After a few weeks of smog warnings over many regions in the Czech Republic, the meteorology office has removed the last warnings in Olomouc, Moravia, Hradec Králové and Pardubice regions. This means the country is now at a relatively safe level of air pollution but we should rush back to the cars just yet.
Smog warnings are issued when meteorological stations measure extremely high amounts of airborne dust in the air. If the concentration gets to 100 micrograms per cubic meter and the outlook for 24 hours is not expected to decline, the government will issue a warning for residents to stay inside as much as possible.
Almost all regions of the country were affected over the past few weeks as unusually still weather conditions meant that the pollution in the air could not dissipate. The government had contemplated allowing everyone to use public transport for free, among tougher measures that could have meant travel and production restrictions for residents and businesses. Fortunately, the smog has cleared and we can once again enjoy the fresh Czech air.
In some regions of the Czech Republic, this isn’t the first time that smog warnings have been issued with some receiving several since Christmas, especially in the Moravian-Silesian region.
The smog warnings were a stark reminder though, that whilst we may not be a heavily industrialized region such as Beijing, we are not averse to the ill-effects of burning fossil fuels. It should be our aim to use the car as little as possible, especially when public transport is available and is extremely cheap compared to other European cities.
And let’s face it; you can never find a parking spot in the city center anyway!