Democrat all the way!
- Mar 16, 2010
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A Lesson for India in a Fog So Thick It Could Kill a Cow
Same thing could be said about China. I post this post to remind people within America that government regulations on air, water and food is very much needed to remain intact. Not to do so would surely send us backwards.In December 1873, London was blanketed for a week in a yellow fog so thick that people could not see their feet. “Ladies & gentlemen,” Mark Twain said in a public lecture at the time, “I hear you, & so know that you are here — & I am here, too, notwithstanding I am not visible.”
Some 780 people died and 50 prize cattle on display at the Smithfield Club panted, wheezed and eventually died of asphyxia. Still, it took 83 more years of noxious air before the country passed the Clean Air Act in 1956.
This history, described in “London Fog: The Biography,” is a lesson in just how difficult it is for governments to put public health first when it comes into conflict with economic development, the political power of industry and even the polluting habits of their people.
The government of India is up against all of those things. The capital, New Delhi, a sprawling city of 20 million, just lived through an extraordinary episode of air pollution that closed schools for three days. India is one of a number of middle-income countries, including China, grappling with pollution problems that have ballooned along with economic growth and rapidly expanding cities.
A decade ago, the scope of the problem was poorly understood because the numbers on air pollution levels and deaths were spotty. But that has changed. Satellites have given scientists far more detailed pictures, allowing them to perform ever more precise calculations.