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Toxic concentrations in New Delhi's air have reached levels 42 times above what is considered safe, reigniting questions about how the rapidly-developing city can tackle its persistent air pollution crisis.
Yesterday, New Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal branded the city a "gas chamber" as the thick haze left eyes watering and throats burning.
US embassy monitoring equipment recorded the concentration of PM2.5 — the smallest, most harmful particles — at 762 about midday on Tuesday (local time).
The figure is quite literally off the scale — well above the 300 to 500 levels that the US Environmental Protection Agency considers hazardous and a respiratory risk to the general population.
Indian Medical Authority's President Dr Krishnan Kumar Aggarwal declared Delhi "a public health emergency state".
Another doctor, Dr Arvind Kumar, compared the air to smoking 50 cigarettes a day.
Syria has announced it intends to join the 2015 Paris agreement for slowing climate change, leaving the United States as the only country in the world opposed to the pact.
Syria, wracked by civil war, and Nicaragua were the only two nations outside the 195-nation pact when it was agreed in 2015.
Nicaragua's left-wing Government, which originally denounced the plan as too weak, signed up last month.
"I would like to affirm the Syrian Arab Republic's commitment to the Paris climate change accord," deputy Environment Minister Wadah Katmawi told a meeting of almost 200 countries at the November 6-17 climate talks in Bonn, Germany.
Membership for Syria under President Bashar al-Assad would isolate the United States, the world's biggest economy and second largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China, as the only nation opposed to the accord.
US President Donald Trump, who has expressed doubts that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the prime cause of global warming, announced in June the intended to pull out and instead promote US coal and oil industries.
You remember how Star Trek always alluded to the fact that the Federation was a US led thing? That all the solutions to the world's problems started there?
Science fiction really is fantasy...
Make America Obsolete!
Oh wait, that spells MAO.
Syria will become the new United Nations Headquarters.
Assad or Twitler...
It's difficult to convey how oppressive Delhi's air pollution is.
Morning visibility is a couple of hundred metres. Through the eerie filtered light, figures emerge from and disappear into the gloom.
Some wear masks or handkerchiefs, most blithely dismiss the apocalyptic atmosphere, shrugging it off as "just fog".
Except it isn't.
Last Wednesday, central New Delhi's count of harmful PM2.5 particles exceeded a staggering 1,000 on the US EPA's air quality index. To put that in perspective, the highest rating, "hazardous to human health — do not go outside", is reserved for readings between 300 and 500.
Delhi was off the scale, twice.
Following angry protests several years ago, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang declared "war" on pollution, fearing worsening air could spark wider community unrest.
He ordered crackdowns on factories and power plants flouting rarely-enforced regulations.
According to Greenpeace, it's working.
Last year, the environmental group examined a decade of satellite particulate matter measurements, concluding "China's systematic efforts to combat air pollution have achieved an impressive improvement in average air quality".
India generally dislikes comparisons to rival China, and Greenpeace's findings didn't make for happy reading in Delhi.
"From 2011 to 2015, China has made big strides while in India, pollution levels have kept rising," the report noted.
Why? Because Delhiites' seasonal outrage rarely outlasts their social media posts, and the country's politicians know it.Meanwhile in states surrounding Delhi, illega
Time is running out to prevent a global environmental collapse — that's the stark warning 15,364 of the world's leading climate scientists have sent out.
Scientists from 180 countries, many in the developing world, put their names to the journal article published today in Bioscience, which also predicted temperature rises and unpredictable weather patterns that would cause widespread misery.
But the paper also noted it was not too late for governments to do something about it.
The number is believed to be the largest group of scientists to have ever put their names to a research paper focused on climate change.
One of the key authors of the paper, Bill Laurance, a research professor at James Cook University in Queensland, said this was the first time he had ever seen such a letter get sent out.
The paper focused on a number of issues, including the depletion of oceans, deforestation, endangered species and extinct species numbers, fresh water pollution and urban liveability.
It found the amount of fresh water available per capita has reduced by a quarter and almost 300 million acres of forests have been lost since 1960, while the human population has risen by a third.
"All kinds of instances of liveability of the planet," he said.
"It's far more than just climate change, although that's certainly a critical part."
The paper has depicted a bleak future world ravaged by climate change, a world characterised by human misery.
It called for population growth to be limited and for governments to stop focusing solely on economic growth.
I do not waste time arguing about "climate change", which used to be "global warming".
Climate, weather, change, hot, cold, ice age, volcanoes have been happening for hundreds of million years. I guess dinosaur farts caused the ice age?
To think that man can actually change/effect global weather is beyond preposterous. As we say in Philly, fuggedabowdit.