01 June 2007

Sydney smog

Winter is here, time to light up the romantic fire-place burning off all the rubbish. The Sydney sky turns into an orange-brown smog dome. “For the six months to March this year the number of days with pollution above acceptable levels was 25 per cent higher than 2005/06." (Daily Telegraph) The economy is doing well, the number of motorised vehicles has “increased by 60 per cent in 20 years.” (SMH)

  • 1 in every 6 Australian children have asthma.
  • 1600 people are dying every year “from air pollution related illness.” (DailyTelegraph)
  • The government has stopped the monitoring of “cancer causing 'air toxics' – particles from cars and industry which can lodge in the lungs.” (DailyTelegraph)
Good advice abounds in the form of advertising, recommendations, guides, diy management, self-help and SMS for those who 'can not cope.' Pollution-related illnesses are “... costing the NSW health system between $6.7 million and $13.5 million a year." (SMH) This 'burden' hurts.

Is it a matter of institutional responsibility for the decision makers of sustainable transportation?
Is it a matter of sheer probability in a risk society requiring 'sacrifice'?
Is it systemic and our personal responsibility due to all our actions?

Update: 240607 We are inhaling "...four times the recommended concentration of air pollution."

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