Earth Odyssey

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's November 2001

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

As recently as 20 years ago it snowed frequently in my hometown. Because of global warming, it is now rare to see snow in this area. Over time, we have damaged our earth's environment in our eagerness to realize the benefits of industrialization. We were not concerned with the disastrous pollution caused by commercialization.

Presently, one of the most polluted countries on earth is Thailand. In 1992, the United Nations Environment Program reported that the capital city, Bangkok, suffered from the worst air pollution in the world. In this paper, I will illustrate the effect Thailand's pollution has on the earth.

According to Mark Hertsgaard, the author of Earth Odyssey, Thailand's urban air pollution is significant. The main reason is that there are so many automobiles and motorbikes in Bangkok. These are causing both notorious traffic problems and toxic emissions contributing to air pollution. Research shows the combined impact of air pollution, from sources such as burning fossil fuels, especially coal and oil, and climate change can increase respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.

Thousands of premature deaths and several million cases of pollution related sicknesses are caused each year by public exposure to poor air quality in the Bangkok metropolitan region. In the early 1990s the costs associated with pollution-related health problems in Bangkok were estimated at 8% to 10% of urban annual income. These damages to human health and the economy are expected to rise a staggering 20% by 2025.

Thailand, especially Bangkok, has experienced a decade of tremendous economic prosperity. Since Thailand is rich with natural resources and cheap labor, many foreign countries pooled financial investments to build factories there. Thailand's development seemed to be a success. Like other leading industrialized nations experienced previously, cures for pollution took a backseat to the need for sustained...