Monday, December 22, 2008

Status, 12/22/08

The publish button on Page Creator failed in October, and because of this I've been unable to update my pages. Will keep trying.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Clean Air News Update


Emergency clean air
BBC Sport - UK
It's the first weekday of Beijing's emergency clean air measures. The city has ordered construction sites to shut down, it's ordered factories to cut down ...
See all stories on this topic

China limits cars in bid for clean air - Miami,FL,USA
... like winds bringing clean air from the Mongolian steppes, may make more of a difference to air quality during the Olympics than the new restrictions. ...
See all stories on this topic

Climate Report Cites Role of Cheney's Office
Wall Street Journal - USA
By SIOBHAN HUGHES WASHINGTON -- Bush administration officials agreed that greenhouse gases could endanger the public and should be regulated under clean-air ...
See all stories on this topic

Changes in Clean Air Rules
New York Times - United States
“A Major Setback for Clean Air” (editorial, July 16) implied that Duke Energy sought to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Interstate ...
See all stories on this topic

Beijing clean air initiatives begin
Radio Australia - Melbourne,Victoria,Australia
Some motorists don't like losing the use of their cars every second day for the next two months. For others though the prospect of clean air is a real plus.
See all stories on this topic

ECan Expands Clean Heat Project to Rangiora (press release) - New Zealand
Clean air and home insulation will help us achieve the healthy air national target for 2013,” she says. Emissions from home heating contribute 80 percent or ...
See all stories on this topic

Subsidy fuel for clean air
Calcutta Telegraph - Calcutta,India
The environment department will be drafting a package of incentives to make the city’s transport lobby fall in line with its clean-air notification that the ...
See all stories on this topic

Beijing breathes clean air again after cars banished and factories ...
Times Online - UK
Mr Duan is in a fix. He needs varnish to finish the cabinets he has crafted out of elm and walnut, but supplies are short and prices soaring amid an Olympic ...
See all stories on this topic

Beijing Stops Traffic to Clean Air for Olympics
Voice of America - USA
By Daniel Schearf Beijing has cut in half the number of automobiles allowed on the road in preparation for the Summer Olympic Games. ...
See all stories on this topic

Olympics: Beijing’s clean air claim challenged by scientists - United Kingdom
By Richard Spencer in Beijing Leading scientists have challenged Beijing's claims to have defeated the city's notorious air pollution in time for the ...
See all stories on this topic

Google Blogs Alert for: "clean air"

Beijing starts car ban in Olympics clean-air drive
BEIJING (AFP) - Beijing residents enjoyed the novelty of congestion-free streets Sunday as the city launched strict driving curbs to rein its notorious air pollution and traffic for the Olympics.
AFP - Wire stories -

Foss Maritime wins major clean air award
By marinebiztv
Earlier this year, the federal Environmental Protection Agency gave Foss and the ‘Green Dolphin’ its Clean Air Technology Award. Foss announced in March 2007 that it was collaborating with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to ...
Marine BizTV -

Beijing Started Clean Air Cars Action For Olimpycs
By Martin
beijing-pollution. Beijing residents enjoyed the novelty of congestion-free streets Sunday as the city launched strict driving curbs to rein its notorious air pollution and traffic for the Olympics. Traffic on the capital’s normally ...
Global Warming Issues -

Tell The EPA You DON’T Want Their Meddling in the Economy Over ...
By Warner Todd Huston
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting comment from all interested parties on options and questions to be considered for possible greenhouse gas regulations under the Clean Air Act. EPA is issuing an advance notice of ...
Stop The ACLU -

Oly car ban underway in clean air drive
Beijing will ban more than a million cars from its streets in a bid to rein in the city's notorious air pollution and traffic snarls for next month's Olympics. Traffic on the capital's normally bustl.
World -

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Recent News on the Air

For more news, see

The Clean Coal Con Environmental Enron
CounterPunch - Petrolia,CA,USA
At least one major environmental group -- the Clean Air Task Force, headquartered in Boston -- agrees with them. A recent news report in the Bloomington, ...
See all stories on this topic

A positive outcome is in the air
Allentown Morning Call - Allentown,PA,USA
By Sam Kennedy | Of The Morning Call The Sierra Club and the Clean Air Council gave away Christmas stockings filled with coal, a symbolic protest in ...
See all stories on this topic

Is it time for 'Toronto, the Green?'
Toronto Star - Ontario, Canada
Everyone believes this is an idea whose time has come," says Eva Ligeti, who heads the non-profit Clean Air Partnership. "Greening Greater Toronto" will aim ...
See all stories on this topic

Leading the way to cleaner air
Arizona Republic - Phoenix,AZ,USA
The Clean Air Act regulates air quality and sets federal standards, but Arizona's urban areas have struggled to meet those standards. ...
See all stories on this topic

