From data collected by 200 receivers across the country, the University of Chicago calculated that the rate of fine particles, which are very harmful to health, had dropped by 32% between 2013 and 2017 in China . If this trend continues, the average life expectancy of the Chinese would increase by 2.4 years, according to a US study released Tuesday . Fine particles (PM 2.5) play a role in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as cancer
Thousands of closed factories
" There is no example of a country achieving such a rapid reduction of air pollution is remarkable "said Michael Greenstone, who led the study at the Institute of Energy Policy at the University of Chicago. In contrast, it took more than a decade in the United States to achieve a comparable improvement after the enactment of an air law in 1970. " What the past four years have proven is that things can change, and even quickly, with political will ", observes Mr. Greenstone.
Under pressure from public opinion, the communist regime launched in 2013 an anti-pollution plan designed to reduce by a quarter the concentration of fine particles in key areas such as around Beijing and Shanghai. " China is not considered a democratic country, yet we see that the government has had to take measures that public opinion demanded ," notes Greenstone. The antipollution policy was, however, accompanied by an economic and social cost, the authorities ordering the closure of thousands of factories too close to the city center.
They also decreed at the end 2017 the end of coal heating, the main source of energy in China, in areas of the north of the country, even before gas heating systems could be installed. Schools in Hebei Province (north) had to make up their minds to classify in the courtyard, where the temperature was colder than in the interior … The winter, traditionally very polluted in the north of China, was relatively pure this year, but a peak of pollution hit Beijing on Tuesday, with a fine particle rate greater than 300 micrograms per m3, more than 12 times the standard recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). 19659006]
In Chamonix, they are proudly called "mules". These electric mini-buses crisscross the streets of the small alpine resort of nearly 10,000 inhabitants. They are part of the measures put in place for six years to try to reduce the use of polluting transport whose emissions literally choke more than 160,000 people in the Arve Valley that connects Chamonix to Contamine-sur-Arve (Haute-Savoie ). Las! it is still not good to live at the foot of Mont Blanc, where the atmosphere exceeds safety standards more than 35 days a year. Like Paris, Lyon or Marseille, this tourist region fails to meet the requirements of European directives. Worse: according to the epidemiological survey published in September 2017 by Public Health of France, exposure to air pollution in the 41 municipalities concerned is the direct cause of 8% of mortality in the valley, or 85 deaths per year . The longevity of an inhabitant now 30 years old will be – if nothing is done – amputated by nine months because of this permanent inhalation of fine particles and oxides of nitrogen. In total, the inhabitants of Arve today lose nearly 1,800 years of existence. "This study appears more alarming than we thought" is outraged Anne Lassman-Trappier, president of the local association Inspire 74 who now places all his hopes in a new Plan of protection of the atmosphere (PPA), more draconian that should be made public in mid-2018.
These poor results sign the failure of the first PPA developed in 2012 to try to fight against pollution peaks. In particular: the intense road traffic, with more than 600,000 trucks leaving each year to attack the Mont Blanc tunnel and responsible for 70% of nitrogen oxide emissions. And wood burning in 18,000 open fireplaces, responsible for 57% of fine particle emissions in winter. Conditions aggravated by the geographical situation of the valley which undergoes during a period of anticyclonic episodes a phenomenon of "thermal inversion"
While the upper layers of the atmosphere are warmed by the sun, the lowest ones remain at a lower temperature, blocking the polluting emissions on the ground. "Not only is the Arve Valley concealed, but also the thermal inversion layer is 50 meters above the ground when it is 300 meters above a city like Paris " , says Jean-Luc Jaffrezo, deputy director of the Institute of Environmental Geosciences (IGE, Grenoble).
