CITY – national – international

When the Low Emission Zones hit London in February – not many people understood its implications. Now we’re over a month into having the zone (well really, its not even a zone, its just the whole of London) and have people really noticed the difference?

Air Quality? I asked a number of people if the noticed the difference in air quality, Claire Dawson, 26 from Islington said: “no, not really, i opposed the zone, if it only affects cars, motorbikes and small vans – what about Ambulance vans and Police vans?”

Which does beg the question – do the government have to pay their own daily charges – of £200? I doubt it.

How has the new low emmision zone affected you?

CITY – national – international

Idea -> Protest -> Development -> Protest -> Planning -> Protest -> Construction starts -> Protest -> Heathrow terminal 5 made.

After the worthy protests against the construction of Heathrow terminal 5 – it’s inevitable that more protests have occurred after the announcement of a planned third runway at Heathrow. If you’ve been in any of the semi-major tube station, you’ll have seen the stamp everywhere, from posters to theatre – to the ceiling.

Even London councils are stepping up and joining the fight against a third runway at Heathrow. Go Team! 

But it seems that cliché is cliché for a reason…there’s always one.

Yes, Haringay Council – Labour run Haringay Council may I add – have refused to join in the ‘coalition’ of boroughs including, Islington and Camden. 

This is pretty odd, as Labour want to reduce carbon emissions – at least 60 per cent by 2050.  Also, a lot of the air traffic would fly over the borough – creating more noise pollution. 

Now for the math that you all should be doing in these types of situations…

It will be responsible for more carbon dioxide emissions for over 25 million people – that’s the size of Uganda!

I for one hope a third runway isn’t built…what do you think? 

City  – National – INTERNATIONAL.

Steven Speilberg’s exit from the role of art director from the Beijing Olympics this year was just another arrow in the deluge fired at the Beijing Olympic Committee.

Now world record holder Haile Gebrselassie is to drop out of the Beijing Olympics after deciding the air pollution in Beijing would have too much of a bad effect on his health. Well, if he doesn’t qualify for the Ethiopian team, he won’t. If he does, the 10,000-meter race will be the only race he competes in. He is a regular in the 42-kilometer race but won’t compete.

Gebrselassie suffers from exercise-induced asthma, which means that the air quality is a factor in his decisions to run races. 

For something such as air quality to be a factor in any decision to compete in sport is a testament to the growing concern of the effects pollution is having globally. It’s ridiculous that something like this is happening. And both the long distance running and cycling events have plans of being rescheduled, according to Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge. With China burning more natural resources than any economy, its no surprise something like this has happened.

co2.jpg

The Government want us to be more environmentally friendly. They want us to recycle more. The want us to decrease the amount of plastic bags we use. The want us to buy environmentally friendly appliances. They want us to repeat this mantra: “I must lower my ‘carbon footprint'”.

They also want us to eat no more then 6 grams of salt a day, eat 5 fruit and veg a day, excercise for an hour a day…. but thats a whole new tangent.

Basically, they want us to follow an abundance and “rules” and guidelines for our benefit. Indeed,they are beneficial, but are they setting guidelines beyond our reach?

Environmentalists are adament that the government should set a target for cutting carbon emissions to 80 per cent by 2050. But is that really realistic?

If you go to http://actonco2.direct.gov.uk/index.html – you can find out your carbon footprint (if you dont lie of course).

My one is 1.31 tones per year.

The national average is 4.48 tonnes per year.

The Government wants it to be lowered to 1.04 tonnes per year.

Thats a difference of 3.44 tonnes. And they expect us to bring that down in a mere 42 years.

Now, what the above website, or the government, doesnt actually tell you is the real figure of your “carbon footprint”. My real footprint is 6.31 tonnes per year because the government failed to add on the extra 5 tonnes they themselves (on things like public services) are producing extra per person.

So even if you try your hardest to lower your carbon footprint, cycle to work, recycle immensely…there will still be that 5 tonnes your labelled as producing.

So maybe it should be us saying… The people want the government to lower their emissions. They should find ways of reducing their carbon footprint. If they lead, we will follow.

It’s becoming vastly apparent over the last few years that we all need to start being environmentally friendly.

In London, throughout the many boroughs, pollution is being tackled immensely.

Take Ealing for example, in the three day period of the 18/02/08 to 21/02/08, pollution levels soured to what the London Air Quality Network (LAQN) ranked as 10/10 (their highest, and worst rank) in PM10 Particulate. This is a form of liquid found in a gas that is very harmful to humans, at worst causing premature death when consumed for lengthy periods of time.

Yesterday, it was then reported on the LAQN that Ealing’s pollution level of PM10 Particulate fell to what they rank as 3/10. The governments health advice say this amount of it is pollution that will not be noticed by those around, or those sensitive to pollution.

While places like Enfield and Bromley have some of the lowest amounts pf pollution in the whole of London (LAQN rank 1/10).

Clearly London is doing something right in the war against climate change. However, with the talks of a third runway at Heathrow being built, fighting this type of war might be a pointless thing.

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