It’s no secret that humans are damaging the Earth. Whether our destructive actions are the result of monetary goals or personal benefit, the Earth has endured more harm than ever before.
One city in particular has taken the initiative to prevent air pollution from increasing any further. This city is none other than the “City of Love”- Paris.
In an effort to reduce air pollution, officials in Paris are issuing a temporary ban that prevents half of personal vehicles from driving on Monday. One in every 2 cars will be unable to drive on roads, says Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Cars with odd-numbered license plates and vehicles such as taxis and electric cars will be allowed to drive. The safety of Paris civilians will also not be jeopardized, as ambulances have the ability to drive as well.
Why did Paris decide to reduce traffic by half?
This drastic action was the result of dangerously high pollution levels in the city. Paris has always had a history of air pollution (as does any other major city), and this type of regulation was incorporated last year as well.
This begs the question- is air pollution a serious problem in today’s world?
Believe it or not, air pollution has caused more deaths per year than AIDS and Malaria combined. Here are some statistics that portray the destructive potential of air pollution and pollution in general:
- “Almost 3.3 million people die from outdoor air pollution every year”
- “People who live in places with high levels of air pollutants have a 20% higher risk of death from lung cancer than people who live in less-polluted areas”
- “Americans make up an estimated 5% of the world’s population. However, the US produces an estimated 30% of the world’s waste and uses 25% of the world’s resources”
- “Approximately 40% of the lakes in America are too polluted for fishing, aquatic life, or swimming”
- “14 billion pounds of garbage are dumped into the ocean every year”
Of course, the dilemma of air pollution is only exacerbated with the industrialization of countries. Fortunately, technology has improved throughout the years and advancements such as the electric car aim to reduce the severity of pollution.
Nevertheless, it’s imperative that countries begin implementing plans to combat, and hopefully one day, eradicate air pollution.
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