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A plan to improve air quality everyone should examine

by Tony - July 25th, 2017.
Filed under: air pollution. Tagged as: , .

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city with smog

city with smog

The release of an air quality plan

The Bay Area Air Management District recently released its 2017 Air Quality plan. While it was designed for the San Francisco Bay Area, the strategies outlined in the plan can serve as an example of what a comprehensive air plan should contain. The proposal was published by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), which is responsible for reducing air pollution and protecting public health in the Bay Area.

The goals and core activities to increase air quality

The goals of the plan are to protect air quality, public health, and the climate. The core activities for how the plan seeks to accomplish its goals include: how we live, how we work, how we travel, what we produce and what we consume.

Inside the core activities

Between our living arrangements and places of employment, we all spend large amounts of time in buildings. The buildings of tomorrow will need to become energy efficient. Furthermore, these buildings will need to be heated, cooled, and powered by renewables. The four components identified as the keys to improving our air include increasing energy efficiency, adopting on-site renewables, increasing storage capacity and converting natural gas applications to electricity.

The long distance between where we live and work requires intense use of transportation. Travel of the future will involve fewer automobiles and employ more public transportation and electric vehicles.  The design of green buildings and sustainable neighborhoods will permit more people to use biking, walking, and public transit as viable modes of transportation. The three strategies include building new developments closer to where people live, deploying zero-emissions vehicles and adopting car sharing as an everyday practice.

Our gadget-based lifestyles require a large amount of electricity to maintain. Since the majority of power sources are fossil fuel-based, providing electricity to our electronics results in increased pollution and GHG emissions.  The future will be powered by clean, renewable electricity. The following policies were cited as being crucial to the implementation of a clean energy lifestyle: adopting a smart grid, promoting carbon-free power sources, reducing carbon intensity, and converting to an economy based on green jobs.

The consumption levels we practice collectively are much more than what is sustainable in the long term. A key component of reducing what we consume will be a transition to being a zero-waste society.   The reduction of our GHG footprint, adopting lower-carbon diets, and reducing food waste were identified as the three core strategies.

The reader may have recognized that the steps listed above would not only benefit us when we breathe air, but would benefit our planet as well.

Planning the future

Other cities and countries will surely be seeking ways to manage their air in a healthier way that reduces GHG emissions.  We will see more air management proposals like this implemented globally. Given the planet’s pollution levels, a defined course of action seems like a wonderful idea.