Air pollution has been an increasing significant issue nowadays due to the requirement of social development. Some people believed that it is time to reduce the reliance of cars and make the air pollution controllable, but there is also a voice claimed that policies like traffic restriction are useless. The following articles will analyze all of them by using engineering ethics and list the solutions.
Traffic restriction? Why not?
Pakistan is currently the world’s most polluted urban area and there is a significant rise of fatality due to smog. Therefore, something has to be done to tackle this serious issue not just for Pakistan but the whole world. One of the ways to reduce the smog is by cutting down the number of cars per capita. This will clearly reduce the emission of pollutants such as volatile organic compounds(VOC), sulfur dioxide(S02) and nitrogen oxides(NOx) as gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles are the main releasing agents of these pollutants.
Firstly, an Act have to be introduce by the government for all parties to abide to. For example, the UK can issue a new Act where it confines that by 2030, 50% of vehicles have to be powered by electric. This will certainly reduce emissions while also being a greener country. On the other hand, this new Act can also create opportunities for industries that specialize in electrification.
Introducing more transportation-based political campaigns can lead to a shift of paradigm in the society. Here, psychological effects are key as society is easily influenced by a prominent figure or normalized actions. Hence, setting up more campaigns can easily influence the public views on various matters including pollution by smog. With this, the public will start to opt for usage of public transportation such as train, buses, MRT and etc as an alternative.
Nowadays, trains are an important mode of transportation that is widely used in most countries to travel longer distances. However, steam-powered trains are a more dominant class for this transportation. Steam engines powered by coal generate pollutants that are harmful to the environment at an alarming rate. Therefore, electrification of trains is beneficial in combating air pollution. According to researchers, electric trains performs at a higher speed with a lower cost in comparison to steam powered trains. With this, the cost of trains will be cheaper and more affordable for public use. This will indirectly encourage people to use trains rather than cars when travelling.
Virtue ethics: In contrast, emphasizes the importance of moral character and focuses on individual character traits rather than on the kinds of ethical concepts such as rules, rights and norms. Politicians fall under virtue ethical frameworks.
Utilitarianism: By introducing the new law/ACT, there will be some disagreement from the public in terms of reducing usage of cars. However, the benefits of introducing the ACT surpass the cons.
In conclusion, there are multiple benefits in reducing the usage of fuel-powered cars to the society. Gasoline and Diesel is a non-renewable fuel which will be depleted in the future. Hence, planning ahead and evolving the transportation industry now is indeed beneficial to the community.
Traffic restriction? Seriously?!
Traffic restriction is a common decision made to improve the situation in majority of Asian countries. However, within the reduction of number of vehicles on road, growth of automobile load is still continually required by market demand which would easily lead to increasing volume of the emissions. Therefore, it has become a challenge for the engineer and government to solve the ethical issue about both demand of transportation and living environment.
The government always wishes to seek for a balance between the public satisfaction and urban development. However, the traffic restriction would sharply affect the economic benefit of manufacturer and fuel supplier, which also is the major concern of them. On the other hand, although the policy would relieve the transportation pressure, there is another huge influence on the convenience of citizen.
Fortunately, two well-designed projects can be used to improve the situation caused by air pollution. The first one is creation and development of new electric vehicles. The innovation of cars has been considered for decades, but the real breakthrough of it just happened in the 21-centery. For example, the pioneer of electric-vehicle creation, Tesla, was continually losing money till unveiled Tesla Model S in 2012, which can be attributed to the supporting policy published by Obama government around 2010. The final consequence shows that the air pollution was controlled to the expectation conspicuously. Meanwhile, the electric cars also fit the public acceptance. Another project is the hybrid vehicle that means both fuel and electric power can be supplied. The rate of environmental improvement probably decreases, but the influence on the original structure of modern society would be sharply reduced.
On the other hand, both two options would not affect the original benefit of public and government. In fact, the creation of new power supplied vehicle can make not only more revenue for manufacturer, it also can push the development of technology and further, the whole society. However, the popularization of electric car probably would be a deadly blow to traditional fuel supplier.
‘Freedom’ also plays an important role for the comparison between these two options. For the electric vehicle, the benefit of fuel supplier is significantly hindered to maximize the others’ benefit. However, for the other option, the benefit and development for each participant can be well-guaranteed simultaneously.
Although electric car conforms to the norm like UK Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill , the infrastructures is still not mature enough, which means the hybrid vehicle is more appropriate for overcoming the present challenge.
Comparing with full-electric car, the hybrid vehicle not only improves the environmental issue at present, but also has relatively low negative effects on the stakeholders and structure of modern society. Development of hybrid vehicle obviously is the more reliable option to replace the traffic restriction.