2014年6月28日托福独立写作题目：Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: The best way to reduce air pollution is for the government to raise the cost of gasoline for cars? Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
In China, the raising prosperity of the middle class and the overall growth of the economy have led to a great increase in vehicle purchases. While this shift to private car ownership has benefited people by making travel and commuting more convenient, it has also caused many problems such as traffic congestion and huge increases in greenhouse gas emissions. Some people have suggested raising the price of gasoline to discourage people from driving and making unnecessary trips by car. While this proposition has some merits, I feel that there are other methods the government could employ that would have longer lasting and more impactful benefits.
Recent studies have shed light on the primary sources of air pollution. What has been discovered is that vehicles produce high levels of dangerous emissions that contribute to air pollution and other environmental problems. This contribution, however, pales in comparison to other air pollution sources such as factory emissions and emissions from coal-fired power plants. It is my opinion that governments should target these industries first because reducing their overall emissions will have the greatest impact on reducing air pollution. I believe it is the government’s responsibility to impose stricter emissions policies to force factories to adopt cleaner, more modern technology. Furthermore, switching to alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric, governments can reduce reliance on coal, a notorious source of air pollution.
In many situations, people choose to drive a car because there is no other option. In this case, I think that the government should invest in public transportation infrastructure to provide citizens with alternative modes of transportation. If governments could develop and expand existing subway systems and add additional bus routes in high demand areas, I believe that people would willingly abandon their car for cheaper, more convenient public transportation. If more people choose to take public transportation, traffic congestion will lessen and so will pollution.
Of course there are many ways in which the government could reduce air pollution. Some of them are more expensive than others. However, I feel that if the government prioritized industry reform and public transportation investment
over increased gasoline taxes air quality would improve drastically over the long-term.
Nowadays, there is growing concern about the environmental issues. Among them, air pollution resulting from a huge number of automobiles and coal-burning is almost the severest. The severe air pollution alarms humans of the heavy load we have exerted on the earth. How to reduce air pollution has been a heated topic in our society. Various methods can be adopted to tackle with the pollution, but from my perspective, the best way is for the government to raise the cost of fuel.
First of all, it would improve the environment by reducing fuel consumption. Many people commuting by car do not actually need to. They just prefer to drive to work because it saves them from having to squeeze up against other people on the bus or subway. But if driving during peak traffic hours became more expensive, it would encourage more commuters to use public transportation systems, thereby largely reducing per capita gasoline usage. As a result, air pollution would be reduced a great deal, and everybody could enjoy cleaner air.
Secondly, it could serve as a large source of funding for the government for developing infrastructure. While many would likely switch over to public transportation under such a scheme, inevitably there will also be many who choose to pay for the privilege of driving to work. With this steady stream of income, the government can spend more money on developing roads and additional public transportation infrastructure in order to lessen congestion and pollution even further. As time goes on, more efficient public transportation systems can be put in place, and eventually, driving privileges during rush hour will not have to be taxed because most people will want to use subways or buses anyway.
Thirdly, higher cost of fuel makes drivers more aware of the environmental costs that driving incurs. There will be less market demand for gas guzzlers like SUVs and pickup trucks. Public transit and the notion of going green will be more popular among the middle-class adults and the kids, some of whom will hold the key to the future environmental problems. The measure will extend greater influence in the long run.
Admittedly, other ways to reduce air pollution are also applicable. For instance, scientists can employ the most cutting-edge technology to adopt new forms of energy as substitutes for fossil fuels. However, environmental protection should be everyone’s business rather than a small group of people.
Thus, I consider cost rise as the best, as well as the most effective way to reduce pollution. With some time and effort, such a scheme could lead to a cleaner and more livable environment.