Earth Day – have a gas

Sample Vulcan map from Purdue & NASA.The folks at Purdue University have come up with a way for us to watch the CO2 emissions across the U.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

Sample Vulcan map from Purdue & NASA.

The folks at Purdue University have come up with a way for us to watch the CO2 emissions across the U.S. Just in time for Earth Day, 2008. It's called Vulcan, and it's going to support the work to be done by an orbiting carbon measurment satellite set to be launched in the next few months. That part of the project is being managed by NASA and JPL.

This work is driven by worries over data showing human-created carbon dioxide emissions are continuing to increase, faster than ever. The Vulcan project will also help track the effects of carbon sinks, terrain or natural systems that absorb at least some fo the CO2 going into the atmosphere.

You can watch the Vulcan Youtube video here. They explain how Vulcan shows power plant emissions, industrial emissions, vehicle emissions. And they animate the data showing how it happens, obviously much more emission during the day and heaviest emissions on the two coasts and industrial centers along the Gulf Coast and in Midwest.

Worst Counties for CO2 Emissions?

According to the 2002 data used for the ranking: Worst is Harris County, Texas. That's inthe Houston area and coincidentally it contains several major petroleum industries. Then comes Los Angeles, Cook County in Illinois, Cuyahoga in Ohio, and fifth is Wayne in Michigan. Texas is the champ with 3 counties among the 20 worst in the U.S. Goes well with Texas's domination of the EPA right now. Alabama also seems to be doing pretty well, CO2-wise, it has two counties in the top eight emitters: Jefferson and Wilcox.

Earth Day Notes:

Disney will be making more money from exploiting nature. They loved the success of "March of the Penguins," so there'll be more like that. One is slated for release on Earth Day next year. Disney announced their new nature film unit just today. Disney says natufre films are a corporate tradition with them. No word onthe carbon footprint they may have for making these films.

Earth day began in 1970. One Georgia state official at the time saw it as a communist plot. Why? April 22 happens to be Lenin's birthday. Lenin who? Google him.

Now the day has global acceptance. In the Philippines the focus this year is on water. Perhaps because so much water is needed to grow rice and the price of rice is not nice, it's causing serious political unrest in the Philippines right now.

Here's a brief look at how Earth Day has grown over nearly four decades.

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