Tag Archives: air pollution

Acid Rain And The Sneaky Policy That "Solved" It – Cheddar Explains

Acid Rain And The Sneaky Policy That "Solved" It – Cheddar Explains



Anyone who remembers the 70s and 80s will probably remember acid rain. Industrial emissions acidified precipitation around the globe, which killed forests and crops, rendered lakes inhospitable, corroded buildings, and exacerbated human health problems.

But anyone who follows environmental news will be surprised to learn this: we solved it! Countries came together to limit acid rain-causing emissions, eliminating the problem altogether.

…kind of. Acidic precipitation may not be a thing of the past after all.

Further reading:

Ambio [journal]

The Christian Science Monitor

Engineering & Science, 1984

U.S. Geological Survey

Environmental Protection Agency

Poisonous Skies [book]

Our World in Data

Harvard’s Center for Science & Int’l Affairs

The Washington Post

The MacNeil/Lehrer Report

Smithsonian Magazine

NYLS J. of Int’l & Comp. Law

The Los Angeles Times

Institute for Research on Public Policy

U.S. Energy Department

Canadian Minister of Environment

Bloomberg

Nature [journal]

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics [journal]

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

Scientific American

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The Best Worst Energy Source

The Best Worst Energy Source

This video was made in partnership with Bill Gates. To learn more about his work on clean energy, visit

Although coal is such an amazing energy source that we’ve kept using it despite the harm it causes, today we may be better poised to stop using it than at any previous time in history.

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See How the World’s Most Polluted Air Compares With Your City’s –
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Script Writer and Narrator: Alex Reich (@alexhreich)
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With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Kate Yoshida, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg, Julián Gómez, Sarah Berman
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References:

Caldeira, K. Personal communication, Feb 2020

Coady, D. et al. 2015. How Large Are Global Energy Subsidies?

Farrow, A., Miller, K.A. & Myllyvirta, L. February 2020. Toxic air: The price of fossil fuels. Seoul: Greenpeace Southeast Asia. 44 pp.

Freese, B. 2016. Coal: A Human History. Basic Books

Freese, B. Personal communication, Feb 2020

IEA. 2019. Coal 2019. Paris.

IEA. 2019. Global Energy & CO2 Status Report 2019. Paris.

Jaffe, E. 17 September 2015. The Enormous Social Cost of Cheap Coal.

Ramani, R.V. & Evans, M.A. “Coal Mining.” Accessed Dec 2019

Pompeu, N.B. 14 Feb 2019. Air Pollution and the Health Cost of Coal.

Union of Concerned Scientists. 15 July 2006. A Short History of Energy.

US EIA. “Coal explained: Coal and the environment.” Accessed Dec 2019

Wikipedia. “Coal.” Accessed Dec 2019

Wikipedia. “History of coal mining.” Accessed Dec 2019

World Coal Association. “Where is coal found?” Accessed Feb 2020

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