You're on your scooter, it's a balmy 25 degrees in Kaohsiung today; the middle of April. The other scooters speed past you down Min Zu road though you can barely hear their engines. It's been a year since you've had to wear your pollution mask and suddenly driving feels less rushed. There's no smoke from the tailpipes and you can easily make out the 85 building to the west and the central mountain spine to the east. Two years ago that would've been the case 4 or 5 days a year. Now smoggy days are rare in Kaohsiung.
Unbelievable? You know better...
Think of the cities around the world that have cleaned up their acts and their air to become more liveable and enjoyable places to live:
--> 20 years ago Mexico was the world's smoggiest city, now it's begun to clear
---> 50 years ago the Rhineland in Germany was the steel making capital of Europe, now it's industrial areas have been converted to some of the most interesting parkland in the world
----> 70 years ago New York was the most polluted city in America. Today it has the highest mass transit usage and its Greenhouse Gas emissions are a fraction of the national average.
-----> 100 years ago London's are was poisoned by coal fire and sulphuric acid rain. Today it is a leader in environmental planning and congestion control policy
You know that countless examples exist of large cities changing their ways, but every example begins with its citizens calling for change.
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