It is not the first time that life on Earth has threatened its own existence. More than 2 billion years ago, photosynthesis by ocean cyanobacteria emitted massive amounts of molecular oxygen into the atmosphere. Known as the Great Oxygenation Event , it caused major cooling and glaciation of the Earth’s surface. It also drove evolution of species towards greater diversity and complexity that created the homo sapiens. Humans began polluting their environment on a massive scale during the Industrial Revolution . By the end of the 19th century the use of coal and heavy machinery made many workplaces hazardous. Areas around factories became unlivable. Besides affecting people’s health, the air filled with particles and chemicals created problems for industries. Printing, food and textile production suffered most. This, however, did not stop technological progress. It resulted in the invention of the air conditioner . Can we air condition Earth instead of reducing our energy … [Read more...] about Climate change: Can humans be the Earth’s air conditioner?
Causes of air pollution article
Suncor Energy, the company that owns a large refinery in Commerce City just north of Denver, is emitting more pollutants than allowed under its permit in Colorado, and, amazingly, residents living within a mile of this heavy industrial processing facility have no idea what that means for the air they breathe. We are optimistic that is going to change as the vice president of Suncor’s refinery in Commerce City, Donald Austin, has pledged to fund third-party air quality testing in the community. It’s astounding to us that a refinery that has been in operation since 1940 has never been required by the federal Environmental Protection Act or the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to test and report air quality in surrounding communities. While there is a buffer of industrial zoning around Suncor in every direction, residential areas are within a mile of the refinery’s pollution-emitting smokestacks. And if The Denver Post’s Bruce Finley hadn’t started investigating … [Read more...] about Editorial: Air quality testing in neighborhoods near Suncor is welcome and overdue
Colorado is a national leader in renewable energy and fighting human-caused climate change. In 2004, clean energy advocates and environmentalists took Amendment 37 to the ballot, establishing a 10% renewable energy standard, and won. The amendment mandated that by 2015, 10% of Colorado’s energy needed to come from renewable sources. Former Gov. Bill Ritter heralded its passage as the beginning of the “New Energy Economy,” and made it a centerpiece of his successful campaign for governor in 2006. Since that landmark ballot initiative passed, giving Colorado the first voter-approved renewable energy standard in the country, we’ve increased it to 30%. Xcel Energy, the state’s largest utility, was also the largest funder opposing Amendment 37 in 2004. Xcel changed their tune and has now set its own goal to be 100% carbon free by 2050. But energy isn’t the whole story when it comes to climate change. Ensuring that we quickly and aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions in all … [Read more...] about Silverii: Efforts to reduce greenhouse gases need the force of law
The police station in Troy, NH. Photo: Shawn McCreesh The trouble in Troy started hundreds of miles away that day, when David Ellis talked to a reporter. Ellis, age 60, began the day of January 6 in the southwestern New Hampshire town of Troy, where he is chief of police. He drove nearly two hours from there to the Boston suburb of Newton, Massachusetts, where he boarded one of several buses for Washington, D.C. Upon arriving, he listened to his president speak; he strolled down Pennsylvania Avenue, admiring all the marble, then approached that grandest monument of all. And paused. That’s when I crossed paths with him, standing on a street corner in front of the Capitol, sounding nervous. A short man with a jovial affect, Ellis found himself at a crossroads. Moments before, Ashli Babbitt had been shot . A block from where we stood, Visigoths were still scaling the walls. Three Oath Keeper goons decked out in tactical gear stood beneath a tree, smoking cigarettes and … [Read more...] about When the Capitol Riot Came Home
Twitter failed to respond to repeated requests for comment about a tweet from the Root that compared whiteness to a disease, refusing to say if the tweet violates its policies against dehumanizing language. The social media platform updated its policy on hate speech in December last year, with a specific focus on dehumanizing language. “Our primary focus is on addressing the risks of offline harm, and research shows that dehumanizing language increases that risk,” said Twitter in a statement announcing the change. Yet a tweet stating “whiteness is a pandemic,” from a verified account with over 600,000 remains on the platform. Whiteness Is a Pandemic https://t.co/NnxC0lJ23R pic.twitter.com/cwCXfn0K2q — The Root (@TheRoot) March 17, 2021 In the linked article, the Root blogger Damon Young makes extensive comparisons between white people and disease: Whiteness is a public health crisis. It shortens life expectancies, it pollutes air, it constricts … [Read more...] about Twitter Won’t Say if Dehumanizing Language About Whiteness Violates Rules