Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution
Whether it floats from industrial smokestacks or from exhaust pipes on a busy city street, dirty air too often seems like just an annoyance, an inevitable fact of modern life. But it should make us angry. The WHO now considers air pollution a public health emergency, a threat tha... read full description below.
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Full details for this title
|Library of Congress
||Air - Pollution, Air - Pollution - Health aspects, Environmental quality, Air - Pollution - Social aspects
||Science: General & Reference
Description of this Book
Whether it floats from industrial smokestacks or from exhaust pipes on a busy city street, dirty air too often seems like just an annoyance, an inevitable fact of modern life. But it should make us angry. The WHO now considers air pollution a public health emergency, a threat that causes more early deaths than AIDS, diabetes, and car accidents combined. And it's inescapable: while we can take some measures as individuals to protect ourselves, we can't change the air that surrounds us--at least not without concerted effort. With Choked, Beth Gardiner takes a close look at this serious but underappreciated threat to our health. She combines science, politics, and the voices of those affected and fighting for change to help readers understand how--and why--dirty air is killing seven million people each year, including more than 100,000 Americans. Scientists learn more every day about the links between even low levels of air pollution and a host of ills--not just the obvious ailments like asthma and bronchitis but everything from strokes and heart attacks to cancer, mental illness, dementia, Parkinson's disease, and premature birth. Yet even as we see the dangers more starkly than ever, the Trump administration pushes to unwind the rules that have delivered decades of improvement. Outside the US, the problem is even more severe, and rising powers like China are scrambling to replicate the achievements of an American agency, the EPA, that was not so long ago the envy of the world. Clean air feels like a birthright. But it can disappear in a puff of smoke if the rules created to protect it are unraveled. In America and around the world, it's never been more important to understand how progress happened and what dangers might still be in store. Choked shows us that we hold the power to build a cleaner, healthier future: one in which breathing, life's most basic function, no longer carries a hidden danger.
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||The stories Gardiner tells in Choked paint a compelling picture of a critical issue. Air pollution blights too many lives. Choked weaves together science, politics, and economics to show us the progress we've made toward healthier air and the work that still lies ahead. --Christine Todd Whitman, former director of the US Environmental Protection Agency A brilliantly crafted, readable anatomy of an insidious but powerful threat--air pollution. Choked exposes the trade-offs and abuses that have left us breathing unhealthy air and also offers moving portraits of the clean air champions who are fighting back. --Kate Winkler Dawson, author of Death in the Air Gardiner's powerful account of what the air we breathe is doing to our bodies couldn't be more timely. Choked tells a gripping, complex tale full of memorable characters--starring one of the deadliest villains of all time, air pollution. It illuminates some disturbing realities, but it also gives us hope by showing us what we can do to clean our air. This is an urgent, essential read. --Arnold Schwarzenegger
Beth Gardiner is an environmental journalist who has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and Time, among other publications. She is a former Associated Press writer. Both the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the Society of Environmental Journalists have awarded her grants to support her work. Gardiner is American but has lived and worked in badly polluted London since 2000.