I read the news about air pollution in China and at first I m scared to think of the impact on plants and people. On another level I also think this is a great wake up call on the bad effects of pollution so that we become more aware of it and therefore take action in our daily life. Quite often people hear about it but without seeing its effects it does not quite get acknowledged.
Let’s look at some figures of air pollution in China, in Beijing. The real time quality index shows a value of 222 for the PM2.5 and 112 for the PN10, very high and unhealthy values. These figures are for very tiny particles pollution and they are sued to monitor air quality and pollution.
These tiny polluting powders are bad news for people because they can go deep into the lungs. An example of how air pollution can impact people is shown by Italian statistics showing the increase in lung or breathing problems such as asthma and allergic rhinitis in the population in the Padana valley in Italy in the last 40 years. That area is a flat valley and it thrives with factories and busy cities producing air pollution that gets stuck in the valley. This is in a much smaller scale than China. At the present Italy is working on reducing this pollution by investing in solar panels and cars running on lpg.
These tiny particles are also bad news for plants because they block the sunlight which is essential for plants life and to produce clean air via photosynthesis.
The irony of it all is that China is probably the major producer of solar panels in the world, but yet it uses coal to produce its energy supply producing a vast amount of these tiny particles.
This makes me eco aware and wonder what I can do about it. Given the size and the power of China I believe that the best way to go about this is to lead by example going for “green points” or green actions every day. Whatever works for each individual is fine, providing there is that eco awareness to take care of the environment in a way or another. I quite like the work of the Woodland Trust . So my green point today will be sending them a donation to help them saving and protecting the woodland in England.
It would be nice to hear about your favourite green point or action., would you like to share?