Showing posts from October, 2017

Does this sound familiar to you?

I have very good standard of living. My kids, wife and family do not need to worry if they are in the shop if we can afford or can buy something. Because of that we see our health as priority, money are good but can I afford really everything what I need for me and my family? I thought I can provide it, but I was wrong. What made me to change my mind and point of view? The most obvious things are usually the simpliest one. I will try to explain it.

Recently I came across the web page showing worldwide pm2.5 particles concentration. I quickly zoomed to the china awaiting, as commonly known, the highest air pollution in the world. After I zoomed out, I spotted place in europe where the pm 2.5 air pollution was nearly the same as in China. I thought to myself, that can not concern me, but after I zoomed in I was shocked. It was the town where I live! I realized at that moment that even if you can buy anything, you are sharing the air with other. But what makes me worry is that according …

Think globally, suffer locally.

I like to have a look on the air pollution problem also from the global perspective. Where are the hotspots? How polluted is my city in comparison to others?
Lucky there are some online sources of measurement data like or  which seem to come from same source.

Looking on the live data you must immediately see where the problem is extreme. Some of the data were surprising for me. It came out that air pollution on the street where I am stuck in the traffic each day compares to some industrial places in China. In my case it is 'just' a local pollution, however in middle of flat towers full of people. One street away the air is more or less fine. It is the localized air pollution that causes me the headache (letter for letter) because I have to return to that location against my will every day. It is the pollution on the way to work, around the playground and the shopping center parking space we should worry about.
You can alwa…

Action time! no... not really

Speaking about air quality in my city and my personal actions, what can I do?
One could say...
Not use your carbon fueled carBuy a Tesla :-) electric car Do not use personal car at all and use public transport insteadDo not heat with coal, wood or combustible wasteDo not buy products which come from polluting factoriesHarass or sue pollutersRemind smokers and farters... Did I omit any?
To me, this actions are bit empty until everybody will do the same. I am not saying you should not follow all or some of them. But lets be honest, how hard have you to change your life? Forgo things? Miss civilization comfort? Get counter-sued/harassed ?
We are part of the civilized society, some things I am able to do and some are just empty gesture.
Like for example I am able to to switch from diesel to gasoline car next time I will buy a new one. But unfortunately electromobility is something that it's not reachable in the moment for me. Please do not ask from me to take the bus, something I do…

What else flies around in our air?

Did you recently noticed the color of the sun? I did, and immediately blamed the smog.  But no. It is actually the Sahara sand! (I did not realized it was orange while I was hiking in the country too.) This Scientist at the University of Nottingham even investigated it under scanning electron microscope.Well I was surprised if something like Sahara sand dust can travel continents, what else can travel waste distances if it's made of a fine particulate matter like the PM2.5 or PM10?

You can imagine two regular neighbor states, with one having rigorous air protection regulation in place to keep harmful particles out of the air and the other state being just dirty as it gets. And the wind blows from the dirty one towards the clean one. How should the inhabitants of the clean state feel? A bit like powerless hostages. I could imagine that the political ties between the states could also suffer. I wonder if I could find such an example in the world. I already have an idea where to loo…

Trying to understand the China Mainland air polution problem. Success!

I started investigating what is the situation in global urban agglomerations around the world. I might find a solution to our (my and your) family problem. Firstly I turned my attention to China, as notoriously known for their environmental challenges.

After searching online I stumbled upon this Documentary. It opened my mind and exposed all the information not only about the pollution but also about the cause the harm and the possible solutions.
It's 104 minutes long but I assure you, you will find all the answers to understand the problem china is facing and may be you can draw parallels with your country or city.

Congratulations to the author Chai Jing and enjoy the film:

Unfortunately no solution that would immediately and significantly improve situation for an affected city inhabitant.

The city pollution hits the most vulnerable, our children

“Soot from diesel vehicles is among the big contributors to ill health and global warming,” commented Helena Molin Valdés, head of the United Nations’ climate and clean air coalition, stating that more than nine out of 10 people around the globe live where air pollution exceeds World Health Organisation safety limits.

The city pollution hits the most vulnerable, our children

Air pollution is linked to diseases and infections that kill around 600,000 children under five each year
Under-five deaths linked to air pollution, 000sHousehold pollution Outdoor pollution
Africa South-east Asia Eastern Mediterranean Western Pacific Americas Europe 0 100 200 300

Guardian graphic | Source: WHO, 2012
Air pollution is world’s single biggest environmental health risk, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), and is getting worse, with levels of toxic air rising 8% in the last five years. How to live and rise children under such circumstances?  First of all using whatever it takes to minimize th…

Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel (1858-1913)

I admit I own a Diesel car myself, and I am not proud of it. For sure it has some positives, but recently all the negatives came out and some cities are planning to ban those in the towns. I am certain I will not buy another one.

“The consequences of excess diesel NOx emissions for public health are striking,” said Susan Anenberg of Environmental Health Analytics in the US and one of the team that did the research, published in the scientific journal Nature.

You can't blame the inventor, or even the manufacturers. With the latter one, after the emission scandal where it came out that manufacturers of diesel engines cheated the tests, could be argued about. The Norms of EU are so strict that the manufacturers risked and lost. We do not talk only about VW. Nearly all new diesel cars exceed official pollution limits.

What are those NOx anyway and where are they coming from? NOx its an common name for Nitrogen oxides like nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) only, but most emi…

You may say: There is no problem with "my" air.

That's the joke, there is no "my" air. In one moment the air is in the engine of a car and in the other it is in your lung. Funny to think about.
You may still think there is no problem with the air "you" are breathing. That's relative mildly said. You can't be sure what are you breathing, many dangers are invisible and have no smell or taste (Carbon monoxide, Ozone, Radon...)You may be lucky and spend your life time in pristine environment (which is doubtful), but your kids, parents or loved-once don't You will never know if the air you were breathing all your life will kill just die from one of the pollution induced sicknesses, 10 years earlier or a just sudden but it will harm you for sure. Human induced air polution has been around from the moment humanoid learned how to exploit fire. There was however change in recent history... You have to look on these factors: 1. Time of exposure 2. Kind of airborn polutant 3. Resistance 4. Life ex…

The choice

Today you have the choice. You can choose your supermarket and when you enter you have all the choice you want or ever be able to choose from. The Internet gave the consumers the ultimate weapon to choose from and compare and review and comment. Nobody can say "I do not have choice". Well...
I say just that: "We do not have a choice." What? You can choose your food, your clothes, your water bottle even the supplier of your electricity or gas can be chosen from a short list. You choose your Internet provider or your hair style. In most developed countries it can be chosen freely. If you are a Greek you can even choose your legal gender: The Greek parliament passed a law on Tuesday to make it easier for people to change their legally recognized gender, a move that angered the Church but was welcomed as long-overdue by human rights groups. Reuters

There is one thing that has the ultimate no choice sharing property. It is the air we breathe.

Human in a calm condition bre…

Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. Stockholm, 1972

Proclamation of the Stockholm Declaration:
Both aspects of man's environment, the natural and the man-made, are essential to his well-being and to the enjoyment of basic human rights-even the right to life itself. Principle 1 of the Stockholm Declaration:
Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being...

While reading the declaration for my personal project it came to my mind: "The poor people in the developing world having no access to clean water, health care, food or clean air... They have to live in those horrible slums or wastelands. How much better are we about." Are we?
While commuting to work it came to me clear: NO, we are not that far from the developing world.

You can not argue that when there is no water treatment center in hundred miles around a city you can't have clean water in the tap. That ther…