The Grand Portage Reservation is at the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The Air Quality Program has many ongoing projects in order to maintain healthy indoor and outdoor air. These projects include monitoring for regional haze and particulate matter, indoor air quality, invasive plant removal, public outreach, environmental education, alternative energy, and climate change.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day everyone! I have always liked this NASA photo of Earth rising over the moon because it gives some perspective on how truly tiny our oasis of blue is compared to the infinite desert of space.

The fight to preserve our biosphere will be front and center this coming year as Congress considers comprehensive legislation to control greenhouse gasses and promote the transition to clean and sustainable sources of energy. Many on the right will claim that the price for a clean energy economy is too great, but I say look at the cost of doing nothing. If we continue on the course of business-as-usual then the livable climate our civilization has thrived in for the last ten thousand years will be irrevocably changed - and not for the better.

Mark Lynas has a good overview of what is in store for us with each degree of temperature rise, all the way to the unmitigated disaster if we let it get to six degrees Celsius. If we don't work to control greenhouse gasses now then we are in danger of a positive feedback loop as stored carbon in the arctic is released to compound the warming that has already occurred. We all need to treat every day as Earth Day, and to remember all the services humans get from our biosphere. We are all a part of that biosphere whether we like it or not, and we are tied to the same fate.

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