In recent years, ‘traditional’ outdoor air pollution has been pushed somewhat into the background by other concerns, not least climate change, civil wars, hunger, poverty and financial turmoil. Yet air pollution causes more than 3 millon deaths a year. It is now the biggest single killer in the world.
The toll is expected to double as urban populations increase and car numbers grow (set to approach 2 billion by 2050). Yet governments continue to fiddle while the Earth chokes. They build more roads, encourage the production of more cars, and subsidise the fossil fuel industries. In a growing number of cases, they are even offering ‘baby bonues’ to raise population levels and/or restricting access to famkly planning.
There is no way that ‘reformed’ growth — ‘green’, ‘sustainable’, ‘smart, what have you — can make a sufficient difference. The issue is the abandonment of the whole ‘growth project’.