Planet Earth – Current Politics Is For Adults Only. Not for Children and Youth

There are no guarantees that life on Planet Earth would or can offer any good living conditions for the years beyond 2050. It is highly risky future for current children 👶 (definitely unborn children) and youth to have safe and secure life, as their parents so far enjoyed on Planet Earth 🌏. Not to mention elderly people that have served their societies, yet they have to pass away with the same “business-as-usual” politics.

The 15-year-old Swedish girl is on strike from school for the climate (https://www.google.se/amp/s/www.thelocal.se/20180824/meet-the-15-year-old-swedish-girl-on-strike-from-school-for-the-climate/amp) as many other young people around that are doing the same (https://www.google.se/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2018/07/21/us/politics/zero-hour-climate-march.amp.html) as they feel marginalized by business-as-usual politics. So far world politicians have excluded and eliminated children and young people from having a decent and fair future. All politics around the world are so far emanated from well established economic systems that are not suitable for a healthy and wealthy Planet Earth 🌏.

Many protests have taken place and will intensify and continue, here are some few examples (https://www.nrdc.org/peoples-climate-march; http://thisiszerohour.org/the-march/; https://peoplesclimate.org/actions/pledge/; https://peoplesclimate.org; https://www.campaigncc.org)

Fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg describes herself as a “climate radical” and is protesting outside Sweden’s Parliament along with families and children that feel marginalized by politicians. These are the future victims of politics that contributed in deteriorating the quality of life, in all its forms, on Planet Earth.

Coming Soon: Making Planet Earth Great Again Is A Matter of Empowering It. The Dilemma of World Leaders Is How? They Keep Failing As They Fight Over Consuming Its Resources!

To make the best sustainable benefits of Planet Earth 🌏 not only for us, but also for future generations, puts world leader in a deep and continuous dilemma. We can not afford repeating our failures, it is definitely not about putting counties in competitions against the rules of healthy and wealthy Planet Earth. It is certainly not about making single countries Great Again over night. It is rather to have a global brain with unified strategy and goals to promote and implement innovative, collective and sustainable approaches for empowering our living conditions.

Politics and Management of Planet Earth – Enslaving OR Empowering the Planet

A very basic phenomena in many elections around the world 🌍 is the struggle between the left, the right politics and anything in between, on political power and the associated manipulations with arguments to get the votes 🗳. The economic issues are always of central importance in all global elections. On the other-side it is interesting to know how the political, and thereby socio-economic-environment, ideologies of different parties are being perceived by “WE THE PEOPLE”, especially in the short time window where all the competing parties are actively engaged in a common public debate, i.e. just before the end of the voting period. Another very strategic question, not yet central in many elections or even absent, is the impacts of political systems and debates therein on the public what regards Planet Earth itself. Indeed, Planet Earth 🌏 and its subunits have no possibilities (tools or means to empower it legal rights) to vote and the only means is to actively illuminate all the critical and central issues, about the natural functioning and metabolism on Planet Earth, to the citizens. In principle, such possibilities/rights are delegated to someone else, but is it delegated to the politicians? or to “WE THE PEOPLE”?, this is not clear or even unknown. Another issue is the quality, transparency, the will and knowledge of the politicians on the one hand and the political maturity and the socio-economic-environment awareness of “WE THE PEOPLE” on the other.

In any case, in political elections someone else is taking decision or has the VETO, on behalf of the Earth. As we are in the geological era of the Anthropocene we have to re-consider the role of politics on Planet Earth and its performance in this regard as this on the long-run will have serious impact on all future generations. This is logic as we are getting more and more dependent on a Planet Earth and not the reverse. A degenerating Planet with declining resources in terms of quantity and quality. Let us analyse these issues.

The functioning and metabolism of Planet Earth, or the Earth’s system, as a unique organism in the solar system, can be understood (on its own merits or alternatively with consideration of the interference of humans) in several ways depending on how it is divided into subunits, subsystems or sub-spheres (all of these involve climatic zones with geographical boundaries and thereby counties). Before doing this, we must appreciate the imperative importance of the solar radiation 🌞, in particular the “sunshine”, i.e. the light 🌈 and the heat 🔥from the sun, for planet Earth.

