Archive for air pollution

the adoration of the golden car

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2019 by xi'an

As the demonstrations by the “gilets jaunes” become a fixture of French Saturdays, the French government is gradually giving up on the reforms it had started and is in particular catering to the car [and motorbike] lobby that started the protests. The symbol itself comes from the yellow fluorescent jackets found in every car and the first round of demonstrations was about the rise of the gas taxes towards more sustainable transportation. Things have since then metastasized into a winner-takes-it-all litany of complaints, but with gas engine drivers remaining at the forefront. When driving outside Paris during the Xmas break, every speed radar I X’ed had been neutralised or destroyed, leading to a significant increase in speeding and thus eventually in road kills. Following the abandonment of the gas tax a few weeks ago, the most recent abdications of the government on that aspect are returning to the speed limit of 90km/h on secondary roads, from the year-old decrease to 80km/h, tax rebates for changing cars, financial advantages for frequent highway users and more generally heavy drivers. Ride faster, comrade, until you hit the next right curve!

incredible India

Posted in Kids, Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2017 by xi'an

[The following is a long and fairly naïve rant about India and its contradiction, without pretence at anything else than writing down some impressions from my last trip. JATP: Just another tourist post!]

Incredible India (or Incredible !ndia) is the slogan chosen by the Indian Ministry of Tourism to promote India. And it is indeed an incredible country, from its incredibly diverse landscapes [and not only the Himalayas!] and eco-systems, to its incredibly huge range of languages [although I found out during this trip that the differences between Urdu and Hindi are more communitarian and religious than linguistic, as they both derive from Hindustani, although the alphabets completely differ] and religions [a mixed blessing], to its incredibly rich history and culture, to its incredibly wide offer of local cuisines [as shown by the Bengali sample below, where the mustard seed fish cooked in banana leaves and the fried banana flowers are not visible!] and even wines [like Sula Vineyards, which offers a pretty nice Viognier]. Not to mention incredibly savoury teas from Darjeeling and Assam. Continue reading

wading thru fog [jatp]

Posted in pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2016 by xi'an

Darjeeling snapshot [jatp]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , on December 21, 2016 by xi'an

darjee2

Varanasi unholy air

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2016 by xi'an

candles on the Ganges in the sunset, Varanasi, Jan. 9, 2013One of my lasting memories of my trip to Varanasi four years ago is the poor quality of the air, with an almost constant fog over the city, fed by open air fires everywhere and aggressive vehicle exhaust, rather than by the few cremation pyres by the Ganges… I read today in The Guardian that the city actually ranks worst in India for its air quality. (I also read in that article that Gwalior had similar issues, although I remember a pleasant walk around the fort there, in the sun. Presumably on one of the few “good” air quality days.) Not that Paris is doing great in the past days, with a whole week of ineffective driving restrictions that left wood heating operating at full blast. I did not feel the air difference while biking, but I presume the impact of the micro-particles central to those pollution alerts is more long-term!

misty dawn [#3]

Posted in pictures, Running with tags , , , on March 17, 2014 by xi'an

Sceauxii

misty dawn [#2]

Posted in pictures, Running with tags , , , , , , on March 16, 2014 by xi'an

Sceauxi