No smog respite: record pollution levels likely to stay until the end of the week wails the Guardian, as London remains murky. And murky is the operative word – nobody is groping their way around by touch. And I can’t help comparing the current newspaper photos of a misty London with those of Beijing in the run-up to the Olympics – air so opaque it was almost solid!
For those of us who were around during the genuinely killer smogs of the 1950s (which led to the Clean Air Act, and I almost died), when buses could only move guided by the conductor walking on the pavement with one hand on the front mudguard (which would never happen today), as visibility was almost zero, the air was black with particulates, and the councils placed smudge pots at major road junctions to punch holes in the smog, all I can think of to say is get some perspective! (NB: If you Google smudge pot, what you’ll see are US models, not the much more primitive ones in use in the UK in the 50s, though the principle is the same).
FFS, you can actually see across London! And Saharan dust is nothing new, it turns up every few years. Normally it would be carried out across the Atlantic but, just occasionally, the wind shifts and it comes our way. And no, I’m not blasé – I still have respiratory and heart conditions that could kill me.
And it’s the same with snow – 60 years ago we just got on with it. Now, a few centimetres and the country grinds to a halt, schools close, and the workforce stays in bed.
We have become, as I’ve observed before, in these pages, a nation of pussies.
We simply cannot deal with a little weather-related adversity, so it’s no real surprise that we have the most corrupt government of murderous psychopaths in centuries, possibly in history, and yet we sit back and do nothing about it.
Have a nice day…