Sunday, 24 April 2011

Are anti smog warnings the future as global capitalism takes hold

As an increasing population and more and more of us driving on the roads with bus's and cars taking to the streets of our great capital i thought i'd look into smog levels and how dangerous they are to us as the capitalist system looks to take a tighter grip on our society by increasing globalisation.

Air pollution in London has hit its highest level since 2003 according to official figures.

Under European Union air quality laws daily pollution levels must not be above the legal limit on more than 35 days in a calendar year.

But air pollution levels in London have already exceeded EU daily limits 36 times this year.

It is the first time that the annual limit has been exceeded by this date since 2003 when there were 50 breaches.

On Wednesday, Marylebone Road in central London exceeded EU limits for the 36th day this year.

The station there records air pollution from tiny sooty particles, known as PM10, which are mainly caused by traffic.

The government has issued a "smog alert" for the Easter weekend for PM10s, which can affect people's health.

Simon Birkett, director of Clean Air in London, said: "We need mayor Johnson and the government to tackle an invisible public health crisis with as many premature deaths attributable to air pollution in London in 2008 as we thought occurred during the Great Smog of 1952."

The European Commission has already given the UK two written warnings and the next stage in the legal process will be referral to the European Court of Justice.

The Commission gave the mayor and UK Government until June to come up with a "London action plan" to ensure compliance with the air pollution limits.

The UK will not face fines for the breach, as the EU has given Britain an extension until June before it has to start meeting the standards in the capital.

James Grugeon, chief executive of the charity Environmental Protection UK, said the breaches showed official assurances that pollution was under control in the capital were not true.

He said: "The mayor's air quality strategy, even with a new action plan set to start in June, is not up to the job of tackling the high levels of pollution already recorded this year."

A statement from London mayor Boris Johnson said that until 11 June, the daily limit of PM10 in London was 50% higher as a result of the UK's extension from the EU.

The statement says that as of 19 April, the daily limit value has been exceeded at Marylebone Road just six times this year, meaning that the annual legal limits have not been breached.

We need mayor Johnson and the government to tackle an invisible public health crisis”
Simon Birkett

Director of Clean Air in London
A spokesperson for the mayor said: "The mayor is already taking action to improve London's air quality with cleaner buses, tougher standards for the Low Emission Zone and the first ever age limit for taxis.

"Since the beginning of 2011, we estimate that more than 75% of air pollution episodes have occurred when pollutants have been blown in from Europe."

But Simon Birkett said the extension was only valid when the air pollution action plan is implemented and until then the lower limits apply.

This to me says one thing to me, globalisation is crippling us as a nation and us as a planet. The drive for profit over anything else be that peoples liveliehoods or the environment takes no priority over profit. The mad rush to work everyday during summer months in London is unbearable as it is but despite Londons attempts to ease traffic off with their conjestion charge the smog and fumes keep on coming.
To me the conjestion charge is a load of rubbish it collects lots of money dont get me wrong but where does that money go ?

in the back pockets of city hall chiefs of course and TFL boss's no doubt. What was origianlly set up to reinvest in greener energiesa nd alternative transport has simply not materialised and this comes as no surprise to myself and many other socailists with a care for the environment too.

To me and many others you can not have a green economy without a socialist economy whilst the capitalist companies strive for profit to any length they have no consideration for the economy. Only under a socialist governmenta nd society will green energies be ableto be brought to the front. When the society isnt based on profit but a better life for all not just the few investment and research into green energies can become a priority anda nessessetity to preserve our planet in its current form.

So the smog and the pollution is yes down to man and our greed for moneya nd our nice cars and things but i lay the blame for the pullution of our cities and towns firmly at the feet of capitalism who have no care in the world for the world and this will end up in us destroying our planet unless we change the way society is run.

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