oh no pollution.

the air here gets thicker by the day. every year the end of the dry season brings months of dense pollution and an ever-present haze that sits on your skin like a layer of film. waiting for the rains to start each passing day reaches higher levels of air pollution. chiang mai, sits in a valley surrounded by mountains (that subsequently can't even be seen through the haze) which serve to trap the pollutants that create a ceiling of thick haze so dense that it shields even the clouds. in part due to the slash and burn farming methods that have half the landscape completely ablaze, and paired with a lack of carbon and CO2 emission regulations leaves your respiratory system entirely discontent. this has spurred my interest and some research into the severity of this new reality. while air quality data somewhat alludes me there are some things that are blindingly clear. for example PM-10, which indicates the density of very small particulate matter in the air these particles are too tiny to see and five would fit across a single strand of hair. their origin stems from any source of waste burning such as car exhaust and industry that then find their ways into the human respiratory system and wreak havoc in the way of health problems like lung cancer. in london, the us, and many other nations it is considered a serious pollution episode when PM-10 levels exceed 50. today, march 5th, levels are document at 191.4 for the chiang mai province and have reached as high as 304. while my own minor respiratory difficulties are somewhat disturbing the long term effects these levels have on the greater population are catastrophic. this type of information attests to the widely accepted notion that to cover up a problem is a much more profitable response than actually solving it. case in point.. the thai pollution control department has set " safe levels" at anything less than a PM-10 of 120. this dichotomy of health standards between health in the developing and developed world is something so forefront in my mind that my heart aches daily. the notion that you cannot save the world was something i swallowed a long time ago. i've since resolved to work on just a small part of it, yet as the injustices become clearer my resolve wanes and the question of " what about the rest of it?" doesn't seem to want to leave. the worlds inequalities are so easy to ignore when your located a world away but what about all those born without this luxury. even with that said these same issues arise in towns and states that border my own home and still the unwillingness to see prevails more times than not. being here i've renewed my faith in what people are truly capable of and have simultaneously become unreasonably baffled by the reasons as to why so many simply choose not to. presently, the world is in a state of economic disrepair, momentarily that is, and our fall from grace has caused a slew of misfortunes. yet they still are utterly incomparable to the true travesties that span the surface of our world. as my eyes continue to grow older they are more cognizant of the progressive dissatisfaction with my own race and attune themselves with the callings of my heart. i guess i'm simply finding the task of making peace with the world a much more onerous one that i had previously envisioned.

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