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Have you seen this documentary on Pakistan’s climate change crisis?

Out of the smog explores Lahore’s air quality

SAMAA | - Posted: May 29, 2020 | Last Updated: 8 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: May 29, 2020 | Last Updated: 8 months ago
Have you seen this documentary on Pakistan’s climate change crisis?

Photo: Screengrab

If you took part in the climate march last year and are concerned about the environment, you might be interested in watching Out of the smog: Pakistan’s plea, a documentary on the country’s climate change crisis by Naveen Rizvi and her team.

When the 27-year-old first heard about the smog in Lahore, Naveen immediately thought of China’s smog or the Great Mmog of London in 1952. But, she didn’t realise that Pakistan had once again made it to the list of the world’s most polluted cities.

“The more I read, the more I realised how much information you needed to know to make sense of the problem—ambient air, AQI, WHO, JICA, etc. I wasn’t sure where to begin. After doing some research, I saw a gap in the internet about Pakistan’s climate change problem,” she wrote on her website.  

Her research eventually led her to two environmental lawyers Sara Hayat and Rafay Alam.  

“I am hopeful for change after witnessing the climate march in Pakistan led by the Climate Action Now and after meeting Rafay Alam, Sarah Hayat and Abid Omar,” she told SAMAA Digital. “There is potential and hope to fix this growing problem which is a public health emergency.”

Talking about smog, Naveen explained that it was a mixture of smoke and fog. She said, “Lahore’s positioning on the map in conjunction with the temperature inversion (a weather phenomenon) means the emitted pollution from factories and brick kilns is trapped.”

She added that the main problem was “our cars and the dirty fuel that we burn. All that pollution is also trapped”. 

Last year, the smog in Lahore was so bad that schools had to close after the AQI reading at the US Consulate read over 600. Imagine the pollution sent Lahore’s children home. “It doesn’t matter how wealthy you are or if you live in a well-protected home, you are still breathing in this filthy air,” she said. “Pakistan is very vulnerable to climate change, and smog is a growing problem that we can’t ignore. Air pollution is deadly, and as a nation, we need to change our lifestyles.”

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