Barely a week goes by without some sort of environmental protest, it would seem. But last weeks really was something else. If the activists behind the recent climate strike are to be believed, an estimated 4 million people took part in the latest action. And that’s not counting the numerous actions and protests that have taken place just here in London, and the action that took place as part of Car-Free Day. Including yoga on Tower Bridge!
We have commented before on this action, and how we believe that as well intentioned as they are, they may not lead to lasting change. But what we admire is the sheer persistence of the action being taken. In the UK, we have a Climate Change Act that binds the government to taking action to reduce emissions. Yet still people protest. Still they persist until their demands are met.
There is something to be admired about that. The dogged determination to see through the change that you want to see.
Behind all of this is taking action. Not just taking action yourself, but how you can enable others to take action. You share insights, give each other the tools and information against which to take action to improve your local environment.
We have seen this over the years when it comes to air quality. Yes, technological solutions such as ours have led to dramatic improvements in air quality through better insight, and improved engine efficiency of course. But the actions that are meaningful to people take place at a community level.
Anti-idling campaigns outside schools. Zero Emission Networks. Community electric vehicle charging schemes. Opening up air quality monitoring data. Community action planning. Closing roads outside of schools. Just some of the innumerable community actions that have continued the discussion on air quality in our cities. All of which add up to change over time.
It is easy to think that one big thing will change everything. That if only government or industry made this one big change then everything will be fine. No. Change is through small ongoing actions, delivered everyday.
For us, this is simple. We are about air quality action through monitoring pollution thresholds, in real time. It may pale in comparison to 4 million children on marches across the world. It may not be shutting down coal power plants. But its what we are good at. It is what we can do to make our cities better places in which to live and work.
What we do is reducing the impacts of air pollution on our local communities. For us, that means something.