Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Creeping Smog: A Man Made Disaster That Keeps on Killing

                                          Good Day World!

When I was growing up in Southern California, in the San Gabriel Valley (circa 1960s), the smog was so thick we frequently had public health warnings.

We were advised to stay indoors many times. How things can change however.

Go there now and you'll be surprised at how good the air quality is. Regulations were put in place. Problem solved. It can be done.

I think about that now when I read about countries like China and India. Both have unhealthy levels of smog and are getting worse by the day.

This season the air pollution in China - stemming from power plants, factories, vehicles and other sources - has grown so bad that it has put the safety of half a billion people at risk.

Yet, the Chinese government doesn't do anything about it. 

According to The China Dailythe smog has been so disruptive to travel that severe flight cancellations and delays have taken place at local airports.

You think that's bad? Look at India.

The Indian capital of New Delhi has smog so thick, it's plainly visible from space, showing up as a milky blanket covering northern India.

The smog poses serious public health threats, including heart disease, heightening cancer risks and elevating mortality among the more vulnerable populations.

Delhi has some of the most polluted skies in the world, rivaling if not beating parts of China for this distinction. 

Among some of the varied causes for this? Garbage fires, dung-powered cook stoves, diesel-powered vehicles and coal-fired power plants. 

Yet the Indian government doesn't do anything about it.

My question is why? Is it a matter of politics? Money? Reluctance to regulate? Perhaps all three.

My concern is that at some point China and India's smog problem will become ours, and there won't be an easy fix.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

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