Alright. It’s time for a little blowing of our own horn.
Here in Canada, we’ve been getting a lot of flak over the issue of air pollution. We signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocols (although we have not exactly honoured that commitment); we continue to pollute the environment by producing oil from the Athabaska Tar Sands.
To that, we must plead guilty
Nonetheless, the destruction of our environment is a Global problem and we are not the only country that destroys the countryside and the air we breathe in pursuit of profit (it is just that here in Canada, we should know better).
Apparently, we do know better.
A recent report of the World Health Organization (WHO) rated the top ten least polluted cities in the world. Eight of them are right here in Canada!
The U.N. group analyzed seven years of data collected in over 1100 cities in 91 nations. The city at the top of the list was Whitehorse, Yukon Territory which scored a miniscule 2.9 micrograms of pollutants per cubic metre. Briish Columbia cities of Kitimat and Burns Lake, were rated #2 and #3 respectively.
Air pollution levels begin to pose health risks once they exceed 20 micrograms per cubic metre. The overall score for Canada was 12.7.
The highest pollution figure in Canada belongs to Sarnia, Ontario (with a score of 21.2) - a city with the misfortune of being a neighbour of Detroit. Sarnia’s figure is still relatively low when compared to an international average of 71.
Strangely, Mongolia (the most sparsely inhabited country on earth) was rated “worst” for air quality scoring an astounding 279!
WHO said the reasons for high pollution levels varied, but that often rapid industrialization and the use of poor quality fuels for transportation and electricity generation are to blame.
We’ve done pretty well here in Canada. Now all that is left to do is to STOP the Tar Sands Development.
Meanwhile, visitors can still breathe and enjoy our clean air.
Big sky and clear, clean air over Whitehorse, Yukon.