Water pistol

Campaigners aren’t impressed by the governments’ new Clean Air Strategy

They say it's not going far enough, or giving councils the money they need to carry it out.

The government is making a big announcement today about a new 'Clean Air Strategy'. The aim is to halve the number of people living in areas where air pollution is higher than EU health guidelines (we haven't Brexited just yet y'all). Problem is, Caroline Lucas (head of the Greens) says its about as effective as "using a water pistol on a wildfire".

What it means: Air pollution is the fourth biggest public health hazard in the UK, costing the country about £20bn a year. This plan would cut that cost by £1bn a year by 2020, and £2bn after that... so it's progress, but pretty slow. (Though one cool thing is that each council is going to get a tool that will help them measure the economic cost of air pollution to their area. Shut up, we think that's cool.)

It involves a lot of measures: cracking down on wet wood and coal burning in homes, reducing ammonia emissions (aka cow poop) in farms, reducing dust from vehicle tyres and brakes.

But campaigners say it's not enough. Too much responsibility is being put on local councils to carry out the changes, who can't necessarily afford the management costs. Plus, there's nothing in this strategy about reducing private car use – like setting up 'Clean Air Zones' where you get charged for driving in densely populated areas, for example.

The UK's actually been taken to court by the EU recently for failing to comply with emissions controls, so it's probably a good idea to get this right so as not to get into even more trouble.

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  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?