Air and water
Air and water
This chapter begins by reviewing air pollution and health, then establishes the connections between air pollution and climate change. Research into deprivation, spatial distribution and air quality reveals a general picture in which those who typically produce the least pollution suffer the greatest consequences. Reducing waste through water metering makes environmental sense, yet the risks to the poorest are real and exacerbated by the profit motive of water companies. However, the research also draws attention to complexities that warn us against overly simplistic interventions. For instance, we should relate air to discussions of rights, ownership and control, something which demands a regulatory approach so long as this makes markets the servants of well-defined social and ecological objectives. This implies types of long-term planning, regulation and investment – and the prioritsation of social and ecological ends – for which our economic liberal assumptions and habits appear particularly ill-suited.
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