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Residents of New Delhi are “in trouble” — the city’s air quality became so unbearable this past weekend that city officials had to halt outdoor work and activities like construction, limit the cars on the road, and keep people inside – they even closed several thousand primary schools until today. The government declared it an official public health emergency in which a toxic cloud hangs over the capital, obscuring the sky and sending people to emergency rooms with pulmonary problems.
Why This Matters: New Delhi’s air quality is 20 times worse than what the World Health Organization considers safe. That causes many premature deaths as well as the country’s children possibly suffering permanent brain damage from poisonous air in polluted cities. Sadly, according to The New York Times, many politicians such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi have not publicly acknowledged the problem, and the population is “fatalistic” about the poor air quality. This could be us too — leadership matters.
As we expand our understanding of climate change, scientists have begun to focus on the growing role warming temperatures are playing as a potent driver of greater aridity–which is different than drought. As NOAA describes it, drought is “a period of abnormally dry weather sufficiently long enough to cause a serious hydrological imbalance”. Aridity is […]
For many who live near refineries, incinerators, and other heavy industry, lockdowns and shelter in place orders like we have all experienced lately are a far too common occurrence. The New York Times took a closer look at these communities to show why the residents are so vulnerable to the disease.
Why This Matters:Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali explained to put the COVID deaths into context, “we know more than 100,000 people die prematurely in the U.S. every year because of air pollution.”
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