The Environmental Concerns Essay Research Paper The

The Environmental Concerns Essay, Research Paper

The environment has become a main concern of people over the course of the

twentieth century. Problems such as global warming, holes in the ozone layer due to

pollution and lack of space to stow waste have caused people to become more aware of

the environment around them. In Crisis in American Institutions, Skolnick and Currie

address and elaborate upon these issues, taking them to a new level and linking them to

the economy and racism. They explain which areas are falling prey to pollution, the

dangers of global warming due to pollution, and how we have failed to prevent all of this.

Because the areas we live in generally reflect our financial status, most people with

a substantial amount of money will choose to live in areas that are not affected by

contamination. As mentioned in previous chapters of Institutions, money as well as race

influences where people live: middle- to upper-middle class Caucasians generally live in

affluent neighborhoods that coincidentally have little or no problems with garbage, while

poorer, nonwhite people tend to gather in inner-city communities where pollution of the

land and air is a major factor. Racial discrimination is again called to the podium as the

problem of not only segregation, but of segregation to tainted areas.

It is a known fact that urban areas are breeding grounds for factories, industries,

and the office buildings that help the world go ?round. These buildings contribute to the

nation?s waste problem by dumping their trash and leftovers into oceans, lakes, rivers, and

whatever hole they can manage to fill. Added to this is that people have to get to the city

somehow, and city streets are clogged with bumper-to-bumper traffic from cars, trucks,

taxis, and buses. All of these vehicles emit fumes, which over time can turn toxic. Living

in urban areas is generally less expensive than living in a white-picket-fenced suburbia, so

the nonwhite population with less money are forced to make their homes in the smoggy

city, especially the African-American population, who tend to live in polluted areas the

most. ?Unincorporated communities of poor African Americans suffer a ?triple?

vulnerability to noxious facility siting.? [p. 250] It is a cycle that is very difficult to change

when it is actually the people who live in the suburbs who produce much of the waste.

The matter of global warming is also a very important issue we must address. The

world?s changing climate has been subject for countless news articles and papers for over

twenty years. ?New record-setting weather extremes seem to have become as

commonplace as traffic accidents?the annual ammount of carbon dioxide?is six billion

tons?? [p. 257] This is because of the new technological advances and industrial

developments as well as humankind?s desire to use automobiles which emit carbon dioxide

gas into the air.

It was because of problems like these that caused government to take action.

Agencies like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Global Climate

Coalition aid the world?s industries in cutting down oh their amount of wasteful emissions.

However helpful this may sound, these agencies can do little more than spur people into

action, because it is not the people that do the cleaning up, it is the factories and industries

who must take action to begin the process. If the pollution continues to be emitted by

these factories, the world will slowly continue to heat up, causing ?widespread economic,

social, and environmental dislocation over the next century?The continuing emission of

greenhouse gases would create crop-destroying droughts?new and recurring diseases,

hurricanes?and rising sea levels?? [p. 257] Indeed, the world will suffer if the heat

keeps rising, and the heat will keep rising if we do not learn to control our output of waste


The environment is a definite concern of ours, but it shouldn?t be taken as

seriously as some organizations take it. Sure, we will eventually run of of coal and oil, but

by the time we do we will hopefully have new scientific alternatives that are more

cost-efficient and environmentally sound. Also, when the urban industries begin to clean

up their acts, the cities will in time become cleaner and a better place for people to live.


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