BIRMINGHAM, AL—According to an updated report released by the Alabama Policy Institute (API), Alabama’s environment is improving, not worsening as many would believe.
The latest statistics published in An Alabama Citizen’s Guide to the Environment from API reveal continued progress.
“Alabama and the United States as a whole have seen tremendous improvements in the quality of our air, our water, and the ways in which we have reduced our outputs of pollution,” says Dr. John Hill, author of the report.
“Earth Day should not just be a day for concern about the environment; we should also celebrate the progress we’ve made toward making our world a cleaner, healthier place.”
Using data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), and other state and federal agencies concerned with the quality of our surroundings, An Alabama Citizen’s Guide to the Environment includes facts about:
CLIMATE CHANGE: Despite the fact that the earth’s temperature has increased slightly in the past 130 years, the impact of manmade greenhouse gases on climate change has been minimal. When the earth’s natural forces that produce greenhouse gases are taken into consideration, the human influence on climate change is less than one-half of one percent.
AIR QUALITY: Take a deep breath. Alabama’s air shows continued improvement. Since 1975, ambient levels of carbon monoxide are down 30 percent; lead is down 22 percent; nitrogen dioxide is down 74 percent; ozone is down 9 percent; and since 1977, sulfur dioxide is down 68 percent.
LAND USE: Almost 67 percent of Alabama’s surface area is forest. By comparison, only about 8 percent of the state’s land is paved over or built on, so there is no threat of Alabama being swallowed by urban sprawl.
"The timely release of this report on Earth Day will reveal the facts about climate change and the environment,” says API Director of Communications and Science Programs David Sawyer.
The full report is available online at http://www.alabamapolicy.org/pdf/guide_to_environment.pdf.