Tomorrow, the world will again observe Earth Hour, and a local green activist has urged Malaysians to unite and act to combat one of the deadly environmental issues, that is, air pollution.
Prominent social worker Datuk Seri Ang Lai Soon said a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) survey seemed to show that air pollution was the biggest threat to human health today, the cause of one in every eight deaths.
“Air pollution is more lethal than the most deadly weapon, and it must be addressed immediately,” he said in a statement to Bernama today, to mark Earth Hour.
Earth Hour 2014 is scheduled for tomorrow from 8.30pm to 9.30pm local time during which participants will switch off their non-essential lights for one hour to show their commitment to the planet.
Ang said it was indeed, rather alarming to read WHO’s new report that air pollution had now become the single biggest environmental health risk.
Some months ago, WHO s cancer agency classified air pollution as a carcinogen which is linked to lung cancer, particularly, he added.
Ang, who hails from Sarawak said by building more hospitals and clinics, even the very best, will not and will never ever solve this serious global problem, but they obviously help”.
He said the air pollution must be seriously addressed by all nations, especially those that have eternal disturbing pollution problems.
The people of Malaysia are too well aware of the repetitious atmospheric or air pollution that blights our lives and adversely affects our health, especially the very young, senior citizens, and poor in health.
“Only a couple of weeks ago, Peninsula Malaysia was covered with thick haze or smog on top of the shortage of water, making life quite unbearable for the people,” he noted.
Ang said Earth Hour, organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature was so important to Malaysians and to all nations as well, as it was a way to show that they did really care about the environment.
But even more importantly, it served to send a strong message to those in authority to end this annually repetitive problem, by acting both on the domestic front, and in conjunction with our neighbouring countries, he added.
He said air pollution was not a new problem and appeared to be a man-made problem, as well, as it had been recurring for a couple of decades, or so.
Ang said with appropriate legislation, insistence on conforming to such legislation without fear or favour, inter-government agreements, and the will of each and every one to do so, the problem could be resolved.