Scientists Recommend Solutions to Coming Air-Quality Challenges

Though the past three decades have seen substantial progress, concerted action is needed to prevent air pollution from adversely affecting the environment and human health now and in the future, reported the National Research Council of the National Academies, a nonpartisan scientific panel chartered by Congress to assess current air-quality standards. Population and economic growth will soon make current regulations inadequate, said the scientists, who evinced particular concern about ozone (a precursor to smog) and fine particulates of soot. The panel endorsed expanding cap-and-trade systems, a recommendation that may please the Bush administration, but also urged that global warming be taken into account when passing air-quality laws, a provision likely to chafe the administration, which has accepted that the Earth is spherical in shape and revolves around the sun, but hasn’t quite gotten on board with the whole climate-change thing.