Source: Roar Magazine
If socialism in one country was a pipe dream, so will be the idea of an ecological transition in one country. To make it work, the Green New Deal will have to be internationalized.
The damage caused by air pollution is now being compared to the effects of tobacco use. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution poses the greatest environmental threat to global health in 2019, killing seven million people prematurely every year, which is around the number of deaths caused by cigarettes.
No wonder a common joke about air pollution in contemporary India says that “living in Delhi is just like smoking 50 cigarettes in a day.”
Or that a joke in China even suggests ways of dealing with the air pollution in the best Graucho Marx manner: “Individual therapy: put a mask on. Family therapy: buy health insurance. If you have money and the time: go on holiday. If you’ve no class: emigrate. National therapy: wait for the wind.”
Unfortunately, as usually with dark humor, the joke is reality. When in January 2017 China announced the first ever nationwide red level fog alarm, haze-avoidance soon became a trend and hundreds of thousands of Chinese would start traveling abroad during winter months — when pollution is critical — specifically to escape air pollution. At the same time, those who do not have the means to escape have to stay with masks and literally wait for… air.
When we hear or read about air pollution, we immediately think of India or China. Yet the death rate from air pollution in Hungary happens to be the second highest in the world, coming just behind China. As many as 10,000 people die prematurely in the country each year because of diseases linked to air pollution.
In 2018, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published a report showing that air pollution causes almost 500,000 premature deaths in Europe every year. The report warned that the toll on health was worse in Eastern European countries than China and India.