From the biodiversity point of view, The Earth, as it is, is mainly composed of living things with essential biological processes. Without living things our planet could be anything else, of an empty physical space (as other planets), other than a home 🏡 for living things. We would even not have realized its and our existence, as we wouldn’t be here in the first place. Yet, we wouldn’t exist if there were no living things other than us. So, the diversity of living things is a pre-request for our survival. As our survival is dependent on other living things then we can at least appreciate that other living things need each other for their survival as well. Now let us examine the other needs of living things, i.e. the biosphere. First of all our biosphere is ruled by several boundary conditions that are primarily driven by what we have around us in terms of quantity and quality as well as the processes regulating, or being involved, in their functioning, metabolism and ecology. The living things, as they breath, need air but not any air, it must be of the certain suitable composition and quality that can support the life of the living things on planet Earth. That is what we know as the atmosphere and it has really what is needed for all living things (in particular oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide) providing that its composition and quality are kept within the requirements to support and sustain the life of the living things. As the atmosphere has active interactions with other sub-spheres, subunits or subsystems of the Earth, therefore, there are no guarantees that its composition will remain optimal for living things in particular with consideration to the enormous interference of humans through manipulating all the existing natural resources on planet Earth and beyond (think about colonisation of space and intensive use of airplanes). This however, has contributed in changing the atmospheric composition is such away that the temperature of the Earth is increasing and started to surpass what can be considered for safe living on the planet. Also, the air quality available for world population is not any longer as good as before and for some parts of the world, in particular cities, it is getting worse and unacceptable.

The living things on Earth need water 💦(hydrosphere) as it is the essence of the generation, regeneration and the diversity of living things. The underlying process for life on planet Earth is photosynthesis (whether on land or in the aquatic systems of surface and marine waters). Water and carbon dioxide are the basic components for the generation and regeneration of living things on planet Earth through photosynthesis and by being fueled by the sun ☀️ . Yet, other elements/compounds must be available in water in particular nutrients but with appropriate amounts, not too little and not too much. Fortunately, water is a perfect carrier for such elements “trace elements” and the balance between the atmosphere and the hydrosphere (including global exchange processes of carbon dioxide) was so far appropriate for healthy photosynthesis on land and in aquatic systems. However, water is also a solvent for other harmful elements/compounds, so water through its journey in global environmental systems can be also a source of threat as well. Water like air, in this sense, needs to have certain content of life promoters, i.e. nutrients, to support and sustain life. The hydrosphere (including surface water, groundwater and the ocean 🌊) as the atmosphere has been exposed to serious degradation in quality because of the severe interference of humans with both the atmosphere and the hydrosphere through the three main revolutions, i.e. agricultural, industrial and rechnological. This has loaded, and for some regions overloaded, both the atmosphere and the hydrosphere with several pollutants and waste remains. The water cycle, in variable degrees and scales, has also started to deviate from what can be considered safe for our living.

For several reasons we need land (lithosphere) for our living, where else can we live? The survival of living things, in particular humans, need healthy ecosystems with suitable and appropriate living environments on the first hand. Modern urbanization including the vast expansion of cities that have developed very rapid on the expense of natural ecosystems such as forests, river and lake catchments, islands, oceans and marine coasts. Though cities are important form of living yet they generally need to be up-graded to fulfill modern sustainability requirements in terms of supporting the economic, environment and social needs of the citizens. In many parts of the world cities are either over-aged or mainly built (modern cities) to serve mostly (and in best cases) working and economic needs of the citizens with little consideration to the environmental and social needs of well-balanced mix of people of different ages, interests, origin and requirements, and in particular to support the diverse needs of families. This however, evolved with heavy price of mental instabilities, stress, segregation, social isolation, limited mobility, insecurity, loneliness, lack of transparency, ……….. etc. Most seriously is the growing lack of multi-layered integration of rural (villages, desert 🐫 and agricultural communities) and urbanized areas (cities and industrial centres) though the considerable advance of technology in particular transportation and ICT. The land, also, provide several other basic services, i.e. the same way ecosystems provide services, for humans. Mining, for example, of natural resources is among these services which also developed in such a way that it can produce enormous amounts of diverse waste and pollution. This is of course, in addition to draining the Earth in unsustainable manner, from its natural resources. In several parts of the world, the living conditions of the communities that are dependent on mining for their living are indeed not acceptable. Agriculture and land-use consume over 70% of our freshwater resources, yet food is becoming insufficient for the growing world population, also climate change and global warming can hit hard and further worsen the situation.

