As smoke from Canadian wildfires blankets New York, residents are grappling with severe air pollution, a rare occurrence for the city. However, in many major cities across Asia, battling intense air pollution caused by smoke, fossil fuels, and industrial chemicals has become the norm, writes Jessie Yeung for CNN.
In a nutshell:
The images of cities engulfed in smoke have shocked the nation, prompting authorities to issue air quality alerts along the East Coast. While scenes like this are rare outside of West Coast states that regularly face wildfires, combating smog is a longstanding battle in many parts of the world. Last year, six of the world's most polluted cities were in India, and air pollution is estimated to be reducing the life expectancy of millions of Indians by up to nine years.
The image of the United Nations building in New York, barely visible through orange smog, “is the perfect image for how world leaders have failed at stopping the climate crisis,” tweeted scientist and climate advocate Lucky Tran on Wednesday, adding in a separate post: “Today New Yorkers and East Coasters are experiencing this impact first hand.”
Fossil fuel combustion, along with other factors like dust storms and wildfires, releases harmful pollutants such as fine particulate matter into the atmosphere. These pollutants can travel deep into the lungs and bloodstream, leading to various health problems including asthma and heart disease. The exacerbation of wildfires and their subsequent impact on air quality are directly linked to human-caused climate change, emphasizing the urgent need for effective measures to address the climate crisis and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Read the full story from CNNhere.