The Best Solution to the Los Angeles Smog Problem
The City of Los Angeles has always experienced the problem of smog, an issue that has caused air traffic concerns as well as climate issues. The fact that it denies the residents of this beautiful city that is home to Hollywood the view of the blue skies that they always yearn for does not help matters. It is one of the most polluted cities in the US (American Lung Association) This problem has been blamed on the gaseous pollutants that are released by the numerous refineries and manufacturing plants that are located in the city, the high amounts of toxic gases released by the millions of cars that are in the Los Angeles roads and the gaseous waste that come from sea vessels (Chip& Jacobs 1-3). The presence of mountain ranges that act as a trap for the smog such that it is not able to spread and thin out to allow for visibility does not help matters (Medina, para.1). A number of solutions can be put in place to ensure that this problem does not persist. They include the introduction of fines on industries that do not control their gaseous waste, the promotion of public transportation, the encouragement of car pooling, the introduction of electric and hydrate cars (Hybrid Cars 2009), and the introduction of giant fans.
Of all the above possible solutions, the best solution is the encouragement of public transport, which technically means the discouragement of private car usage. This is the best solution because of a number of advantages such as the ease with which it can be implemented, the limited financial implications it has, its ability of not subjecting the residents to security risks that come with other solutions such as car pooling, its ability to be applied immediately and the its ability to come into force without affecting the crucial manufacturing segment of the economy as it would be the case if the manufacturing and refining companies were to be subjected to sanctions and limits and then being unable to comply leading to closure. These advantages of the encouragement of public transport and the discouragement of private transport play out as follows:
Starting with the case of being easy to implement, the reality is that if the administration of California as a state in general and Los Angeles as a city in particular decide that people who make use of private cars unnecessarily will be advised to stop and make use of public transport, all they need are law enforcement officers to get to the highways and begin enforcing this law the following day. It does not require laboratory experiments since it has already been confirmed that more cars lead to more smog. Then of course they will take another step of ensuring that public transport vehicles are given maximum security and comfort for travelers is kept at the maximum so as to bring people closer to the feeling of traveling in the comfort of a personal car. This is unlike some of the other solutions for example the usage of electric cars that will require a period of industrial readjustment of cars so as to take the new configuration of using batteries.
Secondly, this solution has no financial implications like all the others. All that the city authorities need to do is to make an announcement and try to be as friendly as possible to the residents as they explain the responsibility of each resident in maintaining a clean environment in the city. Then law enforcement officers will just take up the duty like the normal traffic work they do but this time round they will be checking the private cars on the roads and either arresting the owners or warning them of possible arrest if they do it again. There is nowhere in this solution where there is going to be a stagnation based on financial grounds. The amount of money required to put public transport is limited and if the city itself cannot do, then they can get a private investor who am sure will be willing to take up the business.
The third reason as to why this is the best solution is the argument that unlike carpooling that forces people to start sharing cars with other people whose character they may not be knowing thus endangering their lives, the public transport system brings citizens together and security is assured. It is better to sell such an idea to the residents since they are assured of their security than the rest because no one wants to put their lives on the line
Also, this is the best solution because of the simple but powerful reason that it can be implemented immediately. Compared to most solutions that have been suggested to, this is the only solution that can come to effect immediately without having to put too much infrastructure in place. The only infrastructure needed are the improved public transport carriers and the implementation part is done by the existing city administration. Unlike the other solutions that can take months and years to prepare, this is immediate and therefore a sure way of dealing with the problem without allowing further delay and danger from smog (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transport Authority 2009).
Lastly, the usage of public transport as we saw elsewhere in this essay will have limited financial implications and unlike the industrial gaseous treatment solution, no industry is going to be closed. Also unlike the electric and hydrate car argument, no one will have to go the laboratories to conduct expensive experiments. This therefore means that it will have a minimal or negligible impact on the economy.
The only setback that comes against the usage or encouragement of public transport and the discouragement of private transport is that it will be difficult to sell such an idea to residents who are used to living large, showing of and having their freedom, which is highly reduced when they are told to use public transport. It will obviously lead to a clash between the authorities and the residents and it will be a while before we can see total compliance.
In conclusion, the smog problem is a headache to Los Angeles. But of all the possible solutions, the encouragement of public transport and the discouragement of private transport is the best since it is easy to implement, it has limited financial implications, it is secure for the residents, it is immediate and it has little negative effect on the economy.