soot and methane in the atmosphere would reduce the atmosphere
temperature by 1.3-2.2 degrees Celsius. Siegel said, Dramatically reducing soot levels could
save as many as 4.7 million lives each year worldwide (4). As soot and methane are taken out of
the atmosphere the air quality will increase. Soot and methane are two chemicals that cause
smog, poor air quality, and lung diseases.
While some people believe that the temperature of the earth changes from year to year
and that environmental pollution is not causing the increase. But there is strong evidence that
pollution is the cause of temperatures rising. Spotts explains, Rain and snowfall over the US in
2010 topped the long-term precipitation average by 1.02 inches, while 2010 marked the 14th
consecutive year when the average annual temperature topped the long-term average (2). In the
recent years the average temperatures across the world have topped the previous highest
temperatures on record.
Humans are the main cause of environmental pollution. Burning fossil fuels releases
carbon dioxide into the environment. Too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can increase
the temperature of the earth causing many problems. Factorys cause environmental pollution
across the world, factorys cause chemical run-off which pollutes the air and ocean. As fossil
fuels are burned the air quality decreases across the world. Decreasing air quality leads to many
health problems such as asthma and cancer.