Letter from the Editor: court battles, ozone, air and the Great Lakes

Why not adopt a mountain – or a waterway, come to that? You can if you’re in the Philippines. That begs the question, why not elsewhere? But if you think about it, we do own – or are responsible for – a little piece of the planet, from our own back gardens to the air that we breathe.

Whilst on the subject of breathing air, edie reports this week that 2,000 volunteers across Europe are going to be wearing pollution detectors to identify what it is they are inhaling on the streets of our capital cities.

Adopting its own air is something that Helsinki has done, by choosing the most environmentally sustainable bus company to run the city’s bus service. Unfortunately, a rival bus company took Helsinki Council to the European Court of Justice due to what it saw as an unfair decision. However, edie reports this week that the Court thought otherwise.

Fortunately, 180 nations around the world have decided to adopt the ozone layer. This means that on the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on the reduction of ozone depleting substances, the United Nations Environment Programme has been pleased to announce that there are good signs of recovery.

Finally, recovery is not a word that one should use liberally in connection with North America’s Great Lakes, an area that no one appears to want to adopt. Located on the border of the US and Canada – in one of the wealthiest regions in the world, and proving that money can’t buy you love, the Lakes appear to have been largely forgotten by their neglectful parents. This week, the organisation commissioned to monitor their recovery says that the Lakes will remain polluted for generations to come at the current rate of progress.

Kind regards

Helen André


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