Thursday, March 25, 2010

Question: If US energy is so dirty, and if Asian energy is so clean, why are we talking about an Asian brown cloud rather than an American brown cloud?

[Reality]: Asia pollution circles the globe in stratosphere: study
WASHINGTON — Pollution from Asia's booming economies rises into the stratosphere during the monsoon season then circles the world for years, according to a report out Thursday.

A study by the Boulder, Colorado-based National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) said the strong air circulation patterns linked to Asia's monsoon rainy season serves as a pathway for black carbon, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants to rise into the stratosphere.
Researchers fear that the impact of Asian pollutants on the stratosphere may increase in the next decades due to fierce industrial growth in countries like China and India.
[The spin: The US is allegedly "dirty"]: China Leads Major Countries With $34.6 Billion Invested in Clean Technology -
The most recent report (pdf), out today from the Pew Environment Group, finds that China for the first time now leads the United States and all other major countries in green energy markets. Its private investments of $34.6 billion over the past five years are almost double America's.

Advocates of U.S. climate change legislation say the foreign buildup is a sign that America is falling behind in a global clean energy race.
Meanwhile, India, Wheeler pointed out in a report, is poised to demand that the country's utilities buy a minimum of 5 percent of their grid purchase from renewable energy sources this year, with an increase to 15 percent by 2020. The incremental cost: $50 billion. That, others note, is on top of India's unilateral pledge to reduce its carbon intensity by 24 percent.
Asian brown cloud: Information from
The Asian brown cloud is a layer of air pollution that covers parts of South Asia, namely the northern Indian Ocean, India, and Pakistan.[1][2] Viewed from satellite photos, the cloud appears as a giant brown stain hanging in the air over much of South Asia and the Indian Ocean every year between January and March, possibly also during earlier and later months.

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