Of course, in an ideal world, our air should be as pure and clean as we can make it, but in practice we know that transport and industry will put out exhaust gases and particles that can irritate our lungs. Nature too can make our air very uncomfortable for those who are susceptible, for example pollen.

Now, according to this report we may be about to see a legal judgment as to whether air pollution was a significant factor in someone’s death. Presumably, if the case succeeds, the Government will be found guilty of manslaughter by allowing the levels of pollutants to go above the maximum permitted level and then we will have some level of fine imposed on them, possibly some compensation to the victim’s family.

But what next? How many other cases will emerge? For a start how is it possible, with any certainty, to decide to what extent, if any, the presence of low levels of pollutants could contribute to death?

In this case the victim was a child and if their parents were so concerned that traffic pollution was seriously affecting their child’s life then why did they not move to a less polluting area? (They lived beside a very busy traffic area.)  

In reality the Government has to reach a compromise between  on the one hand keeping the air as clean as possible, and on the other hand allowing us all to use transport in order to go about our daily lives freely. The idea of attaching blame is purely a political exercise.

via climate science

January 13, 2019 at 01:30AM

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