Archives for pollution



Carbon Offsets: More Questions Than Answers

Can industrialized nations save the world with a plan to offset their carbon emissions by paying developing nations to stop cutting down their forests? Can eco-conscious photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand offset his carbon emissions by killing a Frenchman? Do carbon offsets even work at all? Read More »



What You Didn't Know About Obama's Fuel-Efficiency Rule

The Obama administration this week unveiled its new proposal to raise fuel efficiency in American cars. Clear as smog, right? Well, Freakonomics Q&A guest Keith Hennessey, a former economics adviser in the Bush White House, has written up a detailed post on the proposal’s complications and its likely unintended consequences. Read More »



Are Carbon Offsets Too Good to Be True?

Feeling a little guilty about that flight to London last month? No problem — you can offset that trip with credits from a reforestation project in Nicaragua, available at carbonfund.org. The thriving carbon-offset market in the U.S. allows individuals and companies to voluntarily offset their carbon footprints relatively painlessly — just point, click, and pay. […] Read More »



By Your Own Emissions

| We reported a while back that the true private mortality cost of smoking a pack of cigarettes is close to $222. It turns out smoking has a serious environmental impact as well. Assuming all 5.5 trillion cigarettes produced around the world each year get smoked, smokers produce 84,878 tons of particulate air pollution annually […] Read More »



Los Angeles Transportation Facts and Fiction: Smog

As part of an ongoing quiz about transportation in Los Angeles, in the last post I challenged the notion that the city is sprawling. But sprawl or no, Los Angeles’s air is choked with its world-famous smog. Isn’t it?

Answer: A half-truth. Read More »



FREAK Shots: Not Everyone Likes Free Parking

Blog reader Paul Gorbould emailed us this photo from a parking lot at the Joggins Fossil Cliffs on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Canada: Photo: Paul Gorbould Gorbould understands the good intent of the spots: The site was recently declared a Unesco World Heritage Site, and it appears to have taken the designation […] Read More »



The Tennessee Coal-Ash Spill, in Pictures

I was stirring the syrup for a pecan pie when the phone rang. My friend Brenda Boozer called to tell me there had been a massive environmental disaster close to home, and could I possibly get away to take photographs? Read More »



How Should We Allocate CO2 Permits?

Doug Kysar and I have a piece in Slate that suggests a way forward on the vexing problem of how to allocate CO2 permits. The problem is that rich and poor countries want very different permit allocations: Generally speaking, richer nations want permit allotments that track historic emissions rates — essentially locking in their economic […] Read More »