Dr. Tedros Adhenon Ghebreyesus, head of “WHO” termed air pollution as “New Tobacco” in Oct 2018, emphasizing the severity of hazards confronting the planet Earth and endangering the health of all living organisms. how-to-save-the-world-from-grim-effects-of-smog Taking into cognizance the historical account of smog and initiatives embarked on to fight it, we will explore the breadth of consequences incurred on the world due to the smog and collective measures to save the world from this perilous phenomenon.
Historical Context Effects of Smog
Post-industrial revolution, exponential growth in the use of combustion and coal consumption became the foremost reason for an increase in primary pollutants in the atmosphere. The rise in population, especially in the first half of the 20th century, caused a substantial increase in emissions due to the burning of coal by private households for heating and cooking. The first casualty of the harsh impact of air pollution or smog was Europe and North America, contributing 80% of Sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions how-to-save-the-world-from-grim-effects-of-smog
In the second half of the 20th century, smog caused havoc in the developed world and forced Governments to act due to its hazardous impact on health, the environment, and even the daily routine. The famous Great smoke of London in 1952, caused by the combination of high-pressure weather conditions and industrial pollution, kept the City covered for five days (5-9 December) and led to the Clean Air Act of 1956; a watershed moment for “Environmentalism”. Smog was so dense that pedestrians couldn’t walk, transportation stopped, indoor concerts were called-off as the audience was unable to see the stage, and a spike was observed in deaths and hospitalization due to Pneumonia and Bronchitis how-to-save-the-world-from-grim-effects-of-smog
. Industrial and Vehicle Emissions
The crisis of Donora Smog – 1948 is categorized as the worst air pollution calamity in US history. The investigations revealed that Donora Zinc and American Steel & Wire Plant were burping out emissions that are a combination of poisonous gases, heavy metals, and fine particulate matter, which have affected 5000 out of 14000 locals with mild to severe symptoms. This catastrophe had such an impact on the residents and the movement of Environmentalism that it led to the establishment of the Donora Historical Society and Smog Museum. President Truman convened the first National Air Pollution Conference in 1950 and Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1963 how-to-save-the-world-from-grim-effects-of-smog
Smog – A Perilous Challenge for the World
Cognizant of the hazardous impacts of smog on human health and the environment, Europe and North American countries took stringent measures to provide clean air to their citizens and were successful in bringing down the emissions from factories and hose holds due to the consumption of fuel for energy. At about the same time, the eastern hemisphere experienced a surge in population growth and profound economic development. This led to the mushroom growth of industrialization and urbanization. Today Asia accounts for 40% of the global economy and is home to some . The most polluted cities in the world. For now, the most affected areas by smog lie in the global south, particularly in developing countries of Africa, South America, and South Asia click here
Excessive consumption and overpopulation
Varied reasons attributed to smog or air pollution include heavy reliance on coal power plants and excessive use of solid fuels for private households or indoor needs such as cooking, heating, and lighting. The technological capacity and meager economic sustenance are the inhibitions of developing countries to effectively implement. The initiatives such as the relocation of industries and the use of energy-efficient power plants . Proved instrumental in reducing emissions and improving air quality in Europe and Northern America. How-to-save-the-world-from-grim-effects-of-smog.
Production of Waste in Excess
Another contributing factor exacerbating the catastrophe of smog is the weak laws, policies, and administrative paraphernalia. The governance system. This is aptly evident from the fact that India tops in the smog or air pollution index. The six most polluted cities of the world; 20 – 35 % of constituent pollutants of smog come from combustion engine vehicles. In addition, smog is the second most risk factor for diseases and costs around 150 Billion USD. The Indian economy. How-to-save-the-world-from-grim-effects-of-smog
Climate change is another contributing factor that aggravates the challenge of smog. It creates conditions that amplify the heat and stagnant air thus furthering. The risk of harmful Ozone or ground-level Ozone also termed smog. A study at NASA has contemplated the warming of Arctic regions causing change to the Arctic Ecosystem due to an increase in Ozone pollution or smog click here
Future Outlook Effects of Smog
The advent of the 21st century marked unprecedented advancements in technology. Scientists were unnerved by the hazards of smog or air pollution on human health. The issue is increasingly becoming relevant as one of the top agendas in international politics. Given the magnanimity of the issue and its perilous consequences on the environment and health, a collective. Wholesome approach encompassing political, administrative, and technological aspects can only save our world from the grim effects of smog.
Agricultural Material Burning
They should convert the challenge of smog or air pollution into an opportunity by using. The terrain of the environment for building peace, thus diverting the focus from clod wars, and decades-long conflicts like Palestine. Kashmir, and regional hegemony to collectively confronting the menace of smog; one of the major causes of Climate change how-to-save-the-world-from-grim-effects-of-smog
Exponential urbanization in developing countries has enhanced deforestation and fossil fuels have further dampened the air quality. Governments of these countries must take immediate initiatives along the lines of the Clean Air Act – 1956 & 1963 of Britain and the USA to reduce their emissions from factories/households. Technology can again act as a savior of the world. The rapid introduction of energy-efficient power plants, clean means of transportation, and renewable energy sources.
Historical account of smog or air pollution is apt in concluding that provided the required political will, effective legislative and. Administrative measures can reduce the primary and secondary pollutants thus minimizing the emissions that cause smog or air pollution. Green power generation, reliance on clean transportation means such as electric cars, and consistent reduction in fossil. Solid fuels will not only save trillions of dollars but would also warrant a much healthier society.