Air Pollution

Thursday, January 28, 2016

In this article that looks at how six cities, who are all home to some of the world’s biggest air pollution crises, are dealing with the issue. What’s interesting, is that although there are several different nations on the list, some even on different continents, the causes are hauntingly similar, and the proposed solutions are synonymous in nature. In most affected metropolitan areas, carbon emissions from coal-burning power generation are the main culprit, but all cities experience dangerously high levels of pollution caused at least in part by private automobile traffic, and outdated infrastructure. Many cities have either implemented (or at least considered) regulations reducing the use of private vehicles to combat the problem. There is no doubt that immediate measures have to be taken to protect the health of the people left vulnerable to long term and short term consequences of dangerous levels of air pollution, but what about the long term? Many people are dependent on their vehicles to make a living and access essential services, and coal plants, although archaic and hugely carbon intensive, provide electricity and heat for countless millions. The answer lies in putting pressure on governments and private corporate interests to legislate, fund, and abide by the implementation of sustainable infrastructure, better public transportation, emission free vehicles and cleaner energy. The technology is there, and the need has never been greater. Only when we have ceased reacting, and start proacting, will we see real change for the better.