It's official. Particulate pollution in the air has decreased the amount of sunlight reaching the earth. How much? A fraction of a percent? Try 10% globally over the past 50 years. Worse yet, global dimming is thought to be counteracting CO2 and its greenhouse effect, lessening the worldwide temperature increase called global warming. Why's that bad? Because, in the coming decades, particulate pollution is expected to level off, while CO2 emissions are expected to rise strongly, multiplying the effects of global warming as we know it. "That means a temperature rise of 10 degrees Celsius by 2100 could be on the cards, giving the UK a climate like that of North Africa, and rendering many parts of the world uninhabitable
." Holy fucking shit! [via kottke]
posted by scarabic
on Jan 14, 2005 -
"Any kind of pollution that hurts the unborn, children, families and the poor—this is contrary to loving your neighbor, which is at the center of ethical teaching." Maybe there's hope for this world after all.
posted by fungible
on Dec 16, 2004 -
Told you plastic is nasty....
Most of plastic that somehow reached the ocean floats in the North Pacific Gyre
[look at Currents], an exotic name for an area of the Pacific ocean with a surface larger then U.S.A, dreaded by sailors for its lack of winds and called by some World largest Landfill. The people at Algalita Marine Research Foundation
have made this nice video
[Quicktime] showing how tons and tons of tiny plastic particles have been accumulating
in the area for the last 50 years, slowly entering the food chain. Why does that bother us who live thousand of miles away ? Because we're on the top of the food chain
and because that plastic is a sponge of hazardous chemicals.[Via tpl1212's link in
another unrelated story]
posted by elpapacito
on Dec 16, 2004 -
Body Burden : The pollution in people
"In a study led by Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York...researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 91 industrial compounds, pollutants, and other chemicals in the blood and urine of nine volunteers....
Scientists refer to this contamination as a person’s body burden. Of the 167 chemicals found, 76 cause cancer in humans or animals, 94 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 79 cause birth defects or abnormal development. The dangers of exposure to these chemicals in combination has never been studied."
posted by troutfishing
on Sep 8, 2004 -
Microscopic fragments of plastic are a "major pollutant", floating in the ocean, settling on seabeds, and washing up onshore - with unknown consequences for marine ecosystems, according to a new study. "We've found this microscopic plastic material at all of the sites we've examined,"
[lead researcher] Dr
Richard C Thompson
[of University of Plymouth, UK] said. "Interestingly, the abundance is reasonably consistent. So, it suggests to us that the problem is really quite ubiquitous."
posted by mcgraw
on May 7, 2004 -
Buying Up the Right to Pollute.
"Power companies that release more SO2
than their permits allow must attempt to buy more allowances at the auctions, or purchase them at a premium from companies that have allowances to spare. Those that can't gather enough allowances or that go beyond certain emissions limits in a given year face strict fines from the EPA." (from a 4/7 Wired article)
You may have heard of these "allowances" before, but the Acid Rain Retirement Fund
, a non-profit, is doing something about them: *buying* them and simply letting them expire. Search NetworkForGood
for "ARRF" to make a donation. [via our own CTP
's Recursive Irony
posted by scarabic
on Apr 13, 2004 -
Neato Next Generation Truck Stops
IANAT (I am not a trucker), so I had no idea trucks could just plug into truck stops complete with air conditioning, power, internet, satellite TV, etc. And the bonus is that these facilities are environmentally friendly since the truck doesn't have to be left running all night.
posted by mhh5
on Jan 11, 2004 -
Records show that over the past 50 years the average amount of sunlight reaching the ground has gone down by almost 3% a decade. "It's an extraordinary thing that for some reason this hasn't penetrated even into the thinking of the people looking at global climate change. It's actually quite a big deal and I think you'll see a lot more people referring to it."
posted by stbalbach
on Dec 19, 2003 -
EPA misled public on 9/11 pollution
"In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, the White House instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to give the public misleading information, telling New Yorkers it was safe to breathe when reliable information on air quality was not available."
posted by jpoulos
on Aug 23, 2003 -
Large-scale marijuana cultivation in National Parks and forests.
"[Growers] are killing wildlife, diverting streams, introducing nonnative plants, creating fire and pollution hazards, and bringing the specter of violence. For the moment, we are failing both parts of our mission, and that is tragic."
This is not a new problem
. "The reasons are obvious: the land is fertile, remote and free. There's no risk of forfeiture, plantations are difficult to trace, and growers have land agents outmanned, outspent and outgunned."
posted by letitrain
on Jun 14, 2003 -
BodyBurden: the pollution in people. "Researchers at two major laboratories found an average of 91 industrial compounds, pollutants, and other chemicals in the blood and urine of nine volunteers, with a total of 167 chemicals found in the group. Like most of us, the people tested do not work with chemicals on the job and do not live near an industrial facility. Scientists refer to this contamination as a person’s body burden. Of the 167 chemicals found, 76 cause cancer in humans or animals, 94 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 79 cause birth defects or abnormal development. The dangers of exposure to these chemicals in combination has never been studied."
This was also the subject of a PBS program by Bill Moyers, Trade Secrets
. Moyers himself was found to have 84 chemicals in his blood and urine
. [Via This Modern World
posted by homunculus
on May 26, 2003 -
Canada's forgotten weapons of mass destruction.
Shortly after the end of World War II, the Canadian navy began to dispose of its surplus chemical weapons by dumping them off the shore of Atlantic Canada. Large quantities of chemical agents, including mustard gas, were loaded onto barges and scuttled at undisclosed locations.
