My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Leading Environmental Indicators

Every year, the Pacific Institute publishes Leading Environmental Indicators. This is their tenth anniversary and you can download the entire report here.

Here are some of their conclusions.
According to the EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI), air quality has improved an average of 53 percent in the 10 cities that had the worst air pollution in 1990.

The “hockey-stick” graph, believed to be one of the leading indicators of global warming, is now being called “rubbish.” Scientists have shown that the graph’s underlying equation would generate the same result for any series of random numbers.

The arctic today, though warmer than it was in 1970, is colder than it was in 1930. In fact, temperatures in Greenland have fallen over the last 15 years.

Recent concerns about the safety of fish due to high mercury levels have abated thanks to guidance published in 2004 by the EPA which emphasizes that “for most people, the risk from mercury by eating fish and shellfish is not a health concern.”

Some experts suggest that the “list” approach in evaluating species is too narrow. Re searchers have developed a biodiversity index that evaluates data on land use, ecosystem extent, species richness, and population abundance. Applied to seven countries in southern Africa, this “Biological Intactness Index” estimates biota in the region at 84 percent of their pre-modern level.

The overall trend since 1988 is one of declining toxic releases, a sign of increasing efficiency and the “de-materialization” of our economy.

From 1997 to 2002, wetlands on private land expanded by about 26,000 acres per year. This does not include increases on federal lands. Overall, it appears there is no longer a net loss of wetlands acreage within the contiguous United States.

Forest area has been stable for nearly a century, rising slightly over the past decade in both the United States and Europe. Forestland in Europe expanded by 1.1 million acres between 1990 and 2000; it grew about four times faster in the United States, at a rate of 9.5 million acres. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The core air quality indicators have been falling since the mid-1970s
Ozone (1-hour standard) -31%;Nitrogen Dioxide -42%; Sulfur Dioxides -72%; Carbon Monoxide -76%; Particulates -31%; Lead -98%