no to AC

Natural oxygen supply intimes of crisis

The demand for oxygen has shot through the roof in recent times. Hospitals are running out of it and newspapers are flooded with reports about people losing their lives due to a shortage of vital gas.

In these dire times, one is reminded about how often we turn a blind eye towards the natural oxygen that our environment has aplenty. Knowingly or unknowingly, we contribute to air pollution which reduces the oxygen level in the air and leads to a variety of respiratory problems. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 7 million people die every year from exposure to polluted air, highlighting the seriousness of the issue and the immediate need to tackle it.

Today, though there has been an improvement in the air quality due to various restrictions put in place, the challenge of air pollution has not been addressed completely. However, do we need to give priority to tackling air pollution amidst the pandemic? I believe the answer is yes.

As noted by Dr. Maria Neira, “exposure to air pollution will increase the risk of diseases of the respiratory system – and the COVID-19 is mainly a disease of the respiratory system”. Thus, people who are exposed to air pollution become more susceptible and vulnerable to contracting the COVID-19 disease.

So, what can we do on our part to reduce air pollution? Here is one example.

The summer of 2021 has led most of us to resort to using air conditioners to escape the scorching heat outside. But what most of us don’t realize is that an AC consumes massive amounts of electricity. This electricity, in turn, is generally produced by burning fossil fuels which lead to the emission of harmful substances in the air and causes global warming.  The irony is that the hotter it becomes, the more ACs we need; and the more ACs we use, the more heated and polluted the planet becomes. So, the next time, think twice before you switch on your AC and limit its usage!

There are several things we do that are slowly killing the environment. Even today, twenty-two of the world’s thirty most polluted cities are in India, as reported by IQAir. As active citizens, it is upon us to be aware of the adverse effects of air pollution and take all necessary steps within our means to fight it.

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