Tuesday, September 06, 2016

An Ill Wind Blowing Some Good?

Image result for taking a breath

The Hebrew word ruach rolls spirit and wind and breath, all into one. We humans inhale and exhale between 17,000 and 23,000 times per day, although must of don't give our breathing a thought. Of course is a person has COPD or some other respiratory problem breathing becomes an issue, and sometimes a scary one.

I commented to someone recently that despite the disturbingly hot summer we haven't had the smog warnings and air advisories of a few years ago. I wondered if the closure of the coal-fired generating plants was the reason. I'm still mad at the Ontario Liberals for squandering billions on some of those energy decisions for political gain, but in the end we all benefit.

Just to remind you, coal-fired generating stations were entirely phased out in Ontario by 2014. We're told that other air quality initiatives are providing relief as well, including Drive Clean, emissions trading regulations, local air quality regulation for industries, and emissions controls at Ontario smelters. Over the past decade, there has been a 31 per cent decrease in fine particulate matter and a 42 per cent decrease in nitrogen dioxide. In other words, far less smog.  In 2005 there were more than 50 smog advisories, while in most of Southern Ontario there have been none this year  

Hey, there is an expression that "it is an ill wind that blows no good."  Those of us who have lobbied various levels of government to reduce emissions for the sake of the planet can grow disheartened. Plenty of church people were amongst the activists in Durham dismayed when the garbage incinerator was approved a few years ago. While that incinerator just added to the challenge of keeping our air breathable, we can be grateful, that there have been changes for the good.          

1 comment:

roger said...

Yes, I think the closing of the coal-fired generating stations was a move in the right direction. I also think that cars have been manufactured to run more cleanly, and of course hybrids and electric cars are a huge benefit to the environment.

With the current rebates in place, I was tempted to purchase an all-electric vehicle(Nissan Leaf was the top contender on my list), however I am hesitant because of the limited range. I expect car companies to eventually increase those ranges, and when they do, I will be seriously interested - unless hydro rates skyrocket!

Of course, if people would stop idling at drive-thrus, that would help too, but I've commented on that too many times already.