In most cases, even if it means taking a ferry that releases black smoke twice every day. In fact, Hong Kong suffers from two air pollution issues: local street-level pollution and regional smog problem. Primarily, local street-level pollution is caused by diesel vehicles (in other words private vehicles), whereas the regional smog problem is caused by a combination of pollutants from motor vehicles, industry and power plants both in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region. For local residents, chronic exposure may lead to several health problems such as lung cancer and heart disease.
This may leave them no choice but to wear face masks in public, or to leave Hong Kong because of it. Moreover, there is also a financial cost to the economy that is relating to hospital admissions, lost productivity and the ability to attract foreign skilled labor. Indeed the government has acted upon this issue and has banned indoor smoking, banned vehicle idling, switched to cleaner motor fuels and will continue carry out future campaigns to solve this long-term issue. Local citizens consider taking the cheap and convenient public transportation to reduce carbon footprint, to generally benefit from them and contribute to the environment.
Hong Kong is also known as one of the ‘City That Never Sleeps’, and like other large cities in the world, Hong Gong’s iconic image has its share of light pollution. Buildings, flashing advertisement signs, streets and shops; everything is dressed in bright tantalizing lights that tourists around the world come to see every night. Although it may be amazing and a valued tourist attraction, it is merely the opposite for the coals, especially for the residents who live in and around This Shah Thus, Causeway Bay and Monsoon, who are affected daily.
These issues build up and influence local citizens’ health, temper, stress levels, disturbing sleep patterns and disrupting circadian rhythms. Similarly, with rising property prices, some residents have few choices but to live in densely crowded, bright night areas. Not only does light pollution have an effect on health and is a waste of energy, but it also has an effect on the work force of Hong Kong. While some consider leaving Hong Kong because Of the light pollution, a good umber had already had enough and left.
As light pollution is becoming more apparent, the government and the residents have also started to act upon the issue. In 2009, Hong Kong joined the world-wide ‘Earth Hour’, where over thousands of buildings and organizations dimmed their lights for an hour, saving valuable energy. Even the smallest efforts such as turning off unnecessary lights, switching energy saving lights and spreading the word out can make a difference. In most cases, we have control over environmental issues and can contribute individually to them as a local, national and a global tizzy.