One of the more interesting effects of pollution on the planet is a phenomenon called “Global Dimming”. With all the talk of Global Warming and greenhouse gases, less sunlight might seem like the least of our concerns. However, when you consider that the cause is emissions and air pollution or “smog”, the impact for those on the ground underneath this screen is less than healthy. A documentary called Dimming The Sun recently won the 2007 EarthWatch Film Award for its investigation into the effects of global dimming on the planet. From the description,
“The good news is that pollution controls have slowed and possibly even halted global dimming during the last decade. The bad newsâ€”and the ironic twist in NOVA’s storyâ€”is that without pollution, more sunlight is reaching Earth, revealing the full impact of global warming. Although all climate models have important uncertainties, the unsettling implication is that, with dimming fading away in many regions, global temperatures may rise even faster than most models have predicted.”
With China coming online in a big way, will warming trends be curbed with increased air pollution? Sounds like a lose/lose situation either way. From the GreenOptions article,
“The award was presented as part of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital with the National Geographic Society. The Environmental Film Festival, which began in 1993, showcases over 100 films from all over the world on environmental topics. Dimming the Sun has also won the CINE Golden Eagle Award, for excellence in film, video, and media arts.”
Stick this one in your Netflix queue and remember to put all sharp objects away before viewing. I’m still waiting for Global Happiness to start becoming a problem worthy of alarm.