In the war against polluted air will perseverance win out? – Air Quality Matters

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Wow! You look at any number of today’s hot-button issues – women’s reproductive and voting rights; those surrounding the supply chain slowdown; high gas prices; unemployment; and even those dealing with inflation – and in this mid-term election year, the question is: What will it take to get these problems solved?

Obviously, there are fixes for every one of these. The trick is to identify what these are and then implement them accordingly. The triple crises of climate change, global warming and polluted air, for whatever the reason(s), do not; I repeat, do not right now appear to weigh as heavily on our minds as they have in times past and compared to the hot-button ones just mentioned above.

While some may feel fear and/or dread related to some or all of the abovementioned issues and crises, others may take such in stride. Amazingly, others, meanwhile, apparently couldn’t be least little bit concerned or so it would appear.

As a case in point, the other day I watched a news report detailing, highlighting some person’s or, collectively, people’s vision of a floating-in-air hotel. You read right. And, nuclear-powered, no less. Really!

Okay, so back to matters more pressing, particularly those today that are foremost on people’s minds and deemed existential threats, that these get the due attention they’re owed and are resolved in time to prevent irreparable harm, this can’t be overstated.

On what should our thoughts be focused? On undoing at least some of the mess we find ourselves facing.

As to why we have these, it’s as if we’ve taken a wrong turn, and, as I heard one expert providing comment on the “CBS Sunday Morning” television program in response to answering the question of why the high inflation, metaphorically speaking, the concise summation, in effect, was that “we’re going (or have gone) off the road.” Not a pretty picture by any stretch.

I hate to say it and I oh so hope I’m wrong about what I’m about to say, but sad to say I feel that a lot of the fervor and enthusiasm that came out of the global climate conference held in Paris in 2015 and in subsequent summits just isn’t what it used to be, that is, in regard to our taking steps to right the climate ship; tantamount basically to saying the wind is being taken out of climate-change-mitigation’s-and-adaptation’s sails. I have heard others voice this same sentiment.

Bottom line, whatever the mitigating, adaptive, regulatory effort advanced, regardless of objective, goal, aim, such are only as strong as their weakest links.

That all said, here on the Air Quality Matters blog as it relates, over the years a wealth of information has been presented having not only to do with air-pollution- or air-quality-problem identification (depending upon what the case may be) but as well with the vast amount of discussion provided, the focus being on scientific, fact, statistics and terminology explanation; remedy, mitigation and solutions-based-suggestion contemplation; and with regard to reader feedback and commenting, not in all cases mind you but in the oftentimes back-and-forth exchange-based conversation.

On a roll

And, speaking of facts-oriented and success-focused information, where American transit voting initiatives are concerned, a goodly proportion have passed recently and that’s good news!

So, in referencing the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) in 2017 and to repeat, I wrote: “Nearly 90% of public transportation initiatives were approved by voters from coast to coast across the United States this year. In the November 7th election, seven of eight initiatives passed…. Throughout the country this year, voters in 17 states and communities of all sizes voted for increased investment in public transportation, bringing the success rate to nearly 90% (87.5%).”

And, the wins just kept coming in tough times even. Forty-seven out of 52 passed measures in 2020 and a perfect 10 out of 10 approved public transit initiatives in 2021.

Each and every win will mean coming if not already realized air quality improvement in the communities affected.

Visit the APTA at apta.com to learn more.

– Alan Kandel

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