Today in the news we finally got a case in the UK where air pollution was explicitly listed as the cause of death: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/16/girls-death-contributed-to-by-air-pollution-coroner-rules-in-landmark-case
Of course this shouldn't be a surprise. Scientists think 40,000 people in the UK die every year from pollution: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/16/air-pollution-verdict-shines-political-light-uk-invisible-killer-ella-kissi-debrah
Studies estimate hundreds of thousands die every year in Europe: https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/40/20/1590/5372326
In developing countries the air quality is much worse. Millions die each year in India alone.
It's really shameful how the mainstream media and (more critically) governments ignore this issue. We get all these milquetoast emissions standards for vehicles, and no doubt in most places the air is cleaner today than it was in previous decades, but there is still a shit-ton of blood on the hands of oil and automotive industry lobbyists, and the politicians who enable them.
In other overlooked news, China. Kevin Rudd had an insightful address a few days ago: https://asiasociety.org/policy-institute/china-has-politics-too
In domestic Chinese news, the propaganda is being pushed that democracy is a disaster and the past year in America has proven the superiority of single-party authoritarianism. The state media is still letting the rumors propagate that coronavirus outbreaks come from imported fish and meat products and perhaps the virus had a foreign (read: western) origin all along. Over 100 journalists were arrested or disappeared in 2020. Xi continues pushing the ideology that the party must be at the center of everything, which is to say that every major decision in the country - public and private - must consider the party first.
The biggest economy in the world is fascist as fuck, and far too few people seem concerned about it. Spoiler: that economy is not America.
Anywho, here is me with my strange green neocon hat on. We need to spread democracy and combat the rise of authoritarianism, all across the world. Also, we need to stop driving internal combustion vehicles. Also, i like burritos, and i shall now make two for dinner. Then i will watch the new episodes of The Expanse.