9 vintage photos of smoggy London to remind us to take care of our air.

If you happened to be near the U.K.'s Department for Transport in London on April 27, 2016, you may have spotted this alarming scene:


Fortunately, it was a staged event. These were protesters, and they were perfectly safe and sound, out of harm's way. However, the crisis they're bringing to light is, unfortunately, pretty disturbing all on its own.

London has an air pollution problem, and it's putting the lives of city residents at stake.

The "die-in" protest, organized by Stop Killing Cyclists, brought 250 supporters onto the streets to demand cleaner air. Their staged deaths were meant to symbolize all the people air pollution silently kills in Britain each year — upward of 50,000, according to a bipartisan report from Parliament released this week.



Of course, a clean-air future is possible in London — especially when you remember what London used to look like.

Here are nine photos from the past that show just how far London has come in reducing air pollution:

1. This was London six decades ago.

Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

2. Doesn't it look ... gray?

Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

3. Smog, which became a big problem there in the 1950s and '60s, can certainly take the romance out of a cute stroll with a special someone...

Photo by Monty Fresco/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

4. ...or make a morning commute a whole lot worse than it needs to be.

Photo by Peter King/Fox Photos/Getty Images.

5. You could even say 1950s London resembles Beijing today.

Photo by Keystone/Getty Images.

6. Air pollution is definitely not an issue new to London in the 21st century. The smog there used to be much, much worse.

Photo by Edward Miller/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

7. In 1952, London's Great Smog killed and sickened thousands of residents in a matter of days.

Photo by Terry Fincher/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

8. In response to crises like that one, the country realized dramatic change was necessary.

Photo by Keystone/Getty Images.

9. Like many other Western nations at the time, the U.K. began breaking its addiction to dirty energy and prioritizing cleaner methods.

Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

Clean Air Acts were passed in 1956 and 1968, which banned emissions of black smoke and forced regulations onto urban factories. In the decades since, clean-air technologies and higher pollution standards have helped guarantee London's worst smog days are far behind it.

Now, more than a half-century later, London has done quite a bit to clean up its act.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

But as the recent protest illustrated, so much more needs to be done to keep London's air fresh and clean and make sure the city never returns to the smog-filled air of the '50s.

Because who would ever want to go back to this?

Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images.

True
Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

Keep Reading Show less

The recent passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg not only marked the end of an illustrious life of service to law and country, but the beginning of an unprecedented judicial nomination process. While Ginsburg's spot on the Supreme Court sits open, politicians and regular Americans alike argue over whether or not it should be filled immediately, basing their arguments on past practices and partisan points.

When a Supreme Court vacancy came up in February of 2016, nine months before the election, Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell refused to even take up a hearing to consider President Obama's pick for the seat, arguing that it was an election year and the people should have a say in who that seat goes to.

Four years later, a mere six weeks before the election, that reasoning has gone out the window as Senate Republicans race to get a nominee pushed through the approval process prior to election day. Now, they claim, because the Senate majority and President are of the same party, it makes sense to proceed with the nomination.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather has become a beloved voice of reason, knowledge, and experience for many Americans on social media the past few years. At 88, Rather has seen more than most of us, and as a journalist, he's had a front row seat as modern history has played out. He combines that lifetime of experience and perspective with an eloquence that hearkens to a time when eloquence mattered, he called us to our common American ideals with his book "What Unites Us," and he comforts many of is with his repeated message to stay "steady" through the turmoil the U.S. has been experiencing.

All of that is to say, when Dan Rather sounds the alarm, you know we've reached a critical historical moment.

Yesterday, President Trump again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the election when directly asked if he would—yet another democratic norm being toppled. Afterward, Rather posted the following words of wisdom—and warning—to his nearly three million Facebook fans:


Keep Reading Show less

"Very nice!" It appears as though Kazakhstan's number one reporter, Borat Sagdiyev, is set to return to the big screen in the near future and the film's title is a sight to behold.

Reports show that the title submitted to the Writer's Guild of America, "Borat: Gift Of Pornographic Monkey To Vice Premiere Mikhael Pence To Make Benefit Recently Diminished Nation Of Kazakhstan" is even longer than the first film's, "Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan."

As the title suggests, the film is expected to feature an encounter with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence as well as President Trump's TV lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Keep Reading Show less