To the limits: To protect air/health, boundaries ‘right up our alleys’

To “limit” air pollution, wouldn’t that be nice?! To help bring this about, setting – and/or enforcing – limits, at the very least, seems de rigueur.

Public_traffic_signal[2]Take the concluding passages: “U.S. driving more popular than ever? I’ll say it is! One has to wonder, though, as is the case with posted speeds, for the amount of driving being done, should there not also be limits?” of the Air Quality Matters post: “U.S. driving popular way back when, even more so now,” as an example.

The referenced “limits” here wasn’t referring to speed. What was being hinted at was in reference to driving-caused emissions as in this should be limited absolutely so as such does not present a danger to human, animal, plant health and the environment generally. How far limits should go in terms of protecting the air we breathe can become, and is, a contentious issue.

For perspective, in some communities, the air pollution problem’s gotten way out of hand. In London, England, for instance, during the first few days of 2016, the city breached an entire year’s air pollution levels. NewStatesman writer Scott Langdon in the article, “The area where London is a world-leader: its polluted air,” reported that almost half of all of the highly problematic nitrogen dioxide pollution there is sourced from transportation.

Langdon further wrote: “The solutions are available if leaders choose to prioritise combating air pollution. Spurred on by fines for consistently failing to meet EU regulations and by increasing pressure from campaigns on this issue, the current mayor, Boris Johnson, has taken action. He has forced older, more polluting cars off the road, made so- called Boris bikes available as a clean means of transport and will introduce the ultra low emissions zone in 2020.”

Meanwhile, “The ‘Help Delhi Breathe’ campaign is seeking creative solutions to limit the number of cars accessing the city centre. Similar campaigns that are making a difference have started in Santiago and Mexico City,” Langdon added.

Where limiting vehicle access in a city is concerned, there is definitely something to be said for just such instituted action and as a result of this much can be done to help tackle driving-related damage to air.

To use an analogy, where driving speed limits are posted and enforced, to those who exceed said posted limits, they can and should expect a ticket. It is the exact same when it comes to citing those who exceed limits or standards regarding their excessively and unnecessarily polluting the air. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (as its name implies) immediately comes to mind with respect to its role in enforcing rules in regard to environmental protection.

Taking air pollution to the limit sounds anything but good. The idea of holding levels of air toxicity under or within limits sounds like something that would be right up peoples’ alleys, that people could live with. In that sense, limits sound none-too-bad at all.

That said, limits alone shouldn’t be the sole factor that determines what the quality is of the air we breathe. Since humans are creatures of habit, what, say, we take every opportunity that can be taken to make air protection routine. If anything at all, this “sounds like the plan.”

Image above: Johan Olsson

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