Monday, April 24, 2006

Cleaner Air

Despite alarming reports to the contrary, the air really is cleaner:

Since 1970, carbon monoxide emissions in the U.S. are down 55%, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Particulate emissions are down nearly 80%, and sulfur dioxide emissions have been reduced by half. Lead emissions have declined more than 98%. All of this has been accomplished despite a doubling of the number of cars on the road and a near-tripling of the number of miles driven, according to Steven Hayward of the Pacific Research Institute.

Mr. Hayward compiles the "Index of Leading Environmental Indicators" published around Earth Day each year by PRI and the American Enterprise Institute. It serves as an instructive antidote for the doom and gloom that normally pervades environmental coverage, especially of late.

This year, for example, Vanity Fair has inaugurated an "Earth Issue," comprising 246 glossy, non-recycled pages of fashion ads, celebrity worship and environmental apocalypse. Highlights include computer-generated images of New York City underwater and the Washington mall as one big reflecting pool. The magazine also includes a breathless essay by U.S. environmental conscience-in-chief Al Gore. The message is that we are headed for an environmental catastrophe of the first order, and only drastic changes to the way we live can possibly prevent it.

read it all.

1 comment:

David Thomson said...

The American streets 100 years ago were filled with horse urine and excrement. Think of the health hazards. I always laugh at the cowboy movies which downplay this obvious fact. A real “High Noon” sheriff would have been sidestepping the dung as he walked down the street to confront the bad guys. Can you imagine Gary Cooper saying “Damn it, I walked right into it. My boots now need a good cleaning.”