December 26th, 2015
Image Courtesy: motherjones manhattan
The notoriously smoggy skies of Beijing resemble with what some famous cities of the U.S., such as Manhattan and Los Angeles were in the 60’s.
Does that mean Los Angeles is smog free now? Of course not, but the smog is not as bad as it used to be. It was only after decades of scientific developments and hard work, that people of L.A. have got their share of breathable air.
With the industrial revolution and urbanization comes air pollution that becomes even worst when mixed with stagnant and foggy weather conditions. The increasing pollution level in China has made it difficult to breathe and the situation is even worse for kids, old age people and heart and lung patients.
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Image Courtesy: downtownmagazine
What is air pollution?
Air pollution can be found anywhere basically; it can be anything that has damaging effects on living beings. The sources of air pollution can be motor vehicle emissions, industrial wastes, burning of fossil fuels and material such as paints. Another pollutant associated with climate change is sulfur dioxide.
Steps taken by the U.S. for a better Los Angeles
It took several years for the U.S. scientists to understand and convince the locals as well as politicians that smog in L.A. and Manhattan was a result of gases emitted by automobiles and fumes from industries such as chemical plants, oil refineries. To regulate emissions from factories and automobiles, the United States set air quality standards, including the implementation of Clean Air Act.
Los Angeles: A lesson for China and other countries
The speed at which the global population and economic development is increasing, it has become important for all other countries to think and design regulations to curb air pollution. Regardless of where we live, the air pollution travels and can be equally harmful to the neighboring states. Investments in air quality improvement are no doubt an expensive affair but with better health and living conditions, it has proven helpful for the Los Angeles citizens. Although the conditions in the United States may be different, but it can certainly be a guide to the technical, government, scientific approaches needed for other countries.
With Chinese people complaining of heart and breathing problems, will this force China government to take measures to tackle pollution?
Individual efforts to reduce air pollution
It is certainly not the time to play the blame game and put entire responsibility on government only. Every individual should take efforts to contribute for the air quality control. Some of the environment-friendly steps that you can take are:
• Get regular vehicle maintenance checks.
• Do not use adulterated fuel.
• Keep the engine off when waiting at the signal.
• If possible, use public transport.
• Avoid waiting in drive-thru lines.
• Join a carpool to get to work.
• Buy Energy Star products.
• Avoid plastic bags.
• Buy rechargeable batteries.