The standards have gotten tougher. Compliance still lags.
The goal of the Clean Air Act is to achieve national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS), with the primary requirement being protection of public health. As our understanding of the health effects of air pollution has improved, there has been a general trend toward tightening the standards. However, it’s very hard to keep track of …CONTINUE READING
You wouldn’t know it from reading the New York Times, but cities and states are innovating to get people out of cars and on e-bikes. Is California falling behind?
After reading the recent (and very dumb) New York Times expose by Matt Richtel on e-bikes, you’d be forgiven for mistaking electric-assist bicycles for the next big threat to human health. But 3 other news stories about the benefits, and growing pains, of e-bikes show there’s real interest in them as a climate solution. Rather …CONTINUE READING
News stories that frame the rise of e-bikes as one big safety risk are not only short-sighted, they could lead to bad policy.
There’s a dangerous new mobility trend on American streets that’s captured the attention of the New York Times: e-bikes. Or so the Times, and some other media outlets, are suggesting with their editorial choices. “The e-bike industry is booming, but the summer of 2023 has brought sharp questions about how safe e-bikes are, especially for …CONTINUE READING
The state argued that Held v. Montana is a boring case about procedure. The kids made a compelling case that climate action is part of Montana’s constitutional obligation to maintain a healthy environment.
The very first American trial of a youth climate lawsuit was hardly blockbuster Court TV, but we learned a lot from the proceedings. The bench trial took place last month in the state capitol, Helena, where 16 youth plaintiffs ages 5 to 22 made the case that Montana’s unwavering promotion of fossil fuels violates the …CONTINUE READING
This recent decision has important implications for state and local efforts to protect their residents and reduce greenhouse-gas emission, but boy is it hard to wrap your head around.
On Monday, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling in California Restaurant Association v. City of Berkeley, addressing whether the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) invalidates a Berkeley municipal ordinance specifying when natural-gas infrastructure can be extended into new buildings. Many in the housing-quality and building-decarbonization space have been eagerly …CONTINUE READING
Cleaning up our nation’s air benefits the disadvantaged most of all.
Evidence is mounting that air pollution regulation is an effective way of reducing health disparities between disadvantaged communities and the population as a whole. The basic reason is simple: Air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to poor communities and communities of color. As the American Lung Association has said: “The burden of air pollution …CONTINUE READING
Krugman claims that climate action doesn’t mean an end to growth. He’s right.
In a recent column, Paul Krugman argued that cutting carbon emissions doesn’t have to mean an end to economic growth. He’s right about that. Carbon emissions and growth aren’t joined at the hip. He could have added that economic growth and quality of life don’t necessarily go together. The numbers are really clear about the …CONTINUE READING
It’s a global phenomenon, with poorly understood causes. But there’s no point in blaming the victims.
I’ve written in the past about the American obesity epidemic. Obesity rates have continued to climb in the United States, though the rate of increase has leveled out. But obesity is also on the rise globally. The obesity rate has increased everywhere. In nine countries, at least one out of five people is now obese: …CONTINUE READING
Interpreting the association between conservatism and COVID death rates.
There is mounting evidence of an association between conservative politics and COVID impacts. Indeed, the higher death rate among Republicans may even have swung some close elections. A recent study sheds light on how ideology and death rates interact. As the Washington Post reports, the results were striking: “Covid death rates were 11 percent higher …CONTINUE READING
A new rule will clean up exhaust from new diesels, a major health threat.
Last week, EPA finalized its new rule imposing emission limits on new heavy trucks. The new regulation was clearly a massive undertaking. EPA’s formal announcement of the new rule is 1100 pages long. The accompanying summary of comments on the proposed rule and EPA’s responses is another 2000 pages. This is partly due to the …CONTINUE READING