With this said, the political debates around the world are very much similar in one sense. In terms of sustainability they show how politics failed to manage Planet Earth and the needs of its future inhabitants. The situation as we have it today on Planet Earth, on any level from individuals to countries is to forget about the future generations, live now and take a “selfie”. To avoid to take responsibility for what went wrong or can be a threat for future generations and just blame it on others: it is simply not our failure; it is someone’s else. The same story we hear everywhere and at anytime. The politics now is about putting our world, including the global population, in competition (for more consumption) to see who is the best to make himself, a group of people, a piece of land, a culture, an ideology or ……. or …….. Great Again and for some populations it is to re-invent a future that brings back the Great distant past Again. This is done, unfortunately, with little consideration to the consequences to the rest of the world. “FIFA” did it good, again and again, and made our world happy, let us have politics a la FIFA’s model. Nature played it good according to Darwin, so if FIFA’s model would not work, let us do nothing and let the “natural selection” fix it all and for ever. In the world of politics, it would not work these ways, would it? It is getting confusing and the world politicians are in despair what to do, or precisely what not to do, as the problems we created for Planet Earth are by far much complex, larger and deeper than we can ever imagine.

The arguments of the coming politicians, or on their way to enter politics and take over, are the ones that say “those before us were not good and we can do it better”. It is all about new experiments of the same old versions but with different facade, who knows. We can only judge by the outcome after they leave the political theater and by that time it is late or even too late, this is how the state of Planet Earth as we have today developed.

What politicians did so far is to Take power over the citizens for the purpose to represent them. To represent them for whom? and for what? Is Planet Earth existing in the political equation of affairs? Take over our fate, Take over the management of all the natural resources on Planet Earth that were the result of billions of years of evolution with arguments to create jobs and multiply the economic gains. But this has resulted in an accelerating deterioration and degradation of Planet Earth. Has Planet Earth ever existed in any political managent model? , i.e. including Taking control over national capital and wealth and Taking decisions to shape the future of all coming generations, to form new pathway of competition for more consumption (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot). All of these created more and more barriers, frustrations, caused degeneration of planet Earth and stripped it out of its natural resources. At the same time degraded the quality of all life forms on Planet Earth. Humans on planet earth are reproducing themselves and generating new copies of the same old ones with politics that support and promote these trends. More of the same with increasing numbers where the typical route of success is to do like others, be part of a main stream culture to consume more and carry on to produce more and more waste and pollution.

The collective global results and the overall sum of all political transformations over the past generation, regardless how, where and when they were originated, developed and performed have definitely resulted in a major trend towards complete consumption of all the natural resources on planet Earth including enslaving its population.

We need a political well to empower Planet Earth against deteriorating the living conditions and the quality of life on Earth. Yes, it is probably late but definitely not too late as much of the human achievements on Planet Earth are indeed reversible with the help of innovation. It is all about one goal and one mission that can be summarized in one word “Sustainability” no more no less.

The final question to politicians (including capital based policy-makers, is: would the management of planet Earth empower OR enslave it? Is current and future politics and associated economic policies, are still tuned for an ever increasing unconditional consumption. If so who would promote and implement the UN-SDGs, if not how would the UN-SDGs be promoted and implemented? The UN-SDGs are currently looking like a huge vessel in a stormy ocean with little fuel and unorganized staff with no pilot on charge. It is hoped that the passengers on the vessel “WE THE PEOPLE” will anyhow and by any means navigate it peacefully to its final destination. May be or may be not who knows, those who constructed the vessel “THE POLITICIANS and CAPITAL OWNERS” are not actively and promptly prepared to revise and restore whatever goes wrong which unfortunately resulted in what we have today.

What do Swedish Politicians need to know, to Safe and secure us from Future Climate Threats?

Sweden has been a leader in climate change research for many decades. It has, also, many early research contributions in predicting the impacts of fossil fuel consumption on global climate by being the main driver (https://science2017.globalchange.gov/chapter/2/) of the ongoing global warming. Sweden has been active also in supporting global actions against global warming. All of these thanks mainly to the Swedish researchers. But this is not enough and there are risks that the changing political landscape in Sweden can follow the trends in the USA under Trump administration. Thereby what Sweden did and achieved in decades can be lost and gone overnight or at least would require much work and resources to recover.

