The quality of the air we breath is of utmost importance for our health
Air pollution is a worrisome topic. Mother Earth supplies a lot of healthy air. There would be more than enough for everybody in this world if we humans were not so stupid as to pollute this important element. Think big cities, loads of cars with their fumes from exhaust pipes. Then the industry putting more toxins in the air. Instead of opting for clean energy like water, air, and solar, we still want fossil energy which is dirty, to say the least. On top of it, we cut down the big helpers which grow on our planet. Trees clean the air but those areas which one can see as green lungs are mercilessly cut and destroyed. The Amazon is a good example of human stupidity and recently the news of Tongass National Forest was also a negative.
Trees produce so much oxygen and it, therefore, is not understandable that trees are cut down. Their value as oxygen producers far outweighs the wood value. Paper, furniture, and houses are made of wood. Obviously, there is a need for wood and wood products in our world, but the harvesting of the trees must be in a sustainable manner. To harvest the old growth forests destroys not only the trees but also all the life depending on it. From deer to birds and insects, even mushrooms depend on the fallen debris of trees.
What does it help us if the air we breathe is so bad it affects our health and means an early death? You can call it a limited view if you are only able to see the profit of today but do not see the consequences of your actions in the future. If we eliminate the trees from our planet the whole system will collapse. Destroy natures balance and we will destroy ourselves.
How bad air affects people
Worldwide the negative impact of bad air on the health of the population is great. Data for 2016 shows that 4.2 million death were directly related to air pollution. Recent studies say that bad air is linked to 3.2 million new diabetes cases each year and that all this pollution has a direct influence on your cognitive ability.
Many big cities worldwide have a serious battle with air pollution. You remember the pictures on tv of cities in China or India. The people living there are told to stay home or when walking on the streets have to wear masks. It is especially bad for children and the elderly.
The worst cities in the U.S. Even if the U.S. has vast areas with lovely clean air in many cities it can get suffocating. I traveled myself for 3 weeks through the U.S in 2016 and could compare the great wilderness with some big cities.
Spain also has a problem with the air. Big cities like Madrid and Barcelona have gone through some really bad periods. Walking their small dogs on the streets people would notice the poor animal could hardly breathe. There have been times where a system was put up letting you drive or not depending on your license plate number. Even numbers on even days etc. The center of the cities was restricted to people living there and taxis. It was announced on tv that one should take the train, bus or metro and it was also suggested to share cars.
Have you heard of the Smog Project?
I came across a very interesting article written by Thomas Page, CNN style.
Of the ten most polluted cities in the world, 9 are in India with Dehli in at 6th place. With its estimated 18.6 million people (2016), it is the 5th most populous city in the world and the largest city in India area wise. This city has a huge problem with its toxic smog. In 2017 there was a period where the air was so polluted that is was equivalent to smoking like 44 cigarettes a day. You can imagine how bad that is for everybody but especially for old people, children, and babies.
It is extremely difficult to influence all the culprits who are the creators of this bad air. First, you have biomass burning and industry and transport emissions. As economic growth is climbing sharply it is predicted that by the year 2040 car ownership in India will have risen by some 775%. Let’s hope that by then it will be electric cars.
An ambitious and unusual project
As you can see, an urgent need for a daring, call it futuristic, project is asked for. Znera Space, a Dubai-based architecture firm has come up with an ambitious proposal to solve this problem. Giant towers, looming like 100 meters in the sky form a network of air filters. From the bottom, the polluted air is absorbed, it then goes through 5 stages of filtration to then come out at the top as clean air.
Different filtering methods are at work here. charcoal-activated carbon, negative ion generators and electrostatically charged plasma, which trap airborne particles. The air is forced upwards where it goes through a photo-catalyst filter to sterilize bacteria and viruses and voila, clean air is released. Each tower has the capacity of producing 353 million cubic feet of clean air per day. These towers are connected and obtain the power to operate through solar hydrogen cells which form a hexagonal network of “sky bridges” between the towers. This design would be a network of towers and a grid that would be self-sustaining.
As these towers collect harmful particles like carbon, one has to find a way of recycling them. The designers of this project have come up with the idea of reutilizing these particles for graphene, concrete, fertilizer, ink and water distillation.
It might very well be that this project will be built to help clean the air of one of the most polluted cities in the world. Other, similar projects have been presented. Daan Roosegarde, a Dutch designer, showed his project of a Smog Free Tower in Beijing in 2016. His tower is 23 -foot high and cleans 25 million cubic air per day. Another company, Berlin-based Green City Solutions has a 13-foot by 10 foot moss-culture installation with the name City Tree. The company claims it works as efficient as 275 trees cleaning the pollution from the air.
First humans pollute the air to then try to find a solution to clean it again. Building towers to filter the bad air might seem a good idea but let’s face it we have nature to do this job. We should protect nature so it can work to our benefit. Protect the trees of this world instead of cutting them. Then we should go green. Water, sun, and wind would give us clean energy and at the same time use electric vehicles, all this together would make our air breathable again.
Source: CNN style, article by Thomas Page
Photo Source: Pixabay
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