Monday, November 22, 2004

The Haze Can Be Seen From Space

Here is a news story in sharp contrast to the nice pics I posted on Friday: New Scientist has posted clouds of pollution as pictured from space. The images were captured by two NASA satellites -- Aqua and Terra -- using MODIS. This time around, they only captured photos of eastern China and northern India. Scientists going over the images believe the smog is created by coal fueled power plants, fireplaces in private homes, and -- of course -- vehicle exhaust. Now, aren't these areas that have a high number of bikers? And I am talking about the pedal variety, not Easy Rider. Granted, the coal fires are going to have a huge effect on the atmosphere, but I would think that a lower number of vehicles would help keep the smog down. Or has their use of automobiles skyrocketed in recent years? If that is the case, then we all really need to start looking at hybrids and other alternatives to fossil-fueled transportation. But what? What could be introduced that would cause the fewest waves across economic climes? Or is that the point -- that in order to correct the problem, we have to perform radical socio-economic and political surgery?

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