Opinion: Pollution is a huge problem


Zachary Murphy, Editor

We humans have been living on this earth for hundreds of thousands of years, changing and reforming the earth as we see fit. Manipulating the materials we have at our disposal to create a functioning society in which we can live, make money, laugh, and cry, as well as other things. But, as a result of our constant want and need for new knowledge and experiences, we humans have found ways to use the Earth’s materials against itself, slowly deprecating our home planet. Plastic and gasoline have become two of the biggest pollutants on this planet, and it’s all because of our reckless behavior towards them. It’s becoming more and more of a problem. 

Smog, or air pollution, has been a result of man-made made automobiles. The issue with smog has gotten progressively worse over the years. As a result of this, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, “Nearly one-half of everyone living in the United States—an estimated 150 million—live in areas that don’t meet federal air quality standards.” 

This is a huge problem, as federal air quality standards are in place to ensure the health and safety of the residents of our country. According to the UCS, if the air quality isn’t up to par, it greatly increases the risk of respiratory illnesses, as well as life-threatening conditions such as cancer. Not to mention the burden it places on the healthcare system. 

Passenger vehicles (the vehicles that you and everybody you know drives) are a major pollution contributor. Driving down the expressway to work, or taking a trip to your aunt’s house releases dangerous nitrous oxides, as well as carbon dioxide into the air. Not only is this damaging the air, but it is also damaging our atmosphere as well. If this issue continues over the next 100 years, it is likely that our atmosphere will be severely damaged, possibly creating a big problem for us humans on Earth. 


On top of in the air, pollution in our waters and on our land is a HUGE problem and has been for the past twenty years. Living on this planet, especially in this modern world, generates a shit ton of trash. We have found some solutions to solve this problem, such as companies that manage the collection of trash, like Waste Management and Leck Services. Trash is piled into landfills, mile-wide piles of trash from all over, which sits in the sun every day, slowly decomposing. But this solution is as close to ineffective as you can imagine, as the trash is still there. It has found its way into the world’s oceans and has become a problem for wildlife. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, trash “is often eaten by birds and fish, concentrating toxic chemicals in their tissues, and filling their stomachs, causing them to starve.” Not only is this just plain cruel, it is not okay for our ecosystem, as it’s killing animals with no end in sight.

Globally, unchecked trash has become a huge problem. The United States has an average of 8.5 million metric tonnes of trash produced annually, the biggest culprit in the world. All over the world, places such as Lebanon, Canada, Mexico City, and even Mt. Everest have become giant dumping grounds for trash. 

But there are solutions to these problems. Already, there have been laws to combat bad air quality, like the Clean Air Act passed in 1970, which have dramatically affected the climate in a good way. Vehicle emissions have decreased, the ozone hole is continuing to shrink, and haze has decreased in cities. But things that you can do to help combat air pollution are to use fuel-efficient cars and to conserve energy EVERYWHERE. Not only in your home but at work or just being out. To combat trash pollution, be sure to recycle when you can and purchase efficiently.

There are ways we can help stop this pollution of our Earth, but we all need to work together to make this planet as great as it once was. As said by Bobby Seale, “The only solution to pollution is a people’s humane revolution.”