Air Pollution in the Early 21st Century



This winter in Beijing was not so bad as the one before, but we had some days of reduced visibility. Today we are treated with rather good air, the AQI reading is only 70.


As a small boy I lived by the Grand River in central Michigan. It was so polluted that we often saw chunks of green slime floating by with human waste attached. We would never touch the water or river banks. Fortunately the people in the area recognized that this was only going to get worse and they all came together to devise a plan to clean the river. Today it is a thriving body of water with a large Salmon population. It?s too bad that we can?t do the same thing on an international scale with the air pollution. Instead it seems that self-interest is the rule of the day. I fear that if we can?t find a way to work in harmony that asthma and COPD will be the normal human condition in a very few generations.


London's been pretty dire this week.
Still, as a child in the former East Germany where heavy industry was the top player and environment came last, I remember days when we weren't allowed to go out at all for the whole day. Trees in the mountains looked like bleached toothpics from the acid rain and wild animals were rare.
The pollution this week's nowhere near that.

However, pollution (and de-forestation, ice cap melting, the list goes on) is something that's here and we're all in it together, all of us around the world. Unless we all (and that's not just the US or the EU) take action, it's going to be really bad in not-so-distant future.

Top Bottom