AIR RIGHTS: What are we breathing IN?

Buildings, which are inanimate have air rights over them. Air rights is a legal terminology defined as the property interest in the “space” above the earth’s surface. Generally speaking, owning, or renting, land or a building includes the right to use and develop the space above the land without interference by others. If buildings etc have air rights why don’t we as Humans have the rights to breathe in clean air? Buildings don’t breathe but we still have given them air rights. What about ours? Man makes rules and also mends them based on his convenience. So who has this control to create these laws and who has given them this power to do so?  WE, the people. That is, there are two types of law which has been structured: one law favoring the makers and the other designed & implemented to be followed by the masses.

Trees do not pay taxes but buildings do. So guess who stays and who goes.

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Our lungs are a very delicate organ which helps in taking in air and transporting it via the bloodstream to each and every cell within our body. We have been taking our lungs for granted for it does not complain. In the past 100 years, we have seen a massive spike in the incidence of respiratory illness mostly pollution related. Today we work indoors in our offices 8-10 hours and sometimes even more. Then we commute using public transport or by using our cars to ride back and forth between work and home. Once we arrive home we are still confined to closed spaces where the air quality is highly questionable. In fact we are living our entire lives indoors. To complicate matters we are massive consumers of perfumes, detergents, air fresheners, carpet cleaners, pesticides and other harsh chemicals that we indulge ourselves in for its use in various applications. Kids are kept busy indoors by gluing themselves to TV’s, video games, cell phones, tablets, computers, social media platforms etc. Electricity is also available in plenty and is on 24/7. Hardly any of them play outside. Most of us do not even know our own neighbors. Moreover our ventilation system is not foolproof either. In winter heating plays a major role in drying up the inside air. To rectify this we use humidifiers to help us to supposedly breathe easy. During summer, our air conditioning unit is working full force to help us keep cool. It’s actually working over time leading to condensation within the unit and possible mold formation within the duct lines and the vents. This may lead to respiratory illnesses. In trying to rectify this we use dehumidifiers to correct the issue at hand.

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In most homes carpets are used to cover the floors in most rooms. This was in the past perceived as luxury living or just a matter of personal taste and convenience. Carpets are a favorable place to stay for dust mites, dust, and other allergens. A vacuum machine is unable to clean out each and every inch of it with precision. Hence what remains, stays for many years leading to another host of respiratory illnesses caused by unknown and invisible tenants. Now when we feel to get some “Fresh Air”, we step outside and we are faced with tons of industrial and automobile related toxins. With no other option at hand, we are forced to breathe in and DEEP. Is this the best air we can provide for our bodies? Highly polluted air? What are we doing to our bodies and our heath in the name of  our so called advanced civilization or in using the term innovation and technology. Without our health any amount of advancements in science and technology will be totally useless. It literally defeats the principle and purpose for which we are supposedly advancing ourselves. The purpose is to better our lives and not to worsen it. All we are asking for is to breathe in what nature has provided us to sustain our lives: Pure, UN-adulterated and clean AIR.

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If we don’t give ourselves AIR RIGHTS to breathe in fresh, clean and natural air, who will ? NOBODY will. I mean NOBODY. 

We do not want to be in a situation where we will be literally carrying oxygen tanks on our backs just to breathe. This day does not seem to be far off. We have been burning fossil fuels for decades, cutting down trees to enable farming, construction and rearing cattle, building homes all over the place, dumping waste into oceans, polluted all water sources and even the food we eat, hunting down wildlife to display as trophies, destroyed both micro plant and animal life, destroyed many know and unknown medicinal plants and medicines of animal origin. This is just a short list. I could go on and on. In the end it most likely will lead to the very extinction of ourselves as a species, sadly “a very intelligent one”. I use the word intelligent in a negative way because nature has created us to be the apex predator by equipping us with unsurpassed intelligence that is unmatched by any other species on this Planet. But this very brain power is being used by us, against us to hasten our own extinction.

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Hope we will learn from our past mistakes in preventing future ones. Mistakes could be intentional or could be as a result of ignorance. The latter is unforgiving and does give us a second chance. Many countries are switching back to using bicycles. I feel that this is the way to go. It will cut pollution and obesity rates down drastically resulting in getting our society back on it’s feet to health. Once we get our health back, we can truly start living life the way it is supposed to be. Without gasping for each breath of fresh air. If everyone has a bicycle and you come along riding in a car you may be frowned upon. This may be the change that we are looking for in cleaning up our environment and in helping us breathe easy.




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