The festival Diwali may have contributed to severe air pollution in India’s capital New Delhi, but a far more worrisome practice in the country could be its major cause. Did Lahoris burst crackers? Obviously not! NASA is lying ? Of Course not! Simple lesson which we should learn from this crackers Ho-Halla is, this part of geography, the entire North west plains of Indian subcontinent, be it India or Pakistan is covered with dense cloud of smog irrespective of crackers.
Four days after Diwali, Delhiites continue to grapple with a heavy smog blanket with poor visibility and the air quality index reaching alarming levels across the city. Until now, many were pointing to bursting of crackers (a norm during Diwali) as the main cause of the severe air pollution, but images published by NASA suggest that burning of crops in the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana could be the biggest reason why the air quality in the world’s most polluted city refuses to clear. Until now, many were pointing to bursting of crackers (a norm during Diwali) as the main cause of the severe air pollution, but images published by NASA suggest that burning of crops in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana could be the biggest reason why the air quality in the world’s most polluted city refuses to clear.
NASA has released a bulletin and picture yesterday (don’t get confuse with the fake ones, original link below) backed by data, which reveals that, 50 million tonnes of stubble burning is the incidental reason of smog, not crackers. 50 million ton! Think! It was just a terrible coincidence that infamous ‘stubble’ smog appeared right after Diwali.
IIT Kanpur’s study also listed stubble burning as the third highest contributor to Delhi’s winter air-pollution, after construction dust and vehicular fumes. (India’s daily fuel bill is 500 million USD. Daily Fuel bill alone. While ANNUAL firecrackers industry is 300 million USD. Annual). See the magnitude. Let’s come to some other aspects of the Diwali firecrackers hysteria being created by the media. For example take “non CO2” pollution. Crackers, by definition are exceedingly simple incendiary devices. They basically consist of paper (roughly 50% by weight) and carbon, pot nitrate, sulphur. That’s it. That’s the core propellant. In other words, other than the potassium nitrate, nothing in them is different from any fuel. So their contribution to “particularly noxious gases” is no more than that of normal fuel. Further, since they are made from basic and crude substrates, the density of these chemicals though considerable is a lot less than of a refined fuel like petrol. It is precisely because petrol is so dangerous that we had to invent internal combustion for it!
The point of all the analysis of firecrackers is simple: bursting crackers as a means of celebration is far less damaging, polluting or even cruel than scores of other forms of human celebrations or normal human activities like living round the clock in AC, petrol or diesel cars or even the Phone on which you are reading this post ! (Read carbon footprint data). Plus, it is only a once in a year event. We are not saying that crackers are non damaging. But of all the forms of pollution-creating human activity, it is way down, way down the list of damaging things you do daily. You can do 10x more for pollution by turning vegetarian!
After this, can we really focus on the REAL factors instead blaming a minuscule reason like ‘crackers’ alone, which does not even account for 0.5% of annual pollution? Are we going to focus on THE BIG ELEPHANT in the room which is our fat life style which accounts for major pollution or try to get away with responsibility by passing the buck on small kid called ‘crackers’. I am surprised by the people who drives SUVs for fun or have multiple cars in home or use 5 kilogram of cosmetics on face or buy unnecessary clothes, flaunt their multiple iPhones, big houses with AC in all rooms, living lavish life style are trying to become ‘champions’ of environment by blaming the small pick pocket called ‘crackers’. Do they even understand the term called ‘carbon foot print’ and how they are not only damaging the quality of air but the whole eco-system which includes Water pollution, landfills with their life style? Hypocrisy of highest order.
The idea behind this post is not to promote crackers, BUT to create awareness about the real cause AND burst the fraud of fake ‘seasonal environmentalists’ and the campaign of dubious NGOs. Guys, Live simple minimal earthy sustainable life if you really care for mother earth.