According to a study by the National Geographic Society, close to 7 million people around the world lose their lives every year to diseases and complications that are caused by air pollution.
In fact, air pollution was also one of the factors that contributed towards the spreading of the COVID-19 virus, as evidence has emerged that dirty air actually makes COVID-19 more lethal.
While pollution from the past is still causing harm to the world today, there is no denying the fact that the widespread lockdown and Restricted Movement Orders (RMO) around the world has given us a temporary dosage of fresher and cleaner air.
Take India for instance, where air pollution is among the worst in the world. For the first time since World War II, people are actually able to see the Himalayas from a couple of hundred kilometres away.
In Italy, people are getting excited over sightings of dolphins and swans returning to canals, waterways, and the ports.
As for Malaysia, many netizens have shared images of Genting Highlands being visible from the balconies of their apartments that are close to 50 km away.
But what happens after the RMO is lifted? Are we going to go back to what we were doing before this, bringing pollution levels back to where it was, or are we going to do something to ensure that we enjoy the fresher and cleaner atmosphere for as long as possible?
If your choice is the latter (hopefully), the least we can do is to urge the government to declare a car-free day at least once a month to reduce the level of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. We realise this may be an unpopular opinion for automotive journalists to take but do we not also want to preserve the beautiful windy roads we enjoy for our children to blast down too?
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below if you think this is a good idea. Otherwise, what else do you think we can do?
“To get healthier air for the longer term means shifting to clean energy and transportation, and not ordering people to stay at home at drastic economic cost,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Helsinki Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.
“However, the cleaner pandemic skies do show how fast we can bring down pollution when we reduce our burning of fossil fuels.”