Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Cleaning Up London’s Air - What Should We Do?

Living in London and walking my daughter to and from the childminder with a current chest infection makes me acutely aware of the difficulties smog poses in London at the present time.


London is a busy place, with millions of people milling around.  Buses and cars take many people to office jobs that could be done from home.  Lorries deliver produce and goods in addition to huge carbon loads and smog.  The new bankside towers prevent any form of airflow, whilst encouraging massive polluting trucks.  To show how bad things are we have the [The London Air Network](http://www.londonair.org.uk/london/asp/nowcast.asp) which has an updated daily pollution map.  Not sure however how this correlates with the ridiculous humidity that 8.75 million people generate - currently 60-80% every day.  This is why so many articles pop up in regards to early deaths and long term morbidity due to the air: [The London Standard in April 2016 for example](http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/1000-londoners-killed-in-four-months-by-the-capitals-toxic-air-a3235841.html).


So what is the much vaunted devolved Mayor doing about it?  Well let's see - the [Mayoral Website](https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/pollution-and-air-quality/air-quality-and-health)  and the [Mayor's Air Quality Fund](https://www.london.gov.uk/WHAT-WE-DO/environment/pollution-and-air-quality/mayors-air-quality-fund).  It *looks* as if things are being done.  Slowly.  And frankly **not** enough.


What do I think should be done?


1.  I think that all internal combustion engines should be banned from within the M25.  Within the M25 only zero-emissions vehicles are allowed.  [Tesla](https://www.tesla.com) has shown what is possible with its amazing cars and its development of batteries and solar grids.  Obviously this will require some changeover time.


2.  All taxis and buses should be converted to zero-emissions.


3.  All new private hire licences (and renewals) must to have zero-emissions.


4.  No parking permits or registrations are allowed for emission cars in London.


That sorts the cars (in theory) but what about the electrical use of these huge glass tower blocks?  There needs to be a requirement for them to use glass such as these [Solar Panel Windows](http://planetsave.com/2015/09/05/solar-power-windows-ready-for-production/).  The Solaria ones look especially good [Solaria](http://www.solaria.com).  Now if all council buildings and new developments were to use these the amount of energy generated would be immense.  And reasonably free in the long term scale of things.


We really need to be pushing forward on this and frankly no one in government has any idea or any will to do so.




Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Read by QxMD another app of use

I've been using this as a journal article reader for some time now and think I should probably tell you all about it.
"Read" by QxMD - really good place to select the journals you want for it to scrape the online first sections and bring you up to date and fresh research. Works on iPad and iPhone.
Overall it's actually really nice - you need an Internet connection to use it, but it caches each journal as it goes. Not perfect, but definitely the best I've seen for discovery.
Download here: http://qx.md/read
From there bit:
"'Read by QxMD' provides a single place to discover new research, read outstanding topic reviews and search Pubmed.
A really simple interface that drives discovery and seamless access to the medical and scientific literature by reformatting it into a personalized digital medical and scientific journal. Only 1 tap to download full text PDFs!
Free iPad and iPhone download: http://qx.md/read"
21° Mostly Cloudy