Opinion Bakersfield Chewable Air Issue

Nadeen Maniord, Reporter

Bakersfield Calif– Due to the recent flooding in California, Bakersfield residents have been given a chance to breathe the air rather than chew it. Unfortunately, most residents are used to wheezing through the hazardous air, and it doesn’t seem to be improving anytime soon despite the efforts to create clean energy.


According to the Bakersfield Air Quality Index, “Bakersfield is frequently reputed to be the most polluted city in the United States.” Finally, Bakersfield is number one at something. Bakersfield continues to dominate in their poor air quality, by continuing to add to fuel emissions.


There is no doubt that location should be taken into consideration, when thinking of the poor quality. Bakersfield, located within the Central Valley of California, has the Sierra mountains that surround it. Therefore, when industries such as oil or crop burning, emit chemicals like nitrogen oxide, a chemical that harms the ozone layer in the Earth’s atmosphere, it continues to swirl around like a vacuum seal, according to the AQI.


This is not just applicable to major companies, however, but how residents also add to the poor quality. Accountability should be held to those who reside in Bakersfield. For example, according to Data for Portal Cities, residents who take any type of transportation create up to 49% of emissions. This can be thanks to the lack of efficient transportation.


Bakersfield has also been ranked an F multiple times because of the amount of smoking that occurs, according to KGET. Having these types of ranks should be alarming to all residents inhaling smoke, whether first or secondhand.


People of all ages should be worried about the poor conditions of their city.  According to Spare the Air, poor air quality like Bakersfield’s, can aggravate asthma, cause itching in sinuses, affect the cardiovascular system, etc. Despite known causes of health problems, not much has been done to help.


There is no easy solution to fixing the current state of Bakersfield’s air. However, there are things that can be done to perhaps lessen the gravity of the issue. For example, one could not drive, and instead ride their bike to things that are close by. Another solution would be for residents, who do smoke to quit it or even take baby steps toward smoking less.


Residents of Bakersfield, although it isn’t easy, creating a better environment can not only help us breathe resulting in better quality of life, but also to sustain our planet. If not for yourself, think of others, let’s stop chewing air for 2023.