Is talking about air pollution wasting your breath?

From "Science et Monde" (1931)

From “Science et Monde” (1931)

This Hollies’ song is running over and over in my head : “Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe…” Since yesterday at 4 AM. I was coughing my heart out. I couldn’t breathe no more and have never been asthmatic. It was like emerging from a nightmare in a Freddy Krueger movie. Breathing nowadays is not a natural process anymore.

I’m living in a country where sunny days are so scarce that a ray of sunshine is worth a gold bar. But since a few years, smog alerts have become common parts of our life. Ironically we are hoping for the rain to show up so it may wipe away fine particles.

Come on, people, hold your breath : this is serious matter. We are talking about the air that we breathe.  And more roads are being built. And more cars and trucks are added to the traffic. And we would not want to give up on our car, would we?  The cost of our freedom comes with the car’s price tag. The bigger and more powerful the car is, the more we pollute, the mightier we are. We think that air is a natural endless resource. No matter how much carbon monoxide we are spitting into the atmosphere. Factories are silently dumping their own part of  pollution. When smog is present, frail people are told not to do anything fancy – such as breathing too much?!? -.

This morning, dew is covering the grass and the daisies in my garden. Some drizzle has somehow cleansed the atmosphere. The air is more breathable. Or so it seems. Vehicles are now allowed to drive at maximum speed limit and factories are spewing out fumes. Things are hopefully back to normal. Back to breathing our carbon monoxide, back to normal pollution. We assume that it is the price of economic growth, that progress and material comfort are more important than our real basic needs. We are on the brink of suffocation but we are willing to swap a breath of fresh air  for a drive, so short we could  have done it on foot. Sometimes it seems like talking about air pollution is wasting your breath…

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