Climate change is not an option but the only alternative for our survival. News around how the earth is warming up at an alarming rate keeps making headlines. Prediction by the United Kingdom’s Meteorological Department is a “93% chance that the five-year average global temperature for 2022-2026 will be higher than the average for the last five years”.
World countries together or individually have started the agenda to save the planet. The U.S. Department of Energy has announced a commitment of $2.3 billion to inter alia target reducing the emission of carbon dioxide.
Air is a precondition for life to exist on our planet. The pollution of the air is posing threats to our existence.
Polluted air is everywhere from the countryside to the metro city – no area is spared. The industrial revolution and its benefits blinded mankind who neglected its side effects. The major setback is air pollution which is the outcome of the industrial revolution and its allied activities.
This detrimental matter has caught the attention of experts, researchers, politicians, business tycoons and others over the recent year. As we have entered into the situation of ‘now or never.
But did you know that it is a human right to live in a healthy environment?
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has covered the aspect of the right to clean air as a human right.
In fact, there are close to 155 states who are under a legal and binding obligation to provide a healthy environment to their citizens.
Few reasons why you should be compelled to care about air pollution:
Hidden and hideous cost we pay because of air pollution
Air pollution leads to poor health conditions for world citizens. Additionally, the poor health of parents/guardians stops them from going to work thereby putting the economic status of the family at risk. Talking about children, they miss school and so their future opportunities take a hit. The old age group cannot withstand the pollutant levels, therefore, seeking frequent hospitalization.
Every country has to pay the cost of dealing with all these problems at hand.
The World Bank estimates that because of air pollution the global economy takes a hit of $ 5 trillion in terms of welfare costs.
If by 2060, enough measures are not undertaken to bring the situation under control then global welfare costs of deaths due to air pollution would come to $18-25 trillion. On the other hand, if we can contain the spread of pollutants and control air pollution to a certain extent then it would be US$54 trillion in combined health benefits.
These numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. It is in the greater benefit of mankind to deal with the matter at hand.
Poor people are more susceptible to air pollution
Developed countries are no exception. So, irrespective of the economic status of the country, the poor community suffers from indoor as well as outdoor pollution.
Children are more at risk than any other age group
Children pave and shape the future of any country. Government and private bodies take utmost care for the growth of individuals belonging to this age group.
It is astonishing to note that around 93 per cent of children across the globe are breathing polluted air.
Exposure to a high concentration of air pollutants affects the physical and mental health of the children. It also makes them vulnerable to chronic diseases later in life.
The social-economical impact of the quality of the air we breathe is way higher than we can comprehend. The effects might not be immediate or to say the least visible but no one is safe from its impact. Countries are doing their bit to deal with the problem at hand but we need to move way faster.
Air pollution, on an individual level, has a direct impact on the physical, financial and psychological aspects of living. We need to act now.