Thursday, January 24, 2008

Close The Windows, Stay Indoors And Try Not To Breathe

Be careful today if you live in Madrid. The population of the capital has been issued with a warning by the city authorities not to do any strenuous outdoor exercise. The reason is because of dangerous contamination levels in the city; the culprit last time it happened was the “inversión termica” that we had shortly before Christmas, but this time it’s a cloud of African dust that gets the blame.

As yet another part of the Sahara moves northwards, the level of particles in the air at least in some parts of the city has breached recommended levels. This is happening with increasing frequency in Madrid and the reaction of the city’s rulers is curious. One surprising effect these particles seem to have is to put the city web page reporting on their presence out of action whenever it looks like they will clearly breach the limits. The most rapid way to reduce contamination in the city would of course be to restrict traffic, and that is such a horrific prospect for those who live in their cars that it in the end it is much easier to turn off the machines measuring the contamination. Another tricky problem solved, now I'm ready to go out and do some shopping.

No comments: