A Tale of Two Cities: And their fight against pollution

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times, it is the age of technological incandescence, it is the age of political incompetence, it is the epoch of democracy, it is the epoch of idiocracy, it is the season of comebacks, it is the season of drawbacks — in short, we just couldn’t resist the melodrama.

Honestly, I didn’t have to change even a word of Dicken’s quote for it to be as relevant today as it was 200 years ago.

London recently agreed to the expansion of Heathrow with the addition of a third runway despite there being expert advice suggesting the negative environmental impact of the additional runway. Air pollution has already been linked with 9000 confirmed premature deaths in Britain alone. The country not only faces the highest pollution in its history (higher than Beijing), but also faces a severe reprimanding by the EU for not meeting acceptable environmental standards. I suppose May wants BREXIT to happen before that happens.

As you can see, you don’t have to go far to see London’s pollution plagued skies. Westminster and embankment along the Thames are often shrouded in smog nowadays.

Having a third runway would be ok if the number of flights remained the same, but who am I kidding? Come on London, don’t you have like 4 additional major airports?

Across the Channel lies another city plagued by similar problems:

Paris’s battle with smog has been one of the most famous tragedies in modern history. In fact the government of the French capital was the first to implement a ban on cars based on their license plates, which is now seen in many other cities worldwide.


I clearly remember my time in Paris back in 2014. While there is a charm to seeing Paris under the red sun, there is also the depressing proof of how we can destroy one of the world’s most charming cities with our environmental insensitivity. Here is some more proof of this phenomenon:



Bottom Line:

As the Trump administration looks to abolish the EPA, Paris shows us the consequences of ignoring the fragility of our environment and London turns back the clock to an era of epidemics. Regardless of politics, saving our environment and improving our well-being should be something we can all agree on. Indeed, ‘the show must go on’, but we need to recognize that pollution is definitely a problem we created and something we need to solve. Recognizing that the Earth is increasingly becoming a sphere of glass, waiting to shatter under the pressure of humanity, is a crucial fact that we need to recognize. No, I’m not telling you to go pay taxes to airlines to offset your carbon footprint! But be aware of our effect on the environment. 


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