The developed world has largely eliminated the opaque pea-souper smogs which marinaded city streets in dangerous toxins until the mid-20th century, but serious air pollution problems remain. In the UK, recent reassessment of the scale of the problem revealed 64,000 deaths were attributed to poisonous air in 2015, and across Europe it is believed more people now die from air pollution than from smoking. So is our air actually getting worse, or have we become better at assessing the damage? We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view. From 15p €0.18 $0.18 USD 0.27 a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras. Subscribe now The answer is the latter: air in Britain is far cleaner than it has been in well over a hundred years. Our former dependence on coal in the home and for industry meant emissions of black smoke were up to 50 times higher in the decades before the clean air act of 1956 than they are today. During the great London smog of 1952, 4,000 people … [Read more...] about Is air pollution actually getting worse in Britain?
Clean air act of 1990
A Belgian Roman Catholic deacon who murdered at least five people, including his own mother, by injecting air into their veins, has been handed a 27 year prison sentence. Ivo Poppe, 61, a former nurse, also killed his great-uncle by smothering him to death with a cushion when he was 22-years-old. Prosecutors said during the trial that there could be up to 50 more victims after reports of many deaths in suspiciouss circumstances during the time he was working at the clinic, in West Flanders. Dubbed the 'Deacon of Death' by Belgian media, Poppe was arrested in 2013 after he admitted to his psychiatrist that he had "actively euthanised dozens of people". A jury found Poppe guilty of the murders of his 90-year-old mother, his 80-year-old father-in-law, two great-uncles aged 79 and 81 and another patient aged 79. The married father-of-three, who worked at a hospital in Menen, in the 1980s and 1990s, was acquitted of a sixth murder charge, at the trial in Bruges. Poppe told a court that he … [Read more...] about ‘Deacon of Death’ who killed at least 5, including his mother, by injecting air into their veins jailed
Ozone-related deaths have risen by 150% since 1990, while premature deaths cost the equivalent of 7.6% of GDP, says Shashi Tharoor.Afriend, a diplomat returning home after three years’ service in India, was asked at his exit medical examination how many packs a day he smoked.When he said that he was not a smoker, the doctor said that X-rays of his lungs showed otherwise.But my friend had never lit up. All he had done was breathe Delhi’s air, three smoggy winters in a row.It is that bad. When November comes, India — and particularly its capital city — begins to choke on a thick blanket of smog that fills lungs, corrodes throats, and impairs visibility.It’s not just Delhi’s notorious diesel fumes, from car and truck exhausts. There are also industrial factories spewing smoke, charcoal braziers on the sidewalks keeping pavement dwellers warm, coal stoves used by roadside chaiwallahs (tea-sellers), and even the agricultural stubble burned by farmers in … [Read more...] about India’s poor air quality is choking its people and its economy
In some regions, the climate is changing so quickly that forests probably won't be able to provide basic functions - such as timber production and protection from landslides and snow avalanches, as well as food, wildlife habitat and recreation - that people take for granted, scientists said at the recent annual assembly of the European Geosciences Union. "The tree line shift is something that everybody can already see, with young trees growing in new areas," said Matthias Jochner, a forest ecologist with ETH Zürich, describing his new tree-ring study across the Swiss Alps. The results support previous estimates that vegetation zones will shift upward by 500 to 700 meters (1,600 to 2,300 feet). That change will be especially noticeable at the mid-elevations, exactly where forest-dependent communities in the Alps now thrive on agriculture and tourism. At lower elevations, oaks and other broadleaf trees will start to dominate the forests, completely changing familiar landscapes. … [Read more...] about Global warming is reshaping the world’s forests
by Courier readers March 17 2018, 10.09am FacebookTwitterWhatsAppLinkedInEmail Sign up to our Daily newsletter Want to read more?Subscribe today from £1 a week Sir, – Watching all the TV nature programmes about the beauty of the UK, especially Scotland, it humbles me time and time again. We have such beauty on our doorstep, we truly are blessed. Scotland as a whole has so much to offer tourists. So why don’t we take more care of this beauty? What strikes me, time and time again, is all the dirt and plastic muck along the Fife roads. Drive from Glenrothes to Kirkcaldy, along the whole stretch there is not one single yard without a plastic bottle or a bag, tarpaulin or plastic packaging from fast-food, thrown out of a car. Drive along the country roads in Fife and everywhere one sees debris left behind after collisions. Drive to Perth, along the A90 there’s filth everywhere. We want tourists to come to enjoy our unique country. Tourists bring … [Read more...] about READERS’ LETTERS: Time for Scots to clean up their act