The author of Environmental Policy Paradox explained the "four pollution problems ... share international common pool management characteristics and problems and hence present special, perhaps insurmountable problems".
The four high profile air pollution problems that has gotten a great deal of attention is acid rain, the greenhouse effect, the thinning of the ozone layer in the stratosphere, and toxic air pollution. (Smith, p 101). The pollution problem I chose is acid rain, I am not sure between the four which causes the most problems, but I am sure each in it's own way contributes their fair share. I chose acid rain since it comes in so many forms. It comes not only as in the form of rain, but snow, sleet, fog, dew, and dry particulate matter and gas. Acid rain is known as acid deposition, because acid and acid forming substances fall to the earth as a result of air pollution. (Smith, p 104)
The impact of acid rain can be very devastating. Serious damage has been reported on almost every continent, and has caused numerous problems. It is understandable how acid can do so much damage, just think about what effect ulcers, acid reflux, and sour stomach can do to a human body, but it can be controlled. Therefore; I do not believe it is insurmountable. There are high and low points when it seems like acid rain is insurmountable, one would think something could be done, then again it seems hopeless.
Since most air pollution in the world is associated with transportation and energy production the most effective strategy would be conservation: reducing electricity consumption, insulating homes and offices and developing better public transportation could help to reduce air pollution tremendously. (Cunningham & Cunningham, 2008).
Lakes and streams have become acidified where they no longer support aquatic life. Acid rain is very harmful to the environment. Acid rain damages everything over a period of time because it makes the living things in the environment die. Acid rain affects the life in the water as well as the life on land. It is almost worse in water than on land because the fish that are in the water need the water to breathe. When the water gets polluted, then the fish get sick and end up dying. (ww.epa.gov)
All of the sea life will die when the water that they swim in gets to be too acidic. For example, all fish will die when the water goes below a pH of 4.5. Most of the frogs and insects that live around the water will also die when the water reaches a pH of 4.5. With a pH of 5.5, all of the bottom-dwelling bacterial decomposers, animals that eat the remains of the food that other animals don't want, will begin to die. When these decomposers die, they leave the un-decomposed food on the bottom of the water. This pollutes the water by making the water dirty for all of the fish to swim in. All fresh water shrimp die when there gets to be a pH of 6.0. Aquatic plants will grow the best when the water is a pH between 7.0 and 9.2. If acid rain gets to be more of a problem, then all of the sea life will eventually be gone.
Some of the lakes that were once acidic are recovering, but many more are not recovering. Of the 202 lakes that were chosen to be studied in the early 1980s; only 33% of them have become less acidic.
What effect does acid rain have on the forests of the world?
Trees are also harmed by acid rain. In Germany, the forests are believed to be dying because acid rain is harming them. Scientists say that acid rain damages the waxy outer coating that protects
the leaves. When this happens, it allows the acid to seep into the tree. Instead of water changing from a liquid to a gas inside the leaves, gas is taking the place of the water. This prevents the plant from taking in carbon dioxide to perform photosynthesis, and the plant will eventually die.
Acid rain, acid fog, and acid vapor also damage forests by
damaging the surface of the leaves and needles. This makes it harder for the trees to withstand the cold and will cause the tree to die. Acid rain also harms the soil that the trees are growing in by taking most of the valuable nutrients away from the soil. Acid rain also leaves a lot of aluminum in the soil, which can be harmful to the trees
theand discuss whether you think the problem is insurmountable. Describe the components of the problem. What is the nature of the risks posed by the problem? Explain the role a key actors and/or institutions and whether the Clean Air Act is capable of dealing with this problem.