Cause and Effect Essay First Draft
Alternative to Oil: Effects on the Environment
The three alternatives to oil that have effects on the environment are ethanol, electric cars, and biodiesel, which have a positive, as well as negative, effect onto the environment.
Ethanol has been available since the Paleolithic era. The amount of ethanol to be produced “from switch grass to displace one million barrels of oil per day would require that 25 million acres of land be planted in switch grass.” Even though ethanol is supposed to be reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA has recognized a problem for conventional air pollutants. With the use of ethanol, it can cause the VOC emissions to increase by 45 when compared to gas with no oxygenates, according to the California Air Resources Board. The California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District discovered that with 5.7 percent of ethanol into gasoline would produce of about seventy tons of VOCs into the air per day. But ethanol doesn’t just have an impact on air quality, its impacts the water pollution. While the water run offs into other broad areas, the Corn Belt hits the Gulf of Mexico, it “[creates] a large dead zone - a region of oxygen-deprived waters unable to support sea life that extends for more than ten thousand square kilometers.” “A recent study by researchers at the University of British Columbia shows that if the United States were to meet its proposed ethanol production goals-15-36 billion gallons of corn and cellulosic ethanol by 2022—nitrogen flows to the Gulf of Mexico would increase by 10-34 percent.” But does it really positively affect the environment? Ethanol can reduce the carbon monoxide emissions and can remove toxic octane boosters, which would allow people in areas where the air is unhealthy to breathe to be considered healthy again.
The use of electric cars has some positives and negatives to the environment. If the car is all-electric, it would produce no emissions, which is helpful to the environment, but, in the process of making the electric car, pollution rises once more because of production and the use of machines. Now if the car is a hybrid, half electric and half gas-powered, then the environment is impacted differently. The negative impacts on the environment from hybrids would be the electricity source for the hybrids. The use of hydroelectricity has a beneficial impact on the environment, where as the use...