One more year has passed, one more orbit around the Sun, but still in many places of the world air pollution remains the number one threat for the health of the dwellers and the stability of the ecosystem. The political unwillingness to address air pollution and lots of green-washing from companies haven’t alleviated the situation anywhere. Sad, but even the COP26 was a bit of a fiasco as the leaders of this planet and the majority of the population are still trying to process the information of climate change and air pollution. Apparently, the world doesn’t want to sacrifice convince over the quality of life and life expectancy.
Megalomania and individualism are tearing the ecosystem apart and polarizing the society into left or right, pro-climate or anti-climate, pro-clean air (anapneism), or burn as much fossil fuel, waste and wood as possible. Plastic pollution is another big issue as well.
Our leaders don’t help the situation at all. They have such a short vision about the future and so closed minds that they are unable to accept the truth or even admit mistakes. They make decisions based on their own interests but sometimes this happens because they don’t ask for help from experts. Take as an example, in London or even in my small city Almeria, both councils decided to introduce Low Traffic Neighborhoods (LTNs) which sounds very good but the only thing they achieve is to displace traffic to a different neighborhood that is not inside the LTN. In most cases, low-income neighborhoods. You have to discourage drivers to use combustion vehicles period by giving them alternative transports and not telling them to drive elsewhere. Cities are for people not for vehicles.
Wildfires were an issue this year as well. Greece was the most unlucky one! Tremendous disaster, for the land and the atmosphere as huge quantities of particulate matter, CO2, and other chemicals were released into the air. My parents live 100km away from the wildfire in Xalkida and they told me that they were unable to go outside because the air was thick and toxic. They couldn’t breathe.
Many plans and conversations but no actions. We need actions today. You the reader and I the author need to do something today. We need to think more sustainable every day, but also vote for the people who care about the environment and society.
Each year, my blog receives almost double the amount of traffic as the year before. However, due to COVID-19 lockdowns and the wildfires in 2020, the blog was reached by 193K visitors in 2020, but in 2021 it was visited by 108K which is much higher than 2019. 2020 was a very atypical year as many people stayed indoors. Keep in mind, my blog is all about air pollution/quality, a very narrow subject but at the same time very important for all of us.
Google, Twitter, and Linkedin are the top three referrers to my blog, leaving Facebook behind for the first time.
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In 2022, I will gradually remove all ads from the site because I can’t control the external advertisers from the WordPress program and I don’t want to support polluters. However and although the site will continue to be open and free, I will also introduce a subscription annual plan for the loyal readers who would like to access in-depth content and want to support my work. Open donations will also be available for those with limited income.
I don’t lose my faith, and I always think positively about the future. I hope that more people in 2022 will see the bigger picture and realize that our purpose in this world is not to pollute and consume resources without compassion and empathy but to elevate human society to a higher level of consciousness of coexistence and civilization.