• Atmosphere, climate, and weather

    Air pollution equals to tobacco smoke, UV radiation and plutonium

    We already knew that air pollution killed more people than AIDS and malaria combined, but sadly the problem isn’t always getting the attention it deserves. So it’s good to see that someone finally pinpointed the seriousness of the problem: World Health Organization (WHO), who last year recognized that diesel exhaust can causes lung cancer. This means that air pollution is now categorized along with tobacco smoke, UV radiation and plutonium. This research on cancer is different from previous research that showed air pollution to cause heart disease and lung problems. “The air we breathe has become polluted with a mixture of cancer-causing substances,” says Dr Kurt Straif, Head of the IARC (International…

  • Atmosphere, climate, and weather

    The Chinese Water

    For visitors, China’s water problem becomes apparent upon entering the hotel room. The smell of a polluted river might emanate from the showerhead. Need to quench your thirst? The drip from the tap is rarely potable. Can you trust the bottled water? Many Chinese don’t. What about brushing your teeth?s Suggested by the government’s own figures, more than half of the country’s largest lakes and reservoirs were highly contaminated by 2011 that they were no longer suitable for human consumption. China’s more than 4,700 underground water-quality testing stations show that nearly 3/5 of all water supplies are “relatively bad” or worse. Despite Chinese economic growth is striking, the quality of…

  • Atmosphere, climate, and weather

    Clean Air Project in Europe

    It is not surprising to see the bleak pictures from Beijing clearly showing what happens when protection of air quality is not taken seriously. Good air means good quality of life. As a matter of fact, every person breathes in around 15,000 litres of air per day.   Although the air quality in Europe is better than that in China, Europeans should continuous their effort to keep their air clean. The air in Europe contains a lot of nitrogen oxide and fine particulate matter that make people sick. That’s why nine European NGOs are now collaborating on a new project called Clean Air. They are mainly focusing on transportation and…

  • Atmosphere, climate, and weather

    Air Quality – How’s it in Europe?

    In March 2015, BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany) has published “Sootfree Cities”, a ranking which graded the efforts of 23 major European cities to improve air quality. Upon this ranking, it is highlighted how European cities have been actively combating air pollution in the transport sector. Meanwhile, the local air quality actions are still not enough and cities are also exposed to pollution they cannot control. These emissions are regulated at national or EU level where inadequate actions against air pollution are seen.   The city of Zurich has become the winner, due to a mixed policy that includes a strong commitment to reduce pollution from vehicles, the promotion…

  • Atmosphere, climate, and weather

    Beware of Bottled Water – Little thought for your health

    In a hot summer day, I was in a supermarket trying to find some sparkling water to kill my thirst. Stopped in front of different brands of bottled water, I was confused. There were so many labels of pure springs and ice water that almost convinced me the liquid inside these bottles is the purest drink around. But then, a thought hit my mind: labels could be misleading, or sometimes deceptive. I remember in one case, water coming from a well located near a hazardous waste site was sold and labelled as “spring water.” I withdrew my hand from these bottles and decided to find out the best water solution.…

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