This said, Sweden’s approach in the past and still, as many other countries around the world, did not take enough measures to cope with its internal security and safety against the threats and the consequences of global warming. It is becoming more and more clear from what Sweden is currently facing from forest fires (https://nordic.businessinsider.com/sweden-is-battling-historic-fires—asking-europe-for-help–), increasing algal blooms and impacts on water quality (https://sverigesradio.se/sida/avsnitt/1121659?programid=2054), fluctuations in groundwater levels and feedback impacts on water security for household and agriculture (http://www.vattenmyndigheterna.se/SiteCollectionDocuments/gemensamt/nyheter/2017/Ronja_uppsats.pdf), changes in precipitation/rain with various feedbacks on many sectors (https://grist.org/climate-energy/the-16-scariest-maps-from-the-e-u-s-massive-new-climate-change-report/), changes in temperature with feedback impacts on railways infrastructures (https://d1rkab7tlqy5f1.cloudfront.net/TBM/Over%20faculteit/Afdelingen/Engineering%20Systems%20and%20Services/EJTIR/Back%20issues/9.2/2009_02_05%20Climate%20Adaptation%20of%20Railways.pdf), ……….. just to give some examples. Climate change and global warming are threats that can ruin the basic underlying infrastructures of the Swedish welfare system. As in many other countries around the world, the focus was, and still, on strengthening the energy systems with relatively little attention to the weather itself, the associated effects on the water sector and the coupled impacts on energy, eco-system services, household and food production. Water, Energy and Natural Resources nexus are technically neither fully understood by political elites in Sweden nor in many other countries around the world. Apart from the technicality of these nexus they have many critical interactions with the main sustainability pillars (environment, economic and social) that will shape our future societies for generations to come.

The ongoing election campaign in Sweden is still characterized by short-term interests what regards sustainability. The reason is that the political landscape become cloudy as it gradually went through long period of degeneration and confusion. What happened in Sweden this summer forced climate change threats to “occasionally” take more space in the political agenda (https://www.thelocal.se/20180809/wildfires-put-climate-on-the-agenda-in-swedish-election). If what happened this summer did not take place, for statistical reasons, then more “business as usual” was a definite outcome. Sadly enough, no political party has a unified policy for how to secure and safe Sweden against climate change. More seriously, there is no collective and unified responsibility from all the political parties on what, when and how Sweden can act or at least should do to meet what researchers have addressed for many years, if not decades. The existing arguments that emanated from what happened this summer in comparison with last summer clearly demonstrate how politicians mix long-term climate changes with short-term weather phenomena (https://www.svt.se/nyheter/lokalt/norrbotten/akesson-sd-om-demonstrationerna-ovardigt-en-demokrati). The political debate what regards climate change and global warming is very shallow, misleading, confusing and even couterproductive (https://www.svt.se/nyheter/inrikes/lovin-mp-och-akesson-sd-rok-ihop-om-varmen-och-branderna, https://www.svt.se/opinion/jimmie-akesson-om-bonder-och-lantbruk).

It turns out that like common people our politicians (except MP), what regards the strategic values of sustainability, are taking the same path as “resistant bacteria”, in particular SD thus following what is known as “psychological climate paradox”. The main question is and remains to be why our brains ignore climate change (https://www.weadapt.org/knowledge-base/using-climate-information/climate-psychology)?.

Naturally the weather is dependent on the climate and not the other way around. Much of the changes that are happening now are irreversible weather phenomena triggered by climate changes (https://youtu.be/4PBuwXeotII). Without hesitation no country on planet earth would be safe and secure from climate change threats as global warming has multi-layered weather phenomena that are tightly linked to the diverse facets of the water cycle and its spatio-temporal interactions with coupled atmospheric-hydrologic processes and interactions on planet earth (including the ocean).

Is Death on Planet Earth our Common future?

Many media sources are reporting severe and serious disasters around the world because of the emerging and ongoing threats of extreme weather events in the summers of the Northern Hemisphere, e.g. heat waves, forest fires, hurricanes, sandstorms, floodings, intensive haze and humidity events. If we still do not believe in what global research and predictions that are bring made during several decades by international climate expertise there are no other means to be convinced than experiencing the harsh and deadly consequences that we can not run away from them. Welcome to a planet heading to a definitive death. Photos @CNN

Why our weather is getting wild?

