The various transportation forms or networks which man has created do play a significant role in our lives. Apart from them being very useful in mobility-related purposes, these channels also have a direct impact on our normal lives, based on a number of aspects. For example, some of these aspects are complex issues whose great impact has constantly affected human life socially, economically and ecologically.
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Various modes of transportation usually come along with different significant impacts and effects to both humans and the environment. This paper examines ‘the car’ as a common mode of transportation in the contemporary world, whereby the benefits and effects arising from this mode of transport are clearly identified and analyzed.
The car, which is seen by many as the most preferable mode of transportation today, comes with many impacts to the human society and the environment (Litman 54). This mode of transportation, which involves all kind of automobiles, plays a fundamental role to the modern society.
People all over the world have found it more easy and convenient to transport goods, access services, and to conduct business, among other key activities in life, through this common form of transport. The use of automobiles as a mode of transportation provides numerous economic, social and environmental benefits.
One social and economic benefit of this mode of transportation is that, there is a constant increase in equity among people of low income, especially through car sharing networks, which are popular in some countries, such as Canada (Forkenbrock 18).
Transportation is necessary in the contemporary world in ensuring that there is vibrant communication and interaction between people, thus paving way for effective functioning of communities. Among other modern forms of transportation, cars have been in the front line in helping people meet these significant requirements of life.
This mode of transport has been viewed by many as a convenient medium which is not only affordable, but also efficient and reliable in many ways. In that case, community members from different segments of the society have found cars to be a reliable form of transportation, which they could rely upon, in meeting their mobility needs.
However, apart from the freedom and flexibility provided by this sustainable mode of transportation, there are also many health costs and environmental impacts. While cars present immense benefits upon the modern society, they are also known to bring serious effects to the environment, through a number of ways. For one, automobiles are no doubt the biggest causative agent of the issue of air pollution, which has continued to pose serious effects to the current global population.
Emission of carbon and other harmful gases through burning of fuels has exceeded manageable levels presently, as the number of cars continue to rise. (Schikowski 152). Car transportation is arguably the biggest producer of green house gases, which have played a significant part in necessitating the issue of global warming. Excess accumulation of these gases in the earth’s atmosphere has reached hazardous levels, and this has completely changed the world’s weather and climatic conditions.
Car exhausts also do emit small particles and impurities which pollute the air, and this is likely to pose serious threats to human health, thus increasing health costs. Another way by which cars spoil the environment is through runoff of toxic liquids such as oil and gasoline. Obviously, most of these waste products usually end up in natural water ways and reservoirs, thus posing serious risks and threats to humans and aquatic life.
Car transportation mode entails a lot of infrastructure which normally requires expansive spacing. In this regard, there is always a possibility of habitat degradation or destruction, to pave way for these infrastructures, and this presents great harm to the environment. Apart the above ways, which tend to cause physical harm to the environment, cars also do create a lot of noise, and this is another problem that could bear serious impacts to the general environment.
The overall effects and impacts associated with this mode of transportation have raised much concern of late, thus necessitating the implementation of new strategies aimed at reducing the demand of cars and transportation in the world. As it is observable from this analysis, the progressive use of cars as the most preferred mode of transportation has brought complex issues to the general human population.
Automobiles have many outstanding benefits as a sustainable mode of transport, but the costs associated with their operation are immense and almost unbearable to many people in the world. For instance, health costs have increased abundantly over the last few years, as a result of the harmful effects of contaminated air and wasted environment, due to exhaust emissions and other toxic disposals from the automobiles.
The worldwide efforts to control and slow down the rate of impact caused by cars to both humans and the environment have brought many consequences on location, provision and demand of this mode of transportation. In response to this call of action against further environmental pollution, some countries have come up with strategies aimed at minimizing the demand and usage of car transportation.
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One way through which this has been achieved is by bringing useful resources much closer to the people, to discourage them from using car transportation whenever they need to access them. Some countries have also tried to adopt the concept of walking, by closing routes leading to automobiles and installing sidewalks, to encourage non-motorized mode of transportation (Alvord 24).
From just another perspective, modern environmental regulations and rules in some countries are drafted with the focus of controlling emission of waste products from automobiles. In this respect, automobiles having heavy exhaust emissions are barred from operating in those regions where statutory regulations on environmental aspects have been taken seriously.
Also, as a result of these regulations, ownership of cars is highly limited in some places. All these interventions have seriously affected the location, provision and demand of cars as a sustainable mode of transportation in the contemporary world.
Alvord, Katie. Divorce your Car: Ending the love affair with the automobile, United Kingdom: New Society Publishers, 2000. Print.
Forkenbrock, David. Assessing the social and economic effects of transportation projects, New York: National Academy Press, Print.
Litman, Todd. Issues in Sustainable Transportation, Victoria BC: Victoria Transport Policy Institute, 2005. Print.
Schikowski, Tamara. “Long-term air pollution exposure and living close to busy roads are associated with COPD in women.” Respir Res 6. 1 (2005): 152. Print.