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Jakarta Post

Fatal smog demands action, not self-defense

  • M. Ikhsan Shiddieqy

Bogor   /   Sat, September 21 2019   /  12:56 am

Antara/Bayu Pratama SAn environmental catastrophe occurred in London in late 1952. This calamity began with the coming of cold winter air to the city on Dec. 4. It was a Thursday afternoon when London residents burnt extra coal in their furnaces to get warm, according to accounts of “The Great Smog of London”. The smoke from the furnaces, along with that from industrial areas and vehicles, caused extraordinarily heavy smog to blanket the capital. At the same time, London had a windless period that trapped the toxic pollutants in the city for five days.The smog caused 4,000 deaths and made 25,000 people sick. The exact number is still debatable because deaths increased for months after the smog. More than half a century later, air pollution is still a major human killer. Forest and land fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan have affected hundreds of thousands, including a 4-month-old infant...