Things the Swedes do better – hold their hands up.

passers by look at air monitorIn the centre of Stockholm, on a busy thoroughfare, there is a monument. Waving lights bounce up and down the obelisk showing passers by the current levels of air and water pollution in the city.

passers by stop and learn and the city says openly ‘look there is a problem here. We’re not denying it but together we can get those lights going in the right direction.’

I cannot imagine the British government erecting such a monument in London where an estimated 9500 people die prematurely due to air pollution each year.

Instead our government would rather bury the fact and polish them away with spin instead of rolling up it’s sleeves and taking strong action to stop the main cause of air pollution in cities, diesel traffic.

Jenny Bates, air pollution campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “People have no choice with the air they breathe. This means we have to redouble our efforts, stop tinkering around the edges, and take really bold immediate action with a mix of cleaner vehicles and cutting traffic levels, massive investment in safe cycling and walking, and London-wide road charging.”

Raising awareness would also help but the last thing I can imagine the British Government doing is raising a monument to bring the issue of air quality to the public consciousness. Our Government hides in the shadows which others face the facts.



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