The exhaust pipe of a car is only slightly below the level of the respiratory system of an adult and at the same level as a child. Everything that the traffic stream throws out of itself goes directly into the lungs. The list of harmful substances in exhaust gases includes more than ten: oxides of nitrogen and carbon, nitrogen and sulfur dioxide, sulfur dioxide, benzopyrene, aldehydes, aromatic hydrocarbons, various lead compounds, etc.
They are toxic and can cause allergic reactions, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, the formation of malignant tumors, inflammation of the respiratory tract, myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, persistent sleep disturbance and other diseases. Roads in large cities are never empty, so that the entire population is constantly exposed to subtle harmful effects.
Picture of air pollution in Russian cities
The situation is most acute with nitric oxide and carbon dioxide. At present, according to the plans of the authorities, the scenario for the development of the situation looks like this: by 2030, in cities, nitrogen oxide is expected to decrease by more than two times, and carbon dioxide will increase by 3-5%. To counter this development, Greenpeace proposes a plan that will help reduce nitric oxide levels by 70% and carbon dioxide by 35%. In Figures 1 and 2, the dotted line represents the schedule of the city plan, and the colored line represents Greenpeace.
NO2 – nitrogen oxides, are harmful to humans and nature in general. They concentrate in cities, gradually destroy the human respiratory and nervous system, form smog, and destroy the ozone layer.
CO2 is carbon dioxide, an invisible enemy because it has neither smell nor color. At an air concentration of 0,04%, it causes headache for some time. It can lead to loss of consciousness and even slow death if it reaches 0,5%. If you work next to the road or under your window, there are often traffic jams, then you regularly get a dose of poison.
Measures proposed by Greenpeace
Greenpeace proposes three areas of action: reducing the harm from cars, developing personal two-wheeled and electric vehicles, and creating an air control structure.
With regard to cars, Greenpeace proposes to pursue a more responsible policy, to give priority to public transport, because one bus can carry up to a hundred people, while in terms of the length occupied in the traffic flow, it is equal to an average of 2.5 standard cars carrying a maximum of 10 people. Develop affordable car rental that allows people to rent a car only when they need it. According to statistics, up to 10 people can use one hired car per day, the benefits of this are enormous: without your own car, you do not occupy parking spaces, and reduce traffic flow. And also to train drivers in rational driving, improve the traffic flow management system, which will make it possible to thin the traffic flow and reduce the number of traffic jams.
Personal two-wheeled and electric transport in the city are bicycles, scooters, electric scooters, segways, unicycles, gyro scooters and electric skateboards. Compact electric transport is a modern trend that allows you to quickly move around the city, the speed can reach 25 km/h. Such mobility improves the situation with traffic jams, free parking spaces, because some young people are happy to change from their cars to electric scooters and segways. But, unfortunately, there are few allocated paths for such movement in Russian cities, and only the active demonstrated will of people in favor of their appearance will change the situation. Even in Moscow, where it is cold for 5 months a year, you can travel by private transport if there are separate roads. And the experience of Japan, Denmark, France, Ireland, Canada shows that if there are separate bike lanes, people use the bike almost the whole year. And the benefits are great! Riding a bike or scooter helps:
– weight loss,
– training of the lungs and heart,
– muscle building of the legs and buttocks,
– improving sleep,
– increasing endurance and working capacity,
– reducing stress,
– slowing down aging.
Understanding the above arguments, it is logical to start developing bike rental, building bike paths. To promote this idea, Greenpeace holds a “Biking to Work” campaign every year, showing by the example of people that this is quite real. Every year more people join the campaign, and at the call of Greenpeace, new bike racks appear near business centers. This year, as part of the action, energy points were organized, stopping by them, people could refresh themselves or receive a gift.
To control the air, Greenpeace this summer will distribute pollution measurement devices to volunteers from different cities of Russia. Volunteers in different parts of their cities will hang special diffusion tubes that will accumulate harmful substances, and in a few weeks they will be collected and sent to the laboratory. In autumn Greenpeace will receive a picture of air pollution in the cities of our country.
In addition, the organization has created an online map that reflects information from various control stations to show how polluted the air of the capital is. On the site you can see the indicators for 15 pollutants and understand how environmentally friendly the place where you live and work.
Greenpeace has formalized its research data, collected together with the National Center for Transportation Research, into a report that is sent to the authorities of large cities. The report should show the scientific validity of the proposed measures. But without the support of ordinary people, as practice has shown, the authorities are in no hurry to do something, so Greenpeace is collecting a petition in his support. So far, 29 signatures have been collected. But this is not enough, it is necessary to collect one hundred thousand in order for the appeal to be considered significant, because until the authorities see that the issue worries people, nothing will change.
You can show your support for Greenpeace’s actions by simply going to and signing it in a couple of tens of seconds. The air you and your family breathe depends on you!