“It’s only happening in India, so why should I care?”
Air pollution is fast becoming the largest killing machine on the globe, but still, so many continue to deny it exists, don’t care because it’s not in their backyards, yet, believe it’s all propaganda against the oil and manufacturing industries.
But we had all better start paying more attention to what’s happening on the other side of the world from us because it will be in our backyards before we know it if changes aren’t made.
You won’t find “air pollution” listed on the death certificates. Instead, you’ll discover lung disease, lung cancer, emphysema.
But air pollution accounted for nearly 12% of the global death toll in 2016. The last year data was made available.
Yes, India is number one for air pollution because it is a poor country and because of recent industrialization.
But, Afghanistan, (yes, where American soldiers have been on the ground for years now) and several African countries have higher pollution death rates than India.
China used to be one of the highest countries for air pollution. But beginning in 2015, China has stabilized, partly because China has used fines and criminal charges to crack down on air pollution.
Also, in 2015, China installed an estimated 23-25 GW of wind energy. Wind Power has overtaken nuclear power. In fact, China’s wind farms could now produce more energy than all of the nuclear plants in the US. (The US government has just passed a law to put tariffs on wind turbines being made in other countries and entering the US, which
will, in turn, lower the rate of installation at least temporarily.)
And of course, those who still believe there is no climate change going on, will probably not accept either that climate change is set to trigger a host of public health problems and will also contribute to more air pollution.
As Kirk Smith, professor of global environmental health at the University of California, Berkely, put it, “Air pollution doesn’t care about political boundaries.”
America needs to stop the greed over oil money and begin to build and install more wind turbines and step up research to find ways to keep our air clean for the next generations. If not, we could be right there at the top of the global health problems caused by air pollution.