---- Defeating the invisible killer
In our cities, there is an invisible killer relentlessly striving to produce victims. And their number is great! According to Health Canada, in 2019, it caused approximately 4,000 premature deaths in Quebec, 14,600 in Canada and several million worldwide. Moreover, a much higher number do not die from it but suffer terribly from respiratory diseases because of it.
Microscopic harmful particles -- tropospheric ozone, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) -- attack people's health, as well as carbon dioxide (CO2) which also contributes to global warming. This is the impact of air pollution on our lives. Its main weapons: industrial polluting emissions, fossil fuel heating and especially vehicles with thermal engines.
The polluting industries influence our purchases through their advertising, but, ultimately, we have a lot of power with our purchases.
The type of heating we choose has a direct impact on the production of fossil fuels and on our own emissions. The way we travel also determines our impact.
Many people are aware of this and make great efforts to avoid polluting the air. But for most people, all this doesn't matter. Some habits are difficult to change while for others it is a question of will and individual and collective responsibility. Simple solutions do exist to improve air quality. Electric or heat pump heating, walking, biking, public transit, shared vehicles, electric vehicles of all types -- these are wise choices to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
It is important to know that transportation weighs heavily in the balance, being responsible for 46% of air pollution in Quebec. How many people really realize that a passenger vehicle with a combustion engine emits tons of CO2 per year, as well as a large quantity of harmful pollutants, into the air? Last year, according to the Société d'Assurance Automobile du Québec, 5,274,000 vehicles were on the road. Of these, only 1.5% were zero-emission vehicles (electric). But there is hope -- 6.9% of vehicles sold in 2020 were partially or fully electric, and the percentage is increasing every year. By April 2021 there were over 100,000 electric vehicles on the road in Quebec. It is expected that there will be over 600,000 in less than 5 years.
Quebec's announcement to ban the sale of new emission-vehicles as early as 2035 (only 13.5 years from now) should encourage Quebecers to choose a zero-emission vehicle in the next few years. Many lives will be saved by the electric transition of transportation.
The more we each reduce the use of fossil fuels, the fewer victims the invisible killer will have. (Translated)