The weather has been exceptional this autumn. Last summer was extremely hot and dry, so everybody looked forward for autumn rains. Instead of rain, we had a lot of sunshine and temperatures over the media. I don’t blame about the sunshine, but little by little, everybody understood that without any rain we have problems.

Como is like a bowl, it is situated among the mountains and therefore the air quality is often poor especially during the winter. EU has established that the limit for “bad quality” is when PM10 is > 50 µg/m3. Unfortunately, in many Italian cities this limit has been exceeded during the last month. In some cities for example at Milan was established the stop for all traffic for 3 days.

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There are several reason why Po Valley (Pianura Padana in Italian) is maybe the most polluted area in Europe. There are too many cars in Italy. First, the public transportation should be improved. However, here we have a problem. Italians know that public transportation functions badly and therefore they don’t use it. Because public transportation is not used widely, there is little interest to improve it.  Then here many pupils go to school on Saturday. Let’s be rational. If Saturdays were free from school, there would be much less traffic Saturdays and schools would save money in heating costs. For some reason nobody has talked about this possibility. Schools have no money, but still it is OK to heat 6 days a week even it were perfectly possible to heat 5 days a week. According to me, it would be better for the students also, they could rest at least one day in a week. Now they go to school on Saturday, do homework, and study for exams on Sunday.

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The most serious consequence of the smog are persons that get sick or even die due to it. Already experts warned not to do jogging or other sports outside, avoid bringing kids or elderly persons outside. Who has the courage to make even unpleasant decisions? How long can we let this yearly problem continue? I know I could do much more. My little contribution is that I use a hybrid car, because I drive a lot in the city (thanks to the poor public transportation) and we have installed solar panels on the roof that heat the water. What is your contribution?