Global Warming the Chief Motive Research Paper

Pages: 5 (1568 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Transportation - Environmental Issues

Global Warming

The chief motive for the existence of Houston, Texas, is the oil industry present here, given that the business is responsible for the rapid progress experienced by the city. There is much controversy regarding the city's potential to be a welcoming haven for tourists or for people that simply want to become its inhabitants. When hearing about Houston, most people relate to the high humidity in the territory and the fact that it is a polluted city. While some might not find humidity to be something extremely unpleasant, the pollution present in the city is certainly a downer for people who interact with the area.

In addition to its main oil industry, Houston has focused on a series of other manufacturing facilities that generate large amounts of pollutants in the recent decades. Refineries in particular produce pollutants with no regard to the damage they do to the environment, with chemical companies in the city generally being reluctant to install programs meant to reduce emissions (Sexton et al.).

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Whereas Los Angeles was until recently considered to be the most contaminated city in the U.S., Houston has sadly surpassed L.A. when it comes to the period of time during which each city contravenes federal smog standards. In an attempt to discover what the exact places where pollution comes from are, researchers have used the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer, a tool that is presently located on NASA's Terra satellite and is controlled by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This instrument is expected to create data that will show the type and amount of pollution coming from certain areas in Houston. Although the tool is used in Houston for the first time, it is likely to be very important if it proves to be successful (Getting the Big Picture on Houston's Air Pollution).

Research Paper on Global Warming the Chief Motive for the Assignment

Because of the burning of coal and fuel principally, the Houston area receives new air pollutant particles on a daily basis. These aerosols are found in microscopic sizes and they are capable of reaching and damaging the human respiratory system. One might consider that the people at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were correct in choosing to test the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer in Houston, taking into consideration the large number of factors contributing to the polluted state the city finds itself in at the moment (Getting the Big Picture on Houston's Air Pollution).

Houston's population level is on the rise and with it the number of automobiles is likely to increase, given that there the public transport has a limited capacity of assisting the masses. There are already approximately 2.3 million people in the city, and the fact that their number is growing only means that the amount of emissions it will produce will be even greater. The large chemical industry and numerous power plants add to the problem, making pollution one of Houston's worst troubles. As if this was not enough, the fact that Houston is exposed to natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods makes it even harder for people in the territory to deal with pollution, as it is actually amplified by these phenomena (Getting the Big Picture on Houston's Air Pollution). "Between April and October there are usually a high number of warm sunny days with quiescent breezes, causing ground-level buildup of air pollutant concentrations" (Sexton et al.). Along with the high air humidity, the excessive levels of air pollution make conditions in the city intolerable.

The state of Texas is mainly responsible for the health of its inhabitants, and when air measurements show that the amount of pollutants in the area is above the limit, the authorities have to step in and normalize the condition. A great deal of institutions are engaged in limiting the level of emissions in Houston, with the University of Houston and the Battelle Memorial Institute being the main organizations determined to put an end to pollution (Getting the Big Picture on Houston's Air Pollution).

Because air pollution is not visible (not considering the smog) and because its effects are not felt immediately, people tend to ignore emissions in favor of getting profits. Most chemical plants would rather make large profits than limit the amount of pollutants they produce. Even with the fact that the effects of pollution are not immediate, it is impossible not to observe its consequences in Houston. While most of these effects could have been avoided somewhere around thirty years ago if people paid more interest in their health, it presently requires enormous efforts for the city to regain its former glory and purity (McNulty).

Some of the people that inhabited Houston for several decades now witnessed how numerous chemical facilities emerged out of nowhere and did not stop until they virtually surrounded the city. It is not necessarily the view that is Houston's main concern, but the fact that the air is slowly but surely becoming impossible to breathe. When hearing the alarm sounds produced by the industry in Houston one immediately relates to a post-apocalyptic world, where people are controlled and can no longer stay out as much as they can because of the risk of contracting various diseases (McNulty).

It might seem impossible for someone living in a city with little pollution to imagine a day in Houston (particularly in the area where most chemical facilities are). People in these territories are accustomed to days when the smog is comparable to a fog, preventing them from seeing what is happening just a few hundred yards from them. The noise the chemical industry makes at night is virtually unbearable. It is extremely difficult for someone to move out of these areas, especially given that most individuals are reluctant to buy a house in the vicinity of a chemical plant. "In the region, there are 497 industrial facilities with a total of 27,463 flares, boilers and the like all emitting chemicals from benzene and butadiene to xylenes and everything in between" (McNulty). Considering the "complicated concoction of gases, liquids, and particles comprising thousands of individual substances" (Sexton et. al.) present in the air, one is likely to find it absurd to want to live in Houston.

Taking into consideration that Houston is the largest city in the U.S. whom the government does not restrict when concerning its land regulations, environmental researchers have to go through great efforts in order to limit the emissions generated by it. Finding a solution to this condition is much harder than people might think, as environmental agencies are powerless in the battle against large companies who have no regard for the fact that they are responsible for turning Houston into a grim city (Sexton et. al.).

The National-scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) is meant to provide information relating to pollutants and to the risks they pose for the people they interact with. Whereas such an institution would be expected to overestimate facts with the purpose of preventing people from being affected by pollutants, it has apparently failed to do so in the case of Houston and certain toxic compounds present in the territory. Particular metals and volatile compounds that contaminate the area around Houston were not paid sufficient attention to and as a result the NATA categorized them as being present in amounts that are not necessarily alarming (Sexton et. al.). The presence of benzene in high quantities should have triggered an alarm for the NATA, since the volatile compound is known to be the cause of leukemia in numerous cases. Butadiene and Xylene are other compounds reported to cause a series of health problems, ranging from cancer to various problems in the central nervous system (McNulty).

Even though the efforts performed by several environmental agencies with the purpose of putting an end to the disproportionate levels of pollutions generated by the chemical facilities in Houston are remarkable, it is difficult to discover… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Global Warming the Chief Motive" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Global Warming the Chief Motive.  (2010, September 22).  Retrieved July 7, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Global Warming the Chief Motive."  22 September 2010.  Web.  7 July 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Global Warming the Chief Motive."  September 22, 2010.  Accessed July 7, 2020.