How And Why We Should Protect Our Environment And Lives From Acid Rain

Acid rain is a problem that has existed for far too long a time. It should have been dealt with years ago along with other environmental problems.The National Science Foundation says that “It began in the 1950s when Midwest coal plants spewed sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the air, turning clouds–and rainfall–acidic.” For 70 years we have been plagued by this unnatural phenomenon made by ourselves. There have been attempts to stop this problem but they have done nothing but slow this vessel for illness. The problem with acid rain is that it can cause lots of human illness and problems. The reason I believe this is because this toxic precipitation can cause problems like pneumonia and bronchitis. It is also killing lakes and streams causing massive die offs of fish and trees. The way we can stop this is by producing energy without fossil fuels and instead using solar and wind power. If we don’t do this the rain will wreck lakes and streams, making the water toxic to fish and other organisms and threatening sensitive tree populations like the red spruce in the Northeast mountains. To prevent all this in the past, the Clean Air Act amendments required that power plants make significant cuts on sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions. These amendments’ results were dramatic. According to the National Emissions Inventory, “sulfur dioxide emissions from all sources fell from nearly 26 million tons in 1980 to 11.4 million tons in 2008. Nitrogen oxides decreased from 27 million tons to 16.3 million tons in the same time frame.” But that wasn’t the end of this menace. The most recent report found no changes in New England or the Valley and Ridge and Blue Ridge provinces of Virginia, two other areas with a history of acid-rain damage.  But these are only the efforts happening in America and we can’t force countries on the other side of the planet to do the same thing. In 2005 alone, China was the biggest emitter of sulfur dioxide in the world, sending up about 25.5 million tons. The amount of acid rain that can make is tremendous. But  there are things being done.   The National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program (NAPAP), a Federal program involving representatives from more than a dozen Federal agencies, has sponsored studies on how acid rain forms and how it affects lakes, crops, forests, and materials. Because buildings and monuments cannot adapt to changes in the environment, as plants and animals can, historic structures may succumb to the threat of acid rain. That is what they are doing at NAPAP. Scientists are studying effective control technologies to limit the emissions from power plants and automobiles that cause acid rain. Join the fight against Acid rain and limit the energy you use and your use of gas cars and we can make this threat go away for good.

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