Over 50 years later, some of these military dumpsites have become lost due to poor record keeping. With increasing offshore oil exploration and a commercially successful shellfish industry, there's a possibility that these forgotten chemical agents could return
to the coasts of "Canada's Ocean Playground".
posted by Caffine_Fiend
on Jan 13, 2003 -
"This is a site about the hazards of indoor pollution, largely created by the synthetic and organic chemicals that are a part of our daily lives. It might sound like a place you want to stay away from, but really it’s a place intended to help you make informed decisions about the places and spaces in which you live."
posted by theRegent
on Oct 22, 2002 -
"If the Department of Energy has its way, the nation's nuclear garbage could end up in everyday items like bicycles, frying pans, and baby strollers." The East Tennessee Technology Park
, was once known as "the K-25 site. Its mission: to produce highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons." Now, efforts are being made to recycle
some of the irradiated scrap metal into unlabeled household objects. On the plus side, any radioactive metal that finds its way into your kitchenware won't be headed for Yucca Mountain
posted by Joey Michaels
on Sep 16, 2002 -
Brown Cloud threatens SE Asia
Having flown into Mumbai a couple of times over the past years, and to Singapore once, I thought I saw this, but passed it up to gunk on the windows. Turned out it was gunk in the sky.
posted by rshah21
on Aug 12, 2002 -
The Sky Trust would sell a gradually diminishing number of carbon emission permits to the approximately 2,000 oil, gas and coal companies that bring fossil fuels into the U.S. economy. With the income from these sales, the Sky Trust would pay equal yearly dividends to every American.
An interesting idea, but it seems like any group that plans to ask congress for a charter so they can control the sky would need to think things out a little more. Would auto manufacturers be charged for the emissions made by the vehicles they produce? Would the private citizens who buy them? And what is to stop any corporation from simply, say, opening shop in another country to avoid the hassles.
But, the largest question in my mind was, who actually expects the current government to do anything that would place environmental matters
posted by Kellydamnit
on Aug 10, 2002 -
Swimming the Columbia River - lengthwise.
What have you been up to for the past week? How about the next 6 months? If you're Christopher Swain, the answer is "swimming - and lots of it". Swain plans swim the 1,243 miles of the Columbia River
from headwaters to the Pacific over about 180 days. The further downriver he goes, the riskier it gets - aside from the rapids and ocean freighters that await him, he'll be in waters contaminated by atomic waste, PCBs and other toxins - which is the point of the swim, to raise awareness and support for river protection. "I learned that tasting every mile of a river is a great way to build the credibility to speak on its behalf"
posted by kokogiak
on Jun 11, 2002 -
Very high level of PCBs in whale raises alarms.
"The orca found dead on the Olympic Peninsula earlier this year carried a level of contaminants that was among the highest -- if not the highest -- ever measured in killer whales, laboratory tests show".
If that is the case with free ranging whales then I shudder to think what similar measurements on city dwelling humans will reveal. Does anyone know of similar contaminant research on humans? (via Baloney.com
posted by talos
on May 13, 2002 -
Power Company Buys Entire Village
American Electric Power is buying the Gallia County village of Cheshire, Ohio for $20 million after years of complaints from residents about pollution from AEP's massive Gen. James M. Gavin power plant, located along the Ohio River on the edge of the village.
Two months ago federal health experts reported that blue sulfuric clouds from the Gavin plant endangered the village last summer, particularly residents suffering from asthma. I'm not sure what to think about such an odd plan.
"I think the town just had enough of the company's experimentation," said Dale Heydlauff, AEP's senior vice president for environmental affairs.
Note: Registration required to read full story
posted by Blake
on Apr 16, 2002 -
Trains and boats and planes.
As the international environmental elite flies around the world attending conferences on global warming, earth-friendly toilets, whale saving, etc., these guys pause and figure out that jetting around kerosine-guzzling aircraft makes them part of the very problem they are trying to solve. So they travel to their next conference overland. Good start, fellows. Beyond warming up the air (actually a good thing, if you ask me), jets degrade the environment by needing to be served by city-sized airports, with all their attendent horrors, and by being damned noisy (I'll never forget the lovely silence that followed the air lockdown following 9-11). Besides walking to work, how else can conscientious eco-types put their money where their mouths are?
posted by Faze
on Nov 14, 2001 -
evolution never happened. And
maybe industry doesn't cause pollution and population growth is no problem. At least that's what they're teaching kids in Alabama and Texas (and maybe your state as well).
posted by conquistador
on Nov 9, 2001 -
I guess we'll walk.
Much of eastern Canada is currently in the grip of one of the worst summers for smog on record, and a recent poll showed that 58 per cent of Canadians support the idea of limiting car use on smoggy days. However, just 37 per cent said they were willing to pay more taxes in order to improve public transportation.
posted by tranquileye
on Jul 30, 2001 -
Ever wonder how much effect the clean air act and emission limits on cars are having on the air we breathe? The the State of the Air 2001
report sponsored by the American Lung Association is for you. An assessment of pollution thorughout the US. Of course my county received an 'F' in this assesment. How is the air where you live?
posted by trox
on May 14, 2001 -
Compressed Natural Gas
is much more cleaner than diesel, the dual-fuel engines run quieter and you get lower operating costs. It's certainly very promising, and the technology is already widely implemented from busses to vans to trucks. However, changing a truck to this system can be costly
, especially for small fleets. With this and the lack of fueling stations across the nation, do you still
think this might be a good option for the future
posted by tiaka
on Jan 18, 2001 -
Time to wash up
for Hindus. Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for religion and such. But if you wash your sins away in this
river, you might wind up with something that won't
posted by CRS
on Jan 9, 2001 -
Strict environmental rules have reduced air pollution levels to below life-threatening levels, and produced this great headline too.
posted by rorschach
on Jan 5, 2001 -