With the world gripped by the pandemic respiratory virus Covid-19, a crucial way of slowing its progress has been the way in which we have all had to change our travel habits, whether that is local travel by car, or world travel by aeroplane or shipping.
Monitoring stations around the world have reported huge drops in CO2 and Particulate Matter readings, particularly PM 2.5. This is a micro-particle which can travel into the respiratory system and severely affect the lungs causing many associated health conditions.
If those of us who do suffer from breathing issues and irritations on a daily basis, are now finding that those symptoms are actually less noticeable than usual, this is a validation that the pollution we breathe daily must be realistically reduced, so that our health improves.
There could even be a case made that if governments and local authorities had taken action much sooner on reducing these pollutants, the health of the population would have been at a greater level and so more people would have been able to fight and withstand the virus than currently are?
When Covid-19 is finally defeated by the creativity and scientific brilliance of the world’s best brains, should we not then use that point as the start of the lowering of pollution levels of all harmful substances, to protect our populations against the next viral pandemic?
We must demand governments and local authorities put the health of the majority above the economic benefits to the few, something becoming apparent now in the field of aviation. Airports and airlines have demanded growth to meet demand as the most important issue, and the effects they cause (whether by aircraft/vehicle or other on-site means), are seen as merely collateral and acceptable damage to millions of people’s health.
Those same airports and airlines are now saying that their growth has not been in fact financially productive, as they have no funds to weather the current shutdowns, and are asking for state aid. Aid which is sorely needed in many other institutions and small businesses which do not create the pollutants they do, or amass the same wealth for their shareholders.
Aviation must accept that it cannot grow any more until it has produced the technology within aircraft power, the means of operating airports in the most renewable and efficient ways possible and making access only possible by the least polluting transport systems.
What good is a growing economy, if we don’t have the health to enjoy it?
Stop Luton Airport Expansion