The UK’s air quality and pollution has climbed back up the environmental agenda after years of inactivity. Here are some possible reasons why. (From today’s Guardian )
Click here for article in full – http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2011/jul/13/air-pollution-uk-activism
About the UK certainly, but I think this piece has its place here and provides one more useful reminder that “climate”, as vitally important as it may be, is at once so abstract, so distant, so somehow unreachable that people give up on it pretty quickly. This is a simple fact, human nature, and it does not a bit of good to lament it. We need to bear this in mind if we wish to create strong public support for policy shifts in the right direction.
So if we bring the immediate local environment more strongly into play in our communications and recommendations, we start to have their attention (cough cough, hack hack). And while this piece is about the UK, there are plenty of useful parallels worldwide.
Also the fact that (a) the increasing quantum and quality of reliable indicators as to air quality and other sources of local pollution on the one hand, (b) indicators which increasingly cannot be withheld by recalcitrant bureaucracies and interests) and (c) the increasing role that citizen groups can play to get this news out and into the policy process, is part of the greater piece for all our cities.
Your comments cordially invited.