The biggest killer in the world today isn’t obesity or malnutrition. It’s not HIV, malaria, bird flu, or any other infectious disease. It isn’t war–and it’s certainly not terrorism.
It’s air pollution.
Smog in cities and smoke in the home cause a huge range of short- and long-term health conditions, including stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, asthma, and mental illness. When you sum everything up, air pollution is responsible for eight million premature deaths every year–equivalent to 15 people dying every minute of every day.
In “A Noxious Problem,” we’ll look at why the world’s biggest public health crisis is only getting worse, despite attempts to fix it. Regulatory corruption, global inequality, and naive techno-optimism all play an integral role.
Episode 1: The Battle Over Europe’s Air
Dirty industry is profiting from government inaction on air pollution–but people are fighting back
Episode 2: How Outdated Cars Live On in a Smoggy Afterlife
When richer countries tighten vehicle emissions standards, pollution is exported to the global south
Episode 3: The Failed Quest for a Cleaner Cookstove
International charities wanted to fight air pollution with technology–but they never asked what people actually needed
How We Get To Next was a magazine that explored the future of science, technology, and culture from 2014 to 2019.