January 17, 2008
Qualified right The People's Plaza at Independence National Historical Park does have a grand backdrop, but people need to be cleared by the Park Service to speak up ("The rule here is: Raise your hand before you speak," Jan. 16). It is polar opposite to the original People's Plaza: Independence Square, now sadly dissected and made inaccessible by unsightly crowd fencing and hired guards. There, on July 8, 1776, in grievance to the king of England, Col. John Nixon read aloud the Declaration of Independence.
November 25, 2007 |
Planting a tree used to be such a simple thing. For many, it was a simple act of beautification. Or perhaps a way to shade a patio. But lately, planting a tree has been elevated to a cause, a mission, a step - however tiny, as skeptics note - to stall global warming. In cities throughout the country, in countries around the planet, volunteers are muddying their knees and dirtying their fingernails as they plant more, more, more! Southeastern Pennsylvania's TreeVitalize program is finishing up a mammoth tree-planting spree - more than 14,000 - this fall.
June 7, 2007 |
Despite chronic scandals that suggest it can't clean up even its own offices, the United Nations wants to manage the weather of the entire planet. In the name of cooling global warming, the U.N. is steering toward a role as chief broker for assigning and trading national rights to emit carbon dioxide. The plan amounts to a tax on high per-capita carbon emitters, such as the United States, and subsidies for low emitters, such as Laos and Equatorial Guinea. Unfortunately, a global carbon tax-cum-redistribution system would likely chill the productivity of free societies and subsidize some of the world's worst regimes.
April 4, 2007 |
The U.S. Supreme Court's groundbreaking decision that regulation of so-called greenhouse gases appears to fall under the Clean Air Act is expected to have far-reaching consequences. But for New Jersey and Pennsylvania, experts said yesterday, the biggest impact of Monday's ruling is likely to be what they won't experience - legal challenges to their programs to mandate cleaner-burning cars. Both states have enacted rules based on California legislation that regulates carbon-dioxide emissions from passenger cars and light trucks.
July 14, 2006 |
It's another hot July day. The air feels like soup. The world moves in sticky slow motion. How to beat the summer doldrums? Try shooting a geyser of soda fizz 20 feet into the air. All it takes is a couple of Mentos candies dropped into a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke, and presto, you've got a fountain guaranteed to put the pop back in your hop. This cheap thrill has triggered a craze on the Internet, multiple home videos, and bizarre renditions...
June 29, 2006
'Carbon dioxide: It's what we breathe out and plants breathe in. They call it pollution; we call it life. " That paradox expressed by the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute is being used to counter former Vice President Al Gore's scary global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. How could a life-giving gas be dangerous to our planet? What right does a president or Congress have to regulate it as if it were smog, acid rain, or arsenic? Those are the central questions the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to answer by hearing Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency next fall.
June 4, 2006 |
Never mind that Atlantic City will be underwater and the rest of us blown away by hurricanes. Here's another threat associated with global warming: giant poison ivy vines. And for those who come in contact with them, a more vigorous version of the horrendously itchy and ugly rash. For decades, foresters have noted the increased abundance of woody vines. They suspected rising levels of carbon dioxide, which fuels photosynthesis. Now, researchers who spent six years monitoring plots of poison ivy in the Duke University forest - to their eventual discomfort - have proved it. Lead researcher Jacqueline E. Mohan was a Duke doctoral student when she picked poison ivy for her study because, as only a scientist might say, it is "a very special type of plant.
December 12, 2005 |
While much of the world faults the United States for not joining a plan to tackle global warming, up to nine Eastern states - including New Jersey and Delaware but not Pennsylvania - are poised this week to take action by themselves. The states would freeze emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants starting in 2009, and then reduce them by 10 percent between 2015 and 2020. Details of the plan, which would have to be adopted separately by each state, are to be announced as soon as Thursday.
August 15, 2005 |
When scientists began studying ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, to help lessen global warming, some felt a promising tool was the vast Amazon rain forest. Trees, after all, absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, and early measurements from aerial towers in the Amazon suggested that the forest sucked up the offending gas with a vengeance. But Anthony Aufdenkampe, a biogeochemist now at the Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, Chester County, is poking holes in that theory.