Recently there has been a coroner’s verdict that air pollution made a ‘material contribution’ to the death of Ella Kissi-Debrah. This is a world first. This gives us even more urgency to make changes in our own back yard to help continue to improve the air quality in our own locality.
A report by the Glasgow Caledonian University said in July 2021 that, ‘despite ultimately being more deadly than the virus’, climate change has ‘failed to elicit the same level of urgency’ among governments and civil society.
It is important that organisations and individuals throughout our country take action to improve the quality of the air that we breathe until the government takes daily control over the issues or as well as !
As we state in our Thame Green Living Plan – the first plan of it’s kind in the UK:
Clean air lies at the heart of a green town
The Plan includes many references as to why our air quality is negatively affected by how we run our lives and it gives plenty of suggestions to bring about change.
But before we start to make change we need to understand which of our activities are causing the biggest issues for everyone in Thame. Where are the most polluting activities? What’s causing them? And what should we do about them, and in which order?
So, the first project needed in relation to improving the quality of the air in Thame is to assess the extent of the problem by establishing metrics for tracking the level of pollution and its potential impact.
Would you consider joining a team of local people to start the process of improving the air quality in our town ?
The team will need a core group of people who are passionate about cleaning up the air in our town. The team will determine the actions and metrics to be monitored over time, in order to continually assess whether changes in behaviour and infrastructure are having the desired effect.
The Air Quality team will be supported directly by the Thame Green Living team and their contacts with existing knowledge and experience in this field.
The ongoing results of the monitoring will form part of a build-up of evidence to design actions aimed at reducing carbon emissions, in particular from petrol engines and health-damaging nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter from diesels.
There are plenty of possible actions and these could be taken on by one or more individuals or groups, including designing and carrying out surveys of traffic flows/ congestion/ engine idling; creating documentation, guides and leaflets; reviewing and modelling the results of actions; and planning and organising events.
If you or a group you are connected to might be interested in getting involved, please contact us through our contact form here.
The Thame Green Living Plan provides lots of information related to Air Quality in Thame. You can download the whole plan from https://www.thamegreenliving.org.uk/glp-2020.pdf
For ease, the pages that relate specifically to Air Quality are:
- P8 – The effect of fossil fuel use generally
- P9 – How petrol engines affect our carbon and upper atmosphere
- P11 – Street level pollution and the effect of air quality
- P12/14 – Notes on Thame Town Centre travel and traffic
- P38 – Building awareness, understanding and support for individual actions Pp 40-42 – Building a supported movement for change in air quality.
Supported by 21st Century Thame