The consequence of the global cancer that mother earth got because of the global warming (increase in the global average temperature) is growing rapidly in the earth’s body and the impacts of the such fever is causing the global weather to be wild as can be observed and felt everywhere and anywhere around the globe.

Follow us on Instagram @sustain.earth where we will share with you the situation and observations in the Gulf region where the temperature is expected to increase to above 60 degrees Celsius in the future. How would life looks like at such extreme temperature?

The Marina of Dubai, UAE, with its haze in the background. The temperatures now, in summer 2018, is still just above 40 degrees Celsius which is more or less within the range of affordable living.

Sustainability in Science and Technology – What, Why and How?

A new doctoral course for post-graduate students at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Uppsala University  “Sustainability in Science & Technology – Water-Energy Nexus” is now opened for participation. 

“Sustainability in Science & Technology – Water-Energy Nexus” will treat three strategic questions facing science and technology in a wider trans-sectoral and transdisciplinary perspective. WHAT is sustainability? WHY it is needed for socio-economic developments? and HOW to achieve smart but yet sustainable societies?
Water, energy and natural resources are essential for our living on planet earth, yet they are not INFINITE. Declining access to these essentialities are gradually taking place around the world. The transformation process to sustainable societies is not only urgent but more importantly imperative. 
Water and energy systems require natural resources in their lifecycles, but at the price of severe negative impacts on environment, biodiversity and life quality. Sustainability in science and technology is the only means to cure and heal this paradox. 
“Sustainability in Science & Technology – Water-Energy Nexus” is planned in lectures, group assignment and seminars (part 1) with “lecture-based” instructions and case-studies involving individual mentoring (part 2). Target groups are PhD students in all domains of Science and Technology. The participant of the course will gain knowledge on how to structure their own future “Career Development Plans”.  

Early registration is recommended for pre-planning of individual mentoring that can be used as additional credit in Academic Teaching Training Course. For registration, please add your personal identity number (Swedish: personnummer), i.e. Swedish national identification number. 

More information on the course is given at: http://teknat.uu.se/digitalAssets/395/c_395062-l_3-k_sustainability-in-science-and-technology.pdf

Catalonia First or Make SPAIN Great Again

After World War II, European integration was seen as an antidote to the extreme nationalism which had devastated the continent. It was natural that mitigation actions should be found to save Europe and its population. Already in 1946 Winston Churchill postulated the emerging of a United States of Europe during the 20th century. In 1952 the European Coal and Steel Community was formed and was a declaration towards the first step for the federation of Europe and the gradual build up of Europe towards full industrialization and technological progress. Thereafter in 1957, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany signed the Treaty of Rome, where the European Economic Community (EEC) was created with the establishment of a customs union as trade is among key socio-economic issue to gain maximum market yields post the industrialization and technology advances. At the same time another pact was created, the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for co-operation in developing nuclear energy. This is again a natural step in further developing the social-economic programs in Europe, as energy resources are strategic and imperative drivers. From 1967-1973 the European Communities were formed with the enlargement to include Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. In 1981 Greece joined, Portugal and Spain following in 1986. 1985, the Schengen Agreement paved the way for the creation of open borders without passport controls between most member states. In 1986, the European flag began to be used by the EEC and the Single European Act was signed.  These steps are key issues of importance for trade, mobility and integration in the larger inner market in Europe, also for the international protection of the European trade-market. 

After the fall of the Eastern Bloc in 1990 ((https://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/short-history/berlinwall), the former East Germany became part of the Communities after the reunification of Germany. With further enlargement to include the former communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Cyprus and Malta, the Copenhagen criteria for candidate members to join the EU were agreed upon in June 1993. This expansion of EU introduced new levels of complexity and discord especially as historical conflicts have to be resolved. With this, the European Union was formally established by the Maastricht Treaty (1992–2007), whose main architects were Helmut Kohl and François Mitterrand. The treaty also gave the name European Community to the EEC. Austria, Finland, and Sweden joined the EU in 1995. In 2002, euro banknotes and coins replaced national currencies in 12 of the member states. Then, the eurozone increased to encompass 19 countries and in 2004, the EU saw its biggest enlargement when Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia joined the Union. In 2007, Bulgaria and Romania became EU members. The same year and the following years, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania adopted the euro. On 1 December 2009, the Lisbon Treaty entered into force and reformed many aspects of the EU, e.g. the legal structure of the European Union, strengthened the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Both the introduction of the euro and expansion of Europe were further steps towards building the new identity of the larger Europe.

