Pervasive light pollution prevents most Americans from seeing the night sky. As Carl Sagan and others have recognized, a clear view of the night sky can encourage curiosity, promote cooperation, and increase the respect we have for our planet. It’s time we open our cities to the universe.
An abundance of asphalt and concrete increases air temperatures locally, which can exacerbate the effects of heat waves and generally cause unpleasant conditions. This is known as the urban heat island effect and it can be true for both sprawled suburbs and dense cities. Savannah’s beautiful green spaces offer a prime example of how the benefits of dense development can be achieved while mitigating or eliminating the urban heat island effect.
Weekly Links: The EPA Loves the NHL, Snow Leads to Better Urban Design, and Atlanta’s World-Class Traffic
A weekly roundup of interesting stories from around the country. The National Hockey League is not just one of the biggest buyers of green energy among sports leagues, but among all US companies. Philadelphia created better designed streets simply by looking at where cars drive in the snow. And a stress-relieving simulation of traffic moving through various types of intersections.
Above-average temperatures often occur when people don’t notice or care, such as at night or in the winter months. Add in the fact that the year ended with colder-than-average weather and it’s easy to overlook the warmth of 2017.
While Atlanta is experiencing a wetter-than-average year, northern Georgia is experiencing severe to extreme drought conditions. This is just one example of how conditions in one part of the state may not be indicative of the larger local or regional climate. The new SustainAtlanta Weather+Climate page is dedicated to giving readers a better understanding of how the day-to-day weather fits into the overall regional climate picture.
The first half of 2017 was far and away the hottest such time period of any year in 123 years of record keeping in the Southeast. Don’t let a lack of heat waves or a senator with a snowball deflect from the overwhelming evidence of a global and regional warming trend.
A bill in the Georgia Legislature would allow property owners to swap “No Trespassing” signs for purple lines to ward off trespassing. Without a widespread campaign to educate the public, the use of such an arbitrary symbol could make criminals out of innocent hikers and outdoorsmen.
Congress looks to overturn an Obama-era rule designed to track racial discrepancies in access to affordable housing by gutting federal funding for critical GIS data. The American Association of Geographers has taken a strong stance saying these actions “…could have far-reaching consequences on federally-sponsored research on racial discrimination, including on federal human health programs; census issues; education programs, including services for children; Department of Justice programs; and other critical programs.”