October 18, 2008

Nature Round-up Louisville

--The ozone level in Louisville has topped federal standards 8 times this year. The most recent day was August 19, with a preliminary reading of 82 parts per billion. The standard is 76 parts per billion. (Courier-Journal, 8/21/08 B3 col. 1) Louisville, by the way, has the fourth-worst air quality in the country and is struggling to make improvements. Louisville's wonderful, but no matter how high the quality of life, you can't enjoy it if the toxic air kills you. You can find more information about air quality on the city's website.

---According to an Aug. 29 story by Bill Wolfe in the Courier-Journal, Louisville is likely to miss the 2012 deadline for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 7 percent below 1999 levels. In 1990, we produced 18.2 million tons of greenhouse gases. In 2006? 19.7 million tons. Projection for 2012: 20.2 million tons. It's hard to reduce pollution when the city is growing. Coal-fired electricity generation accounts for 80 percent of residential emissions; 89 percent of commercial emissions; and 97 percent of industrial emissions. According to LG&E, we're 95 percent coal-fired. So where's that clean coal the Republican nominee for vice-president was chattering on about at the convention? It's an easy phrase to toss out, but achieving it is something else again.

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