Air Pollution: Regional Influences & the Beijing Olympics

In the last post we discussed the relationship between Beijing’s air quality and the impact on athletes competing in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

China is one of the leading contributors to greenhouse house gas emissions. It ranks number 2, right behind the U.S. According to some reports, China’s air and water ways are described as being some of the worst in the world. Indeed, pollution of the environment is a world-wide issue, and in fact, there are no boundaries that prevent polluted air or water from moving from one region to another.… Read more

Project Beijing Air Quality

One of the issues of concern to many people is the impact of the air quality in Beijing on the athletes competing in outdoor activities, especially those involving 5K, 10K and all of the long distance running events, as well as many swimming events.

Beijing’ air quality is could impact the health of the athletes, and spectators, and there have been many reports recently in the press. Here is one from an Australian news service:

Beijing government officials, and the Olympic Organizing Committee have outlined a plan to restrict traffic flow leading up to and during the Olympics.… Read more

Project Green Classroom

This has been a year so far where the concept of “green” is moving into the mainstream, and is no longer relegated to “environmental activists.” However, we need to remind ourselves that it was the activists and the “gentle subversive” (Rachel Carson) who worked for years bringing environmental issues to the forefront.

Highlighted in this weblog entry is Project Green Classroom, an environmental science investigation. In this project, students investigate 6 elements of the classroom to answer questions related to the environmental quality of their classroom, and also as a way to inquire into the nature of environmental science.… Read more

Air Quality Awareness

This week is the EPA’s Air Quality Awareness Week. And it was a good choice of weeks to select as the ground-level ozone season has begun in Atlanta, and other cities, I am sure. I live in the Atlanta area, and yesterday and today, the pollution was very evident. Smoggy and getting warmer.

The quality of the air is a serious issue, and over the past 20 years, cities and towns across America have been subject to the Clean Air Act.Read more

Silent Springs of Past

Today is Earthday, 2007. On today’s CBS News Sunday Morning Program, one of the feature stories was The Legacy of “Silent Spring.” We all now know that Rachel Carson, the author of the 1962 book, Silent Spring wrote the book (with fierce opposition from the pesticide industry) to inform the public the fact (according to Carson) that pesticides were destroying wildlife and endangering the environment. At the time, the pesticide industry drummed up contrary opinion, and tried to claim that Carson’s science was flawed, and there was really no scientific evidence supporting her claims.… Read more

The Green Year?

Tomorrow is the year 2007 Earth Day, which started in 1970. Could the year 2007 be the Green Year, the tipping year in which government and industry embraced the importance of environmental sustainability just as the public is beginning to accept, and as the environmental movement has represented. Whether or not the environmental movement began in 1962 with Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, this year has been marked by profound reports and a Supreme Court Ruling. Further, magazines such as Time and Newsweek, and The New York Times have reported extensively on climate change and global warming.… Read more

Goldilocks Climates: Do You Live in One?

In today’s NYTimes, Andrew C. Revkin, the outstanding science reporter and writer, published an article entitled Wealth and Poverty, Drought and Flood: Reports from 4 Fronts in the War on Warming. In it he compares and contrasts four locations: Blantre, Malawi and Perth, Australia, each prone to drought, one in big trouble, the other moving ahead with desalination technology; Dhanaur, India and Maasbommel, the Netherlands, each prone to flooding, one seemingly defenseless, and the other experimenting with floating houses.… Read more

US Supreme Court to EPA: Regulate Emissions

The US Supreme Court ruled (5 – 4) that the EPA must regulate emissions from cars, and also took the EPA to task for giving lame reasons why it should NOT regulate emissions. The decision rendered in the case MASSACHUSETTS ET AL. v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ET AL. is an important decision in the ongoing denial by the US Government that humans are impacting global warming, and that CO2 emissions ought to be reduced by 50 – 80% by 2050.… Read more

Uncertainty and Global Warming: Using the Nature of Science to Deny and Cast Doubt on a Robust Scientific Theory

In their NYTimes article, Material Shows Weakening Of Climate Change Reports, Andrew C. Revkin and Matthew L. Wald reported on recently released House committee (Oversight and Government Reform) documents that indicated that a White House official edited goverment climate reports to play up uncertainty of the human role in global warming. The key word here is “uncertainty,” and I want to show how one of the values underlying science is being used to undermine scientific thinking, and sway the public against the “near certainty” of sea level rise, shrinkage of the ice caps, thawing of permafrost, all caused by global warming.… Read more

How Many Scientists Does It Take?

In today’s NYTimes, Thomas Friedman posted an article entitled How Many Scientists?which was a wonderful play on words about climate change. As Friedman points out, and as we have said on this blog, more than 1000 scientists have read and agree to the Intergovernmental’s Report on Climate Change published in February. How many more scientists will it take to convince the naysayers, especially, as Friedman points out, Philip Cooney, who worked for the oil companies and the White House to deny the idea that the earth is heating up and that the main cause is the increase in CO2 emissions.… Read more