But despite the health emergency, "the first PPA was made in a certain general skepticism "remembers Alain Nahmias, president of the Association for the respect of the Mont-Blanc site (ARSMB). "The industrialists, the motor carriers and the elected officials sent the ball back to them, and the public doubted that its heating practices and the use of the personal car could be responsible for the situation."  Thus, despite incentives in the form of subsidies of up to 2,000 euros, only 2,200 households have opted for a powerful insert against the 3200 expected … And the inhabitants of the valley are quick to incriminate second homes. "It's cultural, people think that the mountain in winter is the fire!" regrets Alain Nahmias. As for heavy goods vehicle traffic, it has progressed to 5,000 trucks a day since the recent economic recovery and, due to a lack of budget, the four communities of communes in the valley have not been able to set up an adequate bus line. 19659002] On the industrial side, the commune of Passy, the black spot of the Arve, does not know how it can regulate the emissions of the household garbage incinerator on its territory, nor those of a factory which – paradoxically – manufactures carbon parts for car batteries … electric! These manufacturers argue, certainly, that they comply with emission standards … but their contributions (12 tons per year for the carbon plant) worsen the situation.
The global issue that continues to be a concern is air pollution. The World Health Organization (WHO) says 5.5 million people die from air pollution each year.
Quoted from The Independent on Wednesday (14/2/2018), Imperial College London respiratory specialist Professor Kian Fan Chung said, China and India are the two most polluting countries in the world.
"The most polluted areas are in China and India and also in some other parts of the world," Chung said.
Chung calls air pollution in London beyond the normal limit set by the EU. Even so, pollution in London is nothing compared to major cities in China and India like Beijing and New Delhi.
Among China and India, China is the country with the most deadly air pollution in the world. About 1.6 million people die from this pollution in China every year.
Related to this, the Chinese Government has promised to make their sky 'blue back'. One of them is by shifting the focus to new renewable energy than steel or coal.
The controversial thing that China has to say about it is their intention to limit the population of Beijing and Shanghai. China wants them to fight the so-called 'big city disease'.
As is known, the Beijing population will reach 23 million by 2020 while Shanghai will have a population of 25 million in 2035.
(rna / ita)
Tel Aviv –
An Israeli fighter jet crashed after being fired at by the Syrian Air Force while launching an offensive against Iran's "targets" in the country. This incident was the most serious incident between Israel and Iran since the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011. It is also the first time, Israel has publicly acknowledged that it attacked Iranian targets in Syria .
Israeli army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said both fighter jet pilots of the fallen F-16 were reportedly safe in the incident. Earlier the Israeli military alerted Iran that it was responsible for unmanned drones or drones entering Israeli territory. Israel has also repeatedly reminded of the existence of Iranian forces in the Syrian region.
"The Israeli military is targeting the Iranian control system in Syria that sends UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) into Israeli airspace," Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, adding that the Syrian Air Force then fired antiaircraft missiles up to an Israeli F-16 fighter jet.
"Iran is responsible for this severe violation of Israeli sovereignty," Conricus said as quoted by AFP news agency AFP , Saturday (10/2/2018).
In a separate Israeli military statement mentioned, Israeli troops identified an "Iranian UAV" launched from Syria and intercepted it in Israeli airspace with a fighter. The F-16 fighter plane crashed in the valley of Jezreel, in northern Israel.
"During the attack, some anti-aircraft missiles were fired into IAF (Israeli Air Force) aircraft," the Israeli military statement said.
"The pilots are wrong one plane jumped as a procedure.The pilots landed in Israeli territory and were taken to the hospital for medical treatment, "added the Israeli military.
(ita / ita)
US military officials declare a coalition air strike in northern Syria killing about 100 pro-government fighters who took part in the attack on US-backed opposition forces.
The US-led coalition says the pro-government fighters are launching attacks without triggered against the headquarters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
American personnel served as advisors and assisted the SDF, and some were assigned to them at the time of the attack in Deir el-Zour province.
Officials declared no American personnel who was wounded while an SDF member was wounded in an attack supported by artillery, tanks and rocket launchers.
The attack appears to be an attempt by government fighters to seize areas reclaimed by the SDF from ISIS militants in September, the officials added.
The Syrian government media declared the attack an air-raid coalition hit the fighters who fought the ISIS and SDF forces. Reports of the coalition affirmed its mission to combat ISIS, while emphasizing "its inalienable right to act in self-defense."  US forces started an airstrike in Syria in September 2014, after ISIS militants seized large areas of the country's east, as well as in northern and western Iraq.
A year later, Russia joined in a battle to support the Syrian Presidential army Bashar al-Assad.
US military officials say the coalition made contact with Russia before, during and after Wednesday's attacks (8/2), and has informed Russia of the presence of SDF troops in the area. [uh]