London is the epicenter of Western Civilization and one of the world’s leading financial districts, the City respectively. However, this week London was more polluted than China’s capital, Beijing, a metropolis already famous for its incredible pollution levels.
According to official figures offered by London’s first Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan, London registered record high pollution levels this week (it’s only Tuesday!) and for the first time, officials issued the highest air pollution alert in UK’s capital, again, for the first time in history.
Sadiq Khan said on Tuesday about the air in London as being filthy and making for nothing short of a health crisis. In good climate change tradition, the hugely popular wood burning stoves were accused of exacerbating the smog problem.
Truth be told, the current pollution level in London is pretty high from Beijing’s records, but the readings at 3 PM on Monday in London were worse than Beijing’s, with a peak of 197 micro-grams of particulate matter per cubic meter while China’s capital reached “just” 190 in the same day at the same hours, which of course is pretty far from healthy.
It is believed that this is the first time particulate readings in London rose higher than Beijing’s. According to official figures, wood burning stoves are responsible for almost 10% of the particulate pollution during the winter months.
What nobody is talking about is the huge price of energy (due to Climate Change regulations and green taxes) in the UK (and all over Europe for that matter) which forces poor people to use wood/coal burning stoves when the temperatures drop below zero.
Heavy pollution enveloped most of Europe on Tuesday and it prompted emergency actions across the Old Continent. In many countries, including UK, Belgium and France, the authorities warned people not to exercise outside, especially the elderly and children with respiratory problems.
A toxic melange of no wind, extreme cold and heavy burning of wood and coal for heating created a freezing wave of smog across Europe. Europe also relies massively on diesel-powered vehicles due to the high prices of gasoline compared to the US (diesel cars are more economical yet they are way worse than gasoline cars with regard to particulate pollution).