You can cancel school and close airports, but you’ve got to breath. Breathing shouldn’t be hazardous to your health!
You know, that used to be the story here in the Los Angeles area. Maybe not as bad as China, but at one time LA smog was the butt of jokes from coast-to-coast. We had air you could see! Long time Angelinos remember well. Mountain vistas would disappear for days or weeks at a time. Eyes would tear. Hacking coughs would persist.
Our smog is primarily linked to automobile tailpipes, but our location has a lot to do with it as well.
Most of us live in a low basin with mountains to the east. Temperature inversions trap emissions in the atmosphere, then sunlight (which we have plenty of) converts them to secondary pollutants, like ozone.
Before there were cars and industry there was haze in the Southland, but it took the internal combustion engine and dirty fuels to make that haze poisonous.
Too depressing. You deserve some good news… and there is some. According to NOAA:
“In California’s Los Angeles Basin, levels of some vehicle-related air pollutants have decreased by about 98 percent since the 1960s, even as area residents now burn three times as much gasoline and diesel fuel.”
We have what Harbin, China does not–very stringent pollution controls. Our cars run cleaner. We evaporate less fuel into the atmosphere. We’re more careful about what’s emitted from smokestacks
Ask a seasoned SoCal native what it used to be like here. You might be amazed.
We still don’t meet the EPA’s standards for ozone levels. But, we’re moving in the right direction. On the other hand Harbin’s air pollution was 40 times what the World Health Organization considers safe!
Getting cleaner air isn’t easy and it isn’t cheap. That’s one reason developing nations see some of the worst air.
“See some of the worst air.” Pun intended.