Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Smog at New Delhi Rail Station Image: Sumita Roy Dutta, Wikimedia CC
by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer
New Delhi officials have “introduced an antipollution campaign in an attempt to curb air pollution ahead of winter, when the city is regularly covered in toxic haze,” the Associated Press reported this week. The city of 21 million people New Delhi has some of the worst air quality in the world as a high level of air pollution, with winters as “time of health woes, when the city is covered with a toxic haze that obscures the sky and blocks sunlight.”
Winter Woes: Why is winter the worst time for pollution in New Delhi? As AP writes, “Pollution levels soar as farmers in neighboring agricultural regions set fires to clear their land after harvests and to prepare for the next crop season.” Other reasons for the wintertime rise in pollution include emissions, firecrackers, and construction dust.
According to the AP, this isn’t New Delhi’s first rodeo. Indeed, it has “experimented with limiting the number of cars on the road, deployed large anti-smog guns and halted construction activity.” But these efforts have largely failed given the lack of cooperation from adjacent states.
The current plan has already been criticized by some, including an editorial in the Hindustan Times. As the Times wrote, “The Delhi government’s steps are much needed…However, promises are not enough. Delhi and other states need to implement their policies and strengthen monitoring systems.”
This isn’t the only step India is taking as its “green focus grows.” As Rajesh Kumar Singh reported for Bloomberg, the country is “considering a proposal that may force some of its dirtiest coal plants to close.”
Exacerbating the Pandemic: This wintertime pollution could potentially further the already devastating effects of the global pandemic in India. As Channel News Asia reported, New Delhi has “285,103 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including 5,510 deaths.” As a disease that effects, in part, the respiratory system, COVID-19 impacts are also linked to air pollution.
In 2020, oil and gas use is down but methane leaks are up dramatically during the same time period according to a study by the energy data firm Kayrros, Reuters and The Washington Post reported. Oil and gas companies had pledged to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.
The smoke from California’s wildfires has had far-reaching consequences beyond the human health aspect. Aside from ruining the grape harvest for numerous wineries in Northern California wineries, over a month of smoky skies has had an impact on the state’s ability to reduce the very carbon emissions that have been fueling wildfires. As The Verge […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.