However, new realities emerged since the global economic crises of 2007-2008 (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_crisis_of_2007–2008) also from the beginning of the 2010s where the cohesion of the European Union has been tested by several issues. Including a debt crisis in some of the Eurozone countries, increasing migration from the Middle East, as consequences of wars and civil instabilities, and the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from EU ”Brexit” (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brexit). The UK formally notified the European Council to leave on 29 March 2017. Also, the 2016 elections in USA with the new political reforms by President Trump aiming at Making America Great Again have feedback impacts on the international socio-economic politics.  

Catalonia is now calling for independence from Spain (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/20/spain-guardia-civil-raid-catalan-government-hq-referendum-row) which already indicating, as in the case of Greece, regional economic insecurities can pile to trigger not only political instabilities but further large-scale and long-term economic consequences for both Catalonia and Spain. 
(http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/spain-economy-survive-catalan-secession-170930163702214.html; http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/29/news/economy/catalonia-independence-spain-economy/index.html). From the viewpoint of the richer Catalonia and its population, the socio-economic developments in Spain as a whole can not be sustainable by being dependent on Catalonian economy forever. For both Spain and Catalonia a long-term solution has to be found as the situation is indeed getting much serious and the risk is that such scenario can have spillover effects to other parts of Europe. 


 

Saudi Arabia – Broad Sustainability Reforms with New Rights for Women and Youth

Saudi Arabia is taking major and new steps for social modernization with reforms to engage its youth and women in shaping a more sustainable future for Saudi Arabia. It has been indeed several multi-layered and multi-scale challenges to perform such ice-breaking changes in the social fabrics of a society that emanated from deep rooted cultural traditions. While, it may seem simple, easy and straightforward for any outsiders to think that such changes can be done overnight, it is in reality a tectonic social transformation for Saudi Arabia to do such changes, it is also of historic dimensions. 

The MENA region, in this context, is taking major steps towards more open socio-economic and social reforms to join the global trends in the path to modern sustainable societies. As the three pillars of true sustainability involve environment, economic and social issues, all these can not be solved and implemented all at the same time. It is a long and gradual process that can not be faster or kept shorter. 
The decision of allowing Saudi women to drive comes amid a broad reform program that last week led to women being allowed into a sports stadium for the first time. This is also in parallel of many other long-term and large-scale reforms, vision 2030, to move away from being dependent on oil, to diversify the economy of the country, invest in infra-structure,  in women and youth, health, education and the labor market in general. 

https://www.google.se/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/26/saudi-arabias-king-issues-order-allowing-women-to-drive

Sustainability and Smart Cities – Does Biking and Walking pose More Threats than Cars to Life-quality? 

The piling up of air pollution in many cities and urban areas due to worldwide traffic chokes on millions of roads in many cities is still given official prioritaires or even promoted by legal actions. Air quality in many cities and urban areas around the world is becoming major health threats for everyone. Collective breathing of rubbish in the air of many cities is now much more serious than individual smoking, this is making living in cities a nightmare especially where thermal isolation is non-existing. In hot and arid climate zones with limited or no rain, poor air quality makes such health threat a chronical problem and daily struggle for survival. It is not only because of cars but also the failing and collapsing old infra-structures of aging transport systems not suitable for modern life. Many sources of pollution other than chemical ones, e.g. physical and biological, from factories, population and household in heavily populated areas with daily traffic (in and out) from rural areas add even more pollution to the emittions from traffic.

Even in some parts of the world cultural and social issues screen and shut out half of the population from promoting sustainable solutions in mitigating and counteracting the core roots of air pollution. Even more serious is where the whole population have no alternatives other than joining the heavy traffic and collapsing infra-structures thus removing all little ramaining possibilities to breath whatever left to breath. Even those who wish to walk can hardly find some safe, free and secure space to do so. 

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jun/12/girls-ride-bikes-iranian-women-defy-cycling-fatwa-tehran?CMP=share_btn_fb