Monday, April 22, 2013

Environmental Issues less important to Americans?

The Huffington Post reports that Americans place less importance on environmental issues than they did four decades ago, when Earth Day was established. Only 39 percent of poll respondents thought environmental issues were very important, down from 63 percent in a similar poll in 1971.


Encouraged by conservative ideology, and industry fed contributions to politicians, there is public denial about the critical relationship between the environment and public health, agriculture, and our national security.

Perhaps society will get some clues as suffering from respiratory illness such as asthma increases and healthcare costs rise. Are we still waiting for an aha moment when we see the relationship between the toll of increasing violent weather, and man-made climate change?

We can feel good about recycling, but that alone won’t address climate change, or the fundamental changes needed to protect spaceship earth.

Earth Day Network

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Climate Change & Allergies

Among the vagaries from climate change is more allergy suffering.   This is predicted because as the planet is getting warmer we are experiencing early spring, and in some parts of the country like the Northeast more rain and snow. Climate Nexus reports “historically high levels of carbon dioxide in the air, nourishes the trees and plants that make pollen, and encourages more fungal growth, such as mold, and the release of spores” the result, more pollen than ever before. 

If you live in areas experiencing heat and drought, asthma and other respiratory diseases will be worsened by dust.

The change will be probably not be linear, there may be some seasons that are comparatively mild, but over time the trend is clear.  Allergy seasons will be longer, and higher concentrations of carbon dioxide will fuel plants to produce more pollen.

Climate change is here and allergies are one of a number of ways people will experience it.

The National Wildlife Federation has a short video, Connecting the Dots: Allergies & Global Warming.

In The Air (Tampa Bay)

Four years ago with a mini grant from the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, I produced a program about air pollution in the Tampa Bay area, In The Air.  The same pollutants that degrade the quality of Tampa Bay and jeopardize public health happen to be carbon emissions that also create climate change.  In 2009, it seemed almost certain that legislation would soon be in place to address greenhouse gasses.  Not only would we be addressing the global climate change threat, but also we would see positive changes to our air quality, public health and the quality of the local environment. 

National legislation on global warming has gone nowhere. Climate change deniers have many seats in the US Senate and House of Representatives. Cap-and-trade legislation failed to pass Congress, and further legislative efforts have stalled.  The US Environmental Protection Agency has begun regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act under legal challenges.

I present a short version of In The Air.