Clean Air

Climate & Energy

Energy companies, seeing a greener future, are losing their faith in coal

Utility executives may finally be realizing that coal's days are numbered, a new survey suggests. Already!

Cities

City-dwellers’ allergies are so bad because they don’t have enough bacteria

This allergy season has been terrible. It seems like everyone I know has been running around with leaky eyes, even those of us who aren’t typically pollen-sensitive. Granted, there was an unusual amount of tree sperm in the air this year, but it seemed strange that everybody — really, everybody! — was afflicted. But a new study by Finnish researchers explains everything: The reason we’re all so sick is that we live in the city. According to this study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and based on research done in Finland, people who live in cities …

Biofuel

Modern-day DeLorean? Airplane runs on trash

One man’s trash is another man’s airplane fuel. Adventure-seeker Andy Pag aims to obtain funding and become the first person to fly a trash-fueled plane from one end of the U.K. to the other. His aircraft, a microlight plane, will be powered by gasoline made from un-recyclable plastics like bags and packaging. The fuel is made by a British company using Fischer–Tropsch synthesis–a process of making synthetic fuel that dates back to before WWII. Pag says the fuel is worth highlighting because it produces limited CO2, and reduces the volume of plastics that otherwise would go to landfills.

Politics

Power Shift turns Bank of America ATMs into truth-dispensing machines

Activists forced ATM users to think twice about what they were really supporting by banking with Bank of America.

Pollution

Top 10 U.S. cities with the worst air pollution

About 127 million Americans endure pollution levels that make it dangerous to breathe. Check out the top 10 regions with the dubious distinction of having the most year-round particle pollution.

Living

New research shows Big Tobacco targets black kids

Big Tobacco agreed way back in 1998 to stop marketing cigarettes to kids. Turns out cigarette companies are still up to their old tricks -- they’re just being slightly more stealth about it.

Food

Graft punk: Breaking the law to help urban trees bear fruit

The Guerrilla Grafters play Frankenstein with ornamental city trees by splicing branches that yield fruit for the common good. But not everyone's happy: Their pursuit of fruit isn't exactly legal.

Cities

If a tree falls in the city, does it do anyone any good?

Many, if not most, trees planted in cities are dead within five years. A new generation of urban tree stewards is helping to keep them alive long after the planting has past.

Clean Air

Map shows the worst air in America

The EPA is issuing new regulations for emissions from power plants, and the American Lung Association knows why. This map shows U.S. deaths caused by toxic power plant emissions. If you live in a state with a big red circle, you should be very very glad about the new rule — Texas in particular should be jumping for joy, if they can manage to stop coughing for five minutes.

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