Thursday, August 20, 2015

Clearing The Air?

No worries: A bus belches its way down Calle 19 today.
A group of Bogotá residents recently received a reply from the Secretaría del Ambiente to our list of questions about why they don't bother to enforce pollution laws.

Naturally, they're doing a great job. They even say so themselves. According to the Secretaría they carry out daily checks on polluting vehicles. Only trouble is, that none of us ever see them do it, and in my ten years in Bogotá I've never seen them stop a single one of those smoke belching buses in the center of Bogotá.

'The Environmental Secretariate carries out daily pollution controls.' But apparently they do it in secret.
A cyclist campaigning for the Green Party wears an anti-pollution mask.
This smoking truck somehow escaped the controls.

The Secretaría does measure air pollution, altho I suspect that their devices are high up, where the air's cleaner and far from where people actually breathe. But even according to their doubtful data, the city's average air pollution is in the 'moderate' range. That means that in highly polluted corridors like busy avenues, where many people spend a lot of their time, the pollution's terrible. And, according to the Secretaría's own data, the concentration of the tiniest, most dangerous. particles, is getting worse.
Air pollutiong getting worse.
But the Secretaría doesn't seem to think that they could do anything better - for example by citing those chimeneas rodantes which we all see every single day, but which the Secretaría apparently does not.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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