Via The Guardian: Choked Mexico City bans 1m cars in air pollution alert. Excerpt and then a comment:
Authorities have banned more than 1 million cars from the roads and offered free subway and bus rides to coax people from their vehicles as Mexico City’s first air pollution alert in 11 years stretched into a third day.
Officials advised people on Wednesday to limit outdoor activity owing to high ozone levels that were nearly double acceptable limits in the sprawling capital, which lies in a high-altitude valley ringed by smog-trapping volcanic mountains.
Amid a muddy brown haze, some residents covered their mouths with scarves or paper masks. The environment secretary, Alejandro Pacchiano, said measures would be considered if conditions did not improve further, such as suspending industrial activity at factories.
Over 60 years ago, we lived in a nice house in a slum neighbourhood of Tacubaya, with a spectacular view across the sleepy village that Mexico City then was—just a pueblito of 3,000,000 people in a country whose total population was 27,000,000—a quarter of today's. When we moved back to smoggy 1954 Los Angeles, I yearned for the thin, clean air of Mexico.
Yesterday WHO published a report that air pollution kills 847,000 people in the Americas every year. I wonder how many of them are in the Valley of Mexico.