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No smoking you say? tell the world why don’t you!

February 13, 2015


Nothing reminds me of why I quit smoking three years ago quite like the air intake vent on the backside of the Heart and Stroke Foundation offices on West Broadway Avenue at Alder Street.

That is to say that I didn’t quit smoking for my health so much as my comfort. My lungs may partially recover from the damage caused by 30 years of smoking cigarettes but they will never get over living in the city.

The slab of insulation fitted over the Heart and Stroke Foundation‘s intake vent is something of an object lesson in that regard: it’s black with the soot and grime trapped out of the air that all of us are breathing all the time.

No getting away from the fact we’ve fouled our nest

If I really had been concerned about the health of my lungs, I would have quit smoking and quit riding my bike in traffic. I would’ve started wearing a filter face mask and I would’ve looked for somewhere to live other than a big city — where I could get away from the air pollution.

I would’ve looked in vain.

Clouds of smog even foul the high Arctic in the springtime and pollution from the world’s smoke stacks and exhaust pipes rains down black particulate matter on the ice and snow. This causes the arctic landscape to absorb more and more heat from the sun, which further accelerates the melting of snow and ice caused by the effects of climate change.

So, thanks to the fact that I finally gave up cigarettes I can run without being so short of breath but I still can’t hide from from air pollution .

No mater where I go on earth I will end up breathing in harmful particulate matter. If I at least do it in a city like Vancouver then I have the opportunity to wash the pollution down with a nice hot cup of coffee.

By the way, there’s a real-time air quality monitoring station in Kitsilano, right next door to my neighbourhood of Fairview, This measures 10 air quality metrics, including particulate matter, ozone, sulfur dioxide and Sauvignon Blanc (not really).

At this moment the air in Kits is “13” and “Good”, so I guess everyone in this part of Vancouver can breathe easy for the moment. Click the image to enlarge it.

From → Fairview, Kitsilano

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