August 24th, 2016 by Cynthia Shahan
It is no secret that the health of the air affects everyone. Presently, California’s plan for zero emissions includes using cap-and-trade revenue to help stop air pollution in specific clean transportation programs. Following last year’s carsharing programs in low-income neighborhoods, California now allows cap-and-trade revenue to fund California disadvantaged neighborhood bikeshare projects.
Nextcity.org relates, “Last year, the [state] EPA’s Air Resources Board launched a $2.5 million ‘Car Share and Mobility Options’.” The pilot project focused on improving transit to low-income California communities by increasing access to zero-emissions carsharing. According to nextcity.org, in July, “ARB announced the second year of funding for the project, expanding it to $8 million and giving cities and nonprofits the option to apply to fund bike-sharing projects (including ebike shares).”
“We’re glad to see bike-share pop up in the funding plan,” said Jeanie Ward-Waller, California Bicycle Coalition’s policy director. Ward-Waller explained that California Bicycle Coalition had been actively advising such an inclusion for bicycles.
Helping disadvantaged families who suffer the most regarding air pollution and inadequate transit systems is key. “Ward-Waller says she expects the funds will be used to expand existing bike-share systems into low-income communities, help subsidize low-income memberships or even get a new system off the ground.”
Many of us do not focus on this aspect of life — or feel powerless. Controlling what we breathe is confusing. Even when one of our loved one’s develops cancer or other serious health conditions, we focus on genetics. Genetics is a reason why we are more vulnerable to these factors, but there is a risk of 21,400 serious health conditions due to air pollution.
Modern times have people taking out parts of their body to avoid their genetic predisposition to cancer. It is sad that taking out body parts seems to be within our control, but not the air we breathe. A much more complicated and challenging part of the equation is to mitigate, unless we close ourselves off in an air-purified room. Sometimes environmental factors just aren’t in the discussion when one talks to an oncologist — outside recommending organic foods and limiting or stopping cell phone use.
Nextcity.org writes, “nearly as many people die every year as a result of air pollution as they do in alcohol-related car crashes: 9,320 compared to 10,076. ” Yes, lives might be (or rather, will be) saved if air quality regulations increased — even a bit.
- “Researchers at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University found that reducing two types of air pollution — ozone and particulate matter — to levels below the Environmental Protection Agency’s current standards would not only keep people alive, but also avoid the risk of 21,400 serious health conditions.”
The full “Health of the Air Report” was published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society can be accessed here.
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