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   Smog is thick, choking, dangerous. It happens when tiny particles of dust, smoke and dangerous gases like sulphur dioxide mix with water vapour. And it’s no accident: it is all carefully manufactured by one species – human beings!

Today, cars are becoming like a disease. They are spreading so fast: 100,000 new cars are leaving factories every day. There are 400 million cars on the road. A bus can carry 60 people and doesn’t give off as many fumes as 60 cars.
Aimee Robson, England, UK

People love cars, most of us want one! What can we do to end this love affair with the car before it ends us?
Alfred Kamara, Sierra Leone

The Furnacite Plant
The Furnacite Plant
When it was there
Polluted our air.
Now that it’s gone,
The legacy lives on.

Out of sight,
Lurks toxic waste
Another blight
The legacy lives on.
Cara Meade,Wales, UK

Smog is something we live through almost every day in Mexico City. Most mornings you wake up with red eyes; coughing and being sick is pretty common too. Clean days are rare compared to those where you can see the smog produced by cars and factories hanging over the hillsides, curling down the freeways, wrapping its arms around the tall buildings. The government has tried to reduce the smog, but it hasn’t worked. Citizens still get sick and children are the most affected. Red eyes, skin covered with a layer of grime, a knotted feeling of sick in your stomach – that’s how you feel most days in the world’s biggest city.
Cecilia Farfan, Mexico
click picture to enlarge

Marisol Garcia Ochoa, Mexico

It is Friday. As usual, I get up at 7 am and on my way to the bathroom I turn on the coffee machine. I take the milk out of the fridge. I take a long shower and finish with a quick squirt from a spray deodorant. After breakfast I run to the car and fight the traffic for half an hour to get to the office.

It looks like a nice sunny day but I have to spend it in our air-conditionned office. For lunch, I order packaged food from a catering service: hamburgers and french fries (they stay nice and warm in the foam plastic cartons). To finish up there’s hot coffee in a foam cup. My afternoon is filled with meetings and a few long phone calls.

Tired, I get back into the car and drive home. On my way I pick up my suits from the dry cleaners. Once home, I sit down in my favourite armchair and watch a TV programme on the greenhouse effects. The situation seems very bad. They really should do something about it. Nothing to do with me, of course! – Or is it?

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