Top Five Environmental Issues in The United States

February 4, 2013 - 4 minute read

Roy-ID Photo (2)During the 2012 Election, serious environmental concerns were addressed. With President Obama being elected for another term, he will have his hands full with these issues. Here are the five things that require the most attention:

1) Clean Energy

There are several policies on clean energy being reviewed to counteract the negative effects the use of fossil fuels has on our environment and economy. The United States’ use of 19.6 million barrels of oil a day, 25% more than the world’s total, easily causes global warming. Renewable energy like the use of wind, solar paneling, and geothermal energy allow less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. By providing clean energy, global warming will slow down, and the damaged economy will get the boost it needs. The implementation of some of these policies will also benefit the economy by creating new jobs.

2) Climate Change

Climate change also contributes to the jeopardy of the environment. Abnormal weather affects a number of factors like crops, air quality, water supply, and the economy, just to name a few. Massive hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, fires, flooding, and cyclones that have recently taken place all over the world illustrate the devastation that climate change can produce. NASA scientists are aware of multiple air pollution control measures that could slow global warming down, improve health and boost agricultural production.

3) Water Quality

Efforts to protect our water date back to 1948 with the Federal Pollution Control Act. It became the Clean Water Act in 1972. Every few years, Congress reviews the quality of United States’ water, pinpoints the problems, and decides which programs need to be implemented. The current poor water quality has an adverse effect on food, livestock, and health. If it is not rectified, the water will have so many pollutants in it that it will not be drinkable, nor will it be useful for cooking or cleaning.

4) Biofuel Technology

The use of biofuel technology would decrease the need for fossil fuels. Biofuels tend to cost less than gasoline, and since they are manufactured, they do not endanger natural resources by depleting them. Our dependency on other countries to drill for oil would lessen, which could help to jumpstart our economy by creating domestic jobs. Biofuel technology would lower the output of carbon dioxide, something that is currently contributing to global warming. Biofuel might have some disadvantages, but it is still a healthier, reliable source of renewable energy that can be used to improve the environment.

5) Waste and Consumption

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. This is not a new concept, but it is even more important now, because it alleviates the excessive waste and consumption of most things being used. It is important because any extremes in this area drastically affect the forests, water, soil, and other natural resources. Having too much waste creates a chain reaction from overflowing landfills, to toxic substances sinking into the soil, to adverse affects on our livestock and crops. Additionally, plastic can end up in the ocean, breaking down and becoming dangerous to all animals inhabiting the sea.

This information might paint a picture of doom and gloom. However, history has shown that it is possible to “live within our means” with the available resources. It will be a challenge, but it can be done with the right political and economic backing. We support any efforts by our President to address these issues which affect our environment.

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