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But What About Outdoor Air Pollution?

If you’ve read the previous three posts this week, you know all about the poor air quality that many of us are surrounded by in our homes [www.sundance.tv] and cars, but what’s the state of the outside air? A quick survey of the past few years will show that, like many things where the private sector, big business, government and even art intersect, it’s a study in contradiction. In more than one case, it’s a matter of one step forward, one step back, with a few lateral moves thrown in for flavor. Here are some highlights of TreeHugger’s coverage.

1) When it comes to government, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can sometimes be it’s own mini contradiction in terms, depending on who is pulling the strings. For example, they’ve essentially said “Let’s ignore air pollution [www.treehugger.com] from oil refineries.” Does that make sense to anyone?
2) In the same vein, they’ve also basically threatened to abandon 30 years [www.treehugger.com] of air quality control, allowing fossil fuel special interests to run the show.
3) With tongue slightly in cheek, we noted when the EPA pretty much said, “What? Us regulate air pollution? [www.treehugger.com]” It’s not always easy when you’re a cog in the Big G.

4) In smaller government news, California has made a few waves in the air pollution pool when they adopted mandatory ethanol blending [www.treehugger.com] and launched a 15 year plan [www.treehugger.com] to improve air quality in their state.
5) In some ways, it’s a good thing we don’t leave it all in the hands of various governments. Check out the American Lung Association’s 2007 Air Quality Report [www.treehugger.com] to help see what’s really going on (hint: it’s not all blue).
6) Government, non-profits, businesses, partisan politics…oh my. To help sum this all up, take a gander at a short history of air pollution [www.treehugger.com] to get some context.

7) It’s not all Chicken Little and doom and gloom, thankfully. Cyclists can avoid the worst of it [www.treehugger.com] and help not create any more of the stuff at the same time.
8) We like examples of when youngsters start TreeHugging at an early age; this schoolgirl’s [www.treehugger.com] ingenious “smog hog” helps curb air pollution.
9) Lastly, you can cut everyone buy yourself out of the equation (sort of) by making your own [www.treehugger.com] air pollution indicator. It all comes back to you.