Bad Air

Smog Pollution Threatens National Parks

The nonprofit Sierra Club is waging a fundraising campaign to protect U.S. national parks from the effects of power plants burning dirty coal. Executive Director Michael Brune reports, “Nearly one-third of all national parks exceed pollution safety levels.” To date, the club has been successful in stopping construction of 160 coal-fired plants.

Natural Resources Defense Council ( analyses show that not only cities, but seaside suburbs and rural areas as well, are reporting health-threatening “bad air days” during the summer due to smog pollution.

Some 250 communities and parks in nearly 40 states, led by California, routinely experience one or more “code orange” dangerous air days, deemed unsafe for children, older adults and those with breathing problems to be outside. More than 2,000 air quality alerts occurred nationwide in the first seven months of 2011, with many areas having long periods of days marred by elevated smog levels.

The push for cleaner air comes amid ongoing Environmental Protection Agency delays in approving updated air pollution standards, which the council notes could annually save thousands of American lives and eliminate tens of thousands of asthma attacks.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Wind Harvest

The first floating wind farm in the UK, Hywind in Scotland, will have a 30-megawatt capacity to provide clean energy to 20,000 homes.

Fossilized Financing

The world’s biggest economies provide four times more public financing for fossil fuels than for renewable energies.

Renewable Payoff

For a few hours last May, Germany’s renewable mix of energy generated so much power that customers were actually paid for using electricity.

Sealife Sanctuary

Greenpeace is working with the European Union and Germany to set aside an Antarctic sanctuary of almost three-quarters of a million square miles to protect whales, penguins and other wildlife.

Plumbing Progress

An innovative Australian project recycles discarded ocean plastic into 3-D printer filament, which is then used to make replacement plumbing parts in needy areas of the world.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags