As countries develop, more and more people buy and use their own cars. Do the advantages for individuals outweigh the disadvantages for the environment?
There is no doubt that traveling by car has both merits and demerits. As of its many benefits, more and more people buy and use their own cars, but this trend is increasingly polluting the environment. As countries progress, it is critical to evaluate usage of the private car in association with its environmental impact.
The benefits of using a car differ by many factors, including speed, availability and comfort. To begin with the speed, people can move quickly from one place to another, without having to waste their time and wait for a bus. It is very important because, for example, if they want to go to the hospital they do not need to go to the bus station and wait. Secondly, car allows a certain freedom of movement; therefore, when cars are available, people can travel wherever and whenever they want. This is particularly true in some countries where the automobile plays an almost indispensable role on the mobility of citizens. Another individual benefit that car owners enjoy is comfort, and this also explains why the advantages of car usage are not easily substituted by other alternative modes of transport.
Along with being a principal cause of global warming, vehicle emissions can harm the environment in several ways regarding air, soil and water quality. According to researchers, over half of the air pollution in general is caused by vehicle sources, primarily private automobile. Cars emit greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, which contribute to global warming that can cause the climate to change drastically. It is scientifically proved that warmer global temperatures can cause severe flooding and droughts and affect sea levels and natural landscapes. Further, some air pollutants from cars can be deposited on soil and surface waters where these toxic substances enter the food chain, thus damaging the organisms of human beings and animals. It may be said that the more there are cars running on the road, the worse there is the environmental impact.
In weighing the popularity of car usage versus its impact on the environment, public opinions differ from country to country. On the one hand, the advantages are for individuals; while, on the other hand, the disadvantages are for the environment. After all, it depends on the government to monitor the cause and effect of excessively traveling by private cars.