May 2, 2013 |
BEIJING - Whitney Foard Small loved China and her job as a regional director of communications for a top automaker. But after air pollution led to several stays in hospital and finally a written warning from her doctor telling her she needed to leave, Small packed up and left for Thailand. In doing so, the Ford Motor Co. executive became another expatriate to leave China because of the country's notoriously bad air. Other top executives whose careers would be boosted by a stint in the world's second-largest economy and most populous consumer market are put off when considering the move.
April 26, 2013 |
The Philadelphia metropolitan area's air quality has improved over the last decade, but still remains among the worst in the country, concludes the American Lung Association's annual report on air pollution. "State of the Air 2013" uses data collected by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to analyze three measures of pollution: smog, daily particle pollution, and year-round particle pollution. Based on the results, the report ranks metropolitan areas and counties from worst to best.
March 3, 2013 |
I'm typing in front of a crackling hearth, with regret that March has arrived. Don't get me wrong, I'm ready for spring. But, soon, the arrival of warm weather will also mark the end of the wood-burning season. Such is my love for burning fires all winter long that when our family vacationed in Florida at Christmas, I made sure to turn on a "Yule log" through Comcast's Xfinity on Demand before I'd let anyone open presents. I can't be the only one. Watching a wood fire burn on TV is a tradition that dates back to 1966, when WPIX-TV broadcast the first for viewers in New York City.
February 22, 2013 |
IT'S A SMOGGY SUMMER DAY. The air feels thick. Most people know their lungs might suffer on such days. But increasingly, medical researchers are seeing harmful effects from air pollution on the heart, as well. "Inhaling a heart attack" is how one publication put it. Air pollution has both short- and long-term effects that can injure the heart and blood vessels, causing or exacerbating strokes, congestive heart failure, clogged arteries and other problems, research has shown.
February 1, 2013
Pennsylvania regulators on Thursday proposed new air emission standards on natural gas compressor stations, the machinery that moves gas from well sites to transmission lines that environmentalists have targeted as a major pollution source associated with Marcellus Shale development. The Department of Environmental Protection says the new standards impose limits that are 75 to 90 percent stricter than current standards for the largest compressor stations. DEP will accept comments on the proposed changes until March 19. More information is available on the agency's website: bit.ly/WikzXZ.
January 26, 2013
President Obama pledged in his inaugural address to tackle climate change, something voters didn't hear much about on the campaign trail because it is such a volatile issue. Recalcitrant Republicans in Congress are already signaling they will block Obama on cutting air pollution. If that happens, the president should invoke executive powers that he restrained himself from using fully in his first term when he was trying to find bipartisan solutions. In the last year, Obama has shown an increasing proclivity to use his administrative power, as he did when he smartly eased student debt through regulations and appointed a consumer advocate during a congressional recess.
January 17, 2013 |
NASA today released satellite images documenting the off-the-charts pollution that has blanketed Beijing with thick smog. The abysmal air quality in the Chinese capital has led the government to order factories to reduce emissions and issue warnings to residents to stay inside. The pictures from NASA's Terra satellite, taken January 14, show the choking haze enveloping most of northeast China. The wave of pollution peaked Saturday. Expected to last through Tuesday, it was the severest smog since the government began releasing figures on PM2.5 particles, among the worst pollutants, early last year in response to a public outcry.
January 3, 2013 |
In the new movie Promised Land , Matt Damon plays an energy worker in rural Pennsylvania who has a crisis of conscience about the environmental risks of the drilling method known as fracking. But the reality is much more promising than Promised Land suggests. If regulated effectively, fracking can contribute enormously to U.S. growth and energy independence while combating climate change. The United States has massive deposits of natural gas and oil in shale formations, much of them in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale and elsewhere in the Northeast.
October 15, 2012 |
The searchlights over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway have gone dark. The three-week Open Air show by Montreal artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is packing up. But the issue of light pollution that simmered throughout is still with us. It is of concern not only to astronomers, but to others who feel the bejeweled dark sky is an important part of living on Earth and being human. The lofty realm has inspired us to write poetry, compose music, ponder the existence of God, and fall in love.