No one is guilty but all of us are!
For some of us it’s ‘I didn’t know defence’, whilst others should know better. The latter is especially true for those who have knowledge of the environmental issues.
It may well be that we have a tendency to switch adherence in our beliefs dependent on the situation. I am always bemused by the constant snipping between pedestrians and motorists; each demand courtesy from the other while going about their business. Their attitude is governed by whether they are on foot or driving.
A pet hate of mine is the out of town shopping centre (Malls). Does anyone have an idea of the amount of exhaust fumes (CO2 & NOx) hacked-out like so much bronchial mucus on a weekly, monthly, annual basis? I don’t either!
Driving along in your automobile,
Going for shopping and a meal.
While exhaust fumes are seeping through,
To your partner, kids and you.
It’s gonna shorten your life,
And cause other medical strife.
Environmental and Human Health Inc. claim that air pollution by cars, diesel being the worse cause:
Cardiovascular disease – asthma – lung cancer – diabetes – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Diesel contains: benzene + formaldehyde + 1, 3-butadiene. All of which are carcinogens!
The American Academy of Paediatrics concludes that the particulate matter from diesel threatens children’s health in many parts of the USA.
Tens of thousands of us drive to an out of town Shopping Centre at least once a week. Some drive quite a distance, the Trafford Centre near Manchester which has 11,500 parking spaces claims to attract shoppers from a 50 miles radius. That’s a lot of drive for a pair of knickers. Bluewater in Kent has free spaces for 13,000 cars and caters for parts of London as well as Kent.
Merry Hill, Dudley West Midlands has 10,000 spaces and has developed in stages. Construction began on Merry Hill farm, ‘cherished locally as a haven for wildlife’. The new Centre had a serious effect on the surrounding towns, Dudley was the worse effected with a 70% decline in retail. The Centre has now been incorporated into Dudley district with buses to and fro many local destinations. However, cars are the preferred mode of transport.
The colossal increase in car ownership opened this opportunity for big business. Businesses could now have larger premises, buy more goods in bulk, saving on costs. Further advantages of reduced rent and rates (council tax) were also a boost to the bottom line.
All the advantages motivated the move out of town. The spin or marketing ploy was that it was a better choice for the consumer and a more relaxed shopping experience with restaurants and café’s well positioned throughout the Centre. Back in town, charity shops filled the vacated spots. Whilst those without transport find it increasingly difficult to source their shopping needs locally and, it’s more expensive.
With profit as the sole motivation little thought was given to how staff could get to work. Even less consideration to the environmental impact of such Centres.
So much time is spent in these places that I am surprised that no enterprising folk have opened a bed & breakfast establishment. Perhaps, that’s the next phase after the swimming pool and sand pits have been added.
However, business has won through as the Centres do create a more amenable environment for shopping. Being under shelter with the array of shops is a huge convenience. Just a pity they are not in the city centre, like Liverpool or Brussels.
The custom flocks to the Centres and flocks regularly. Some just flock to walk around and maybe have a coffee. Others flock to buy goods they could have sourced locally.
“What did you do with your day”?
Our love affair with the car is directly linked to our notion of individualism. I’m not advocating screwing with peoples’ belief in individuality. If they feel free and motivated so be it. Nonetheless, I feel entitled to expect them to be considerate of others. They can achieve this by demanding that the government take action to prevent NOx & CO2 emissions and not simply impose a levy on the motorist. And, that the government demand the manufacturers build engines without toxins.
An individual’s convenience should not impose a toxic poison on the rest of society. Unfortunately, there is little option but to spew out the toxins.
It is well documented that our leaders led us to this mire. We were encouraged through marketing that diesel cars emitted less CO2 than petrol ones and thus a switch to diesel was good for the environment. With tax incentives e.g. reduced road tax.
Astonishingly, ‘more than 10 million motorists were “betrayed and misled” into buying diesel cars’. In consequence 18 cities across Britain have more NOx in the air than permitted by law.
www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/11007326 August 2014
There are now an approximate 12 million diesel cars on the road in the UK and the numbers are increasing annually.
Two years since the telegraph article and still we wait. Arrrh! It’s worse! In 1993 [23 years] Professor Roy Harrison of Birmingham University chaired a committee that warned the government of the dangers associated with diesel cars. www.independent.co.uk/life-style/motoring/motoring-news/ Jan.2015
This was the same year (1993) that the EU introduced directive E. See the post Driven Mad. The point is that knowledge of the risks was known and our political leaders chose to ignore it or dilly-dally with solutions.
July is the 60th anniversary of Britain’s 1956 Clean Air Act brought about by the London smog. Our air quality is now worse! Seriously! It’s all to do with politicians playing into the hands of the car manufacturers. Since 1993 they have been chasing the car industry to improve emissions, giving the manufacturers more time to get it right. The automobile industry has abused the situation.
Back in 2013 it was stated that nitrogen dioxide (NOx) had, ‘a greater impact on human health’. That we could significantly reduce NOx, ‘if the lower emitting technologies were more widely adopted’. But very little has changed in the past 20 years.
Another report highlights the work of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics who suggest that poor air quality causes around 40,000 premature deaths annually in UK. Europe wide the figure is an unbelievable 400,000 per year. Wow!!!
Airqualitynews.com/2016/07/05 + airqualitynews.com/2016/07/04
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