In case you missed all the hype about the recent environmental phenomenon literally hovering over Asia, here's a brief introduction: The "Asian Brown Cloud" is a dense blanket of pollution, hovering over South Asia, from Sri Lanka to Afghanistan; with scientists warning it could kill millions of people in the region, and pose a global threat. The cloud, estimated to be three kilometres thick, is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths a year from respiratory disease alone. In case you were wondering about the erratic weather patterns in this region, including intense drought and heavy flooding, scientists believe that the Brown Cloud is responsible for this too.�A large part of the aerosol cloud comes from inefficient cookers, where fuels such as cow dung and kerosene are used to cook food in many parts of Asia. In countries like India and Nepal, most of the rural and urban poor use natural fuels to heat their homes during winter, while South Asian cities like Delhi and Karachi are terribly polluted mostly due to fumes emitted by eco-Unfriendly vehicles, and intense traffic congestion.
The burning question of the moment however, is what can be done to reduce, if not completely stop the adverse effects of the brown cloud. How much are we as residents in these areas willing to sacrifice to cut down on environmental pollution? Join Mandate the Future this month as we begin a discussion on the issue of the Brown Cloud, it's causes and effects. We look forward to your input.
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