When you think about sources of toxic air pollution, one of the first things you might picture is a large power plant with huge smoke stacks belching black clouds into the sky. But the truth is that smaller power plants collectively contribute more to the cancer risk faced by Americans every day.
The winds of prosperity do not blow steadily and will turn against both countries if the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases neglect their obligation to collectively lead the global drive to mitigate climate disruption.
India was dealt a blow in May when a World Health Organization (WHO) study assessing air pollution in cities ranked New Delhi below Beijing. The study said that New Delhi has "the world's worst air quality."
Conditions are rife for a global revolution, with channels to drive one ever strengthening. All that's missing is a charismatic leader to pull the strings. History imparts that person will arrive. Pray for goodness because it could be evil.
If we as an international community care about our future climate, we must do more to support local efforts in China rather than relying on international negotiations alone to solve the climate problem.
We are ALL complicit in fossil fuel fortunes, whether we are middle class or mega wealthy. We have all benefited, enormously, from the cheap and abundant and reliable power that has come of oil and coal.
If low penalties aren't enough, business allies in Congress are busily making it harder to collect penalties once levied -- the House Appropriations Committee just voted to block EPA from garnishing wages to collect fines from recalcitrant violators.
Having to suffer from childhood asthma is no mark of distinction in support of the greater economic good. It's bad for health, and for the economy. Pollute less -- and strengthen the economy as a result.