We live in increasingly difficult times with our earth on the brink of environmental catastrophe. Sea levels are rising, droughts are incoming, and glaciers seem to melt at a fast pace. Not to mention the high amount of air pollution that has encapsulated our planet.
All of this is viable from the record amount of ice that melted in Greenland. Scientists have gone on to claim that a situation like that had never been experienced before.
Amidst the worrisome situation, mayor of London Sadiq Khan has stepped into action. In a press briefing last week, he announced London to observe a motor vehicle free day later this year in September. The day is arguably going to be first of its kind and largest of its extent in English History.
London going Motor vehicle Free
The announcement came as a result of a big concern for the environment by the official authorities. It is believed that this step can incentivize people to not use a motor vehicle in the future. They will be induced to shift to better environmentally friendly alternatives such as walking and cycling.
Accordingly, on 22nd September 2019, roads around 20km of London Bridge radius will be closed for all types of motor vehicles. No one individual will be allowed to drive a car, motorbike or any vehicle of their own possession that emits harmful air.
However, public transport will be open for usage for the daily commute. The reason for doing so is that even if people shift from their own personal vehicle(s) to public transport, they may be doing a lot good to the environment.
Different activities and campaigns will be held throughout the city to raise awareness. The officials have asked volunteers to contribute their role in making the day a success.
The decision was met with a positive response and Londoners have appreciated Sadiq Khan for this monumental step.
Time of Crisis
Every year around 10,000 deaths take place in London only, believed to be caused by air pollution. In the UK, the total deaths are estimated to be 50,000. Thrice the number of people are diagnosed with health conditions like asthma, lung cancer, etc.
There is no denying that the harmful gases emitted by motor vehicles have a big role to play in that regard. While electrical vehicles are available in the market, the high prices deter people from making a purchase.
As a consequence, they continue to use the old/traditional cars that greatly harm the environment.
All of that being argued, it can be concluded that our earth is being subjected to climate disaster. If nothing is done about the problem, we may perhaps witness the further deterioration of the planet. Partially the reason for the problem is our lack of awareness and will to do anything meaningful.
The environmental issue requires the effort of the population at large. It is not just the responsibility of one single individual but the whole community. The step taken by the London mayor should be acknowledged as a meaningful contribution.
Other megacities should also follow suit and make the earth a more “safe” place to live in.