Thursday, July 11, 2013

Air Pollution Affects Us All

Over here in Rwanda, air pollution is a serious problem. Between the vehicle emissions and the fires used for cooking and the dust from the dry season, it's not friendly air to breathe. I hear people coughing rather frequently. The air was not this bad in other countries I have visited. Plus, having seen the mountains the gorillas inhabit, I realize it is a small area. Tens of square miles not hundreds. Will they be pushed out to the top in global warming with the island effect? Also, while everyone walks here how long before asthma and emphysema cripple the aerobic ability of the general population? I hear the problem is worse in China.
 Do you see the haze above? Yet how can someone like I say they need better air quality when their standard of living is so much lower than mine. One might suggest using more machinery that would be more efficient, yet it would pollute more and put people out of work. How can we say to people that live in mud houses that their air quality is bad and they need to change and pay to clean it up when so many people can not afford food every day, let alone AIDS medications that hundreds of thousands need?
 There are many challenges here and frankly they don't have the money to throw at it that we can to our problems in the developed world. It's funny to consider a polluted day in the United States because compared to this, it is not very bad. I feel that global air quality, if only for the asthma and lung cancer effects, will rise to be a more significant global issue in the next decade, and that neglects any climate change issues.

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