NASA: Eureka! Less Pollution is Good

Good news y’all!

Thanks to the United Nations Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization who got a whole bunch of well-paid scientists together, policy makers now have proof of the obvious... Probably why this big breakthrough didn’t cause the slightest ripple and why hardly anyone cares that the assessment report is to be released this week.

The two groups, above, summoned a team of 70 experts that were directed by climatologist Drew Shindell of the New York City-based Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and led by NASA GISS, the European Commission's Joint Research Center in Ispra (Italy), the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok (Thailand), Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, (US) and the Catholic University of Chile in Santiago (Chile); the efforts were coordinated by the Stockholm Environmental Institute in York (UK).  (Source: NASA, Cleaning the Air Would Limit Short-Term Climate Warming 02/20/11).

That’s a whole whack of people and groups meshed together in what must have been a bureaucratic nightmare that probably cost as much as healthcare for countless, basically, just to tell the world: yes, indeed!  We’ve known for a while that black carbon and ground-level ozone are, like carbon dioxide, toxic-killers of humans, and, without a doubt, we’ve always really strongly suspected that they were really harmful to the earth’s climate, but we just didn’t really know just how right we really were!  It turns out that health, earth, and climate are closely linked.

In Shindell’s words: What we really need to know is not the percent of black carbon that a particle filter can take out of, say, diesel truck exhaust, but what the net effect of putting particle traps on all the world’s diesel engines would be for the whole suite of pollutants that diesel engines produce. And we also wanted to know how much emissions control measures like that would influence specific changes such as global temperatures, human health, and crop yields.
And why do we need all this quantitative data to prove the obvious, what ecologists have already proven, but without UN money? After all, the "technology is already out there."   
According to Shindell, to please policy makers. 

Their brilliant efforts focused on these radical ideas: “[for black carbon] we looked at the impact that replacing traditional cook stoves with cleaner-burning options, putting particle filters on vehicles, or banning the burning of agricultural waste might have. For ozone, we looked at measures like fixing leaky gas pipes, limiting methane emissions from mines, upgrading wastewater treatment systems, and aerating rice paddies.”  

But wait! Now that we have models and percentages and statistics leading to Republican-proof, anti greenhouse-is-an Al-Gore-conspiracy-theory-worthy, Rockefeller-grade hard-cold data in hand, we should act now! 

And so, this panel will soon be offering 16 steps we should follow to improve matters, and hey! quicker than policy makers wanted us to believe.   
These 16 wonderful recommendations, the fruit of this costly study?  Shindell: “Many nations are already pursuing many of these measures for air quality, but perhaps the recognition that there’s a climate impact as well will help prod nations, states, and cities to take air quality more seriously.”

OK.  Maybe now we’re ready to spend less on studies and move on to the next step: certified  “Pollute Less” banners, hats, and bumper stickers.  Don’t worry, World, we’ll get there. 

Keep on clicking! 

© 2011, Pascal-Denis Lussier
Photo credit: PDL 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

and soon they'll be proving that arsenic in water isn't good for the birds as well as fish lol.

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