Jeff Masters Weather Blog

Air pollution made Alejandro Daly sick. Now he fights for clean air. » Yale Climate Connections

In 2014, Alejandro Daly fled political unrest in his home country of Venezuela. The 18-year-old moved to Bogotá, Colombia — a bustling city with lots of buses spewing diesel fumes.

Daly was born with asthma, and he says his condition worsened in his new home.

Daly: “At the beginning, I didn’t know what air pollution was, but I saw that something was affecting me.”

He started to learn about the connections between burning fossil fuels, air pollution, and human health — and decided to fight for change.

Daly helped lead a campaign that trained hundreds of young people to monitor air quality in their communities using low-cost sensors and use the data to advocate for clean air policies.

Today he’s a graduate student at Columbia University in New York, studying energy and environmental policy. And he helps lead the Latin American Coalition for Clean Air, which is made up of organizations from six countries.

He wants people to understand that burning fossil fuels drives both the climate crisis and local air pollution that harms human health.

Daly: “We need to breathe clean air. And for that, we need to stop investing in fossil fuels. … I want to advocate to make sure we understand that the climate crisis is a public health crisis.”

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media

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