Citizens can help clean air
The Wichita Eagle - Wichita,KS,USA
Wichita faces a choice: Either clean up its air quality and bring ozone levels under control, or be forced to do so by the US Environmental Protection ...
See all stories on this topic

Ozone season: Our only defense is driving less in summer
Salt Lake Tribune - United States
Utah Physicians for Clean Air and Utah Moms for Clean Air have pointed out that breathing Wasatch Front air during high-pollution days is as bad for the ...
See all stories on this topic

Opposition mounts to clean air change affecting parks - Idaho Falls,ID,USA
AP - June 22, 2008 4:55 PM ET KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Critics fear the Environmental Protection Agency plans to make it easier to build polluting coal-fired ...
See all stories on this topic

Air quality award to be announced
The Press - Christchurch,New Zealand
The Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand will present its annual air-quality award on Thursday. The award acknowledges individuals and ...
See all stories on this topic

Opposition mounts to clean air change affecting parks
WCAX - Burlington,VT,USA
AP - June 22, 2008 8:35 AM ET KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg has joined 7 of his colleagues in opposing efforts to make it easier ...
See all stories on this topic

Scrap-metal thieves continue to raid homes
Kansas City Star - MO,USA
The EPA is monitoring the trend, said spokesman Chris Whitley, who noted that the thieves also face criminal charges for violating the Clean Air Act. ...
See all stories on this topic

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Design and Culture: a New Manuscript

May 15, 2008

For the convenience of interested agents and publishers, I have made available an introduction to my latest manuscript, Design and Culture, at

Robert Grudin

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Choose your Gasoline

From a recent email:

These companies import Middle Eastern oil:

Shell..........................205,742,000 barrels
Chevron/Texaco.........144,332,000 barrels
Exxon /Mobil..............130,082,000 barrels
Marathon/Speedway...117,740,000 barrels
Amoco..........................62,231,000 barrels
Citgo Gas comes from South America ,......... from a
Dictator who hates Americans.

Do the math at $30/barrel, these imports amount to
over $18 BILLION! (Oil is now $90-$95 a barrel)

Here are some large companies that
DO NOT import Middle Eastern oil:

Sunoco................ 0 barrels
Conoco................ 0 barrels
Sinclair................ 0 barrels
BP/Phillips........... 0 barrels
Hess.................... 0 barrels
ARC0.................... 0 barrels

All of this information is available from the
Department of Energy

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Public Fraud on Maui: Con-Job Techniques in Land Development


by Robert Grudin

As we all know, retail businesses will use a variety of sly and aggressive techniques in order to win over customers. It should come as no surprise to learn that a number of these practices are illegal and are prosecuted by the FTC and other authorities. The “Free Laptop” and “$500 Gift Card” emails we get are all part of Ponzi schemes designed to cheat those who fall for them. The car dealerships who advertise a single vehicle at a ridiculously low price are using a Bait-and-Switch technique, intended to sell cars that are priced much higher. Because Bait-and-Switch is designed to deceive, it is also prohibited, though not as rigorously as the Ponzi.
Fraudulent practices of this sort are routinely employed by land developers, though I have never heard of any who were prosecuted for them. The goal of these practices is not to “sell” a given property, but rather to push the whole project through the various levels of planning committee approval. To this purpose the fraudulent Bait-and-Switch technique is employed in two distinct ways. One may be called, “Have I got a Treat for You!”, the other “I'll be nice, for a price!” I’ll illustrate both with examples from the ongoing approval process for the Wailea 670 development on Maui:
Have I got a Treat for You!” In earlier approval stages, spokesmen for the 670 made several promises designed to placate citizens and committee members. The 670 promised to find its own water sources, so as not to be a drain on the community supply. The 670 promised to build affordable houses on site, to fund a $20 million park and to improve local roads. Now that the approval process is well along, the 670 people are apparently experiencing a change of heart. Now, they either do not know, or are not willing to say, where and how they will get their water. Now, the affordable houses will be built on cheap land in an industrial area of the island. And the park and roads? As puts it,

Wailea 670 has promised $20 million for a new Kihei
park, but didn't mention that it will be given as "each
unit is sold,"not as a lump sum. Road improvement fees
of $7 million are the same.

It's hard to resist the conclusion that the 670's offers to provide water, affordable homes, a park and road improvements were Bait set out to facilitate the project's passage through early approval stages. Now that early barriers have been cleared, the project's supporters can Switch to what they really wanted all the time.
I'll be nice, for a price!” Wailea 670 originally came to the Planning Committee proposing to build 2600 units on its site. When citizens complained that this was overkill, the 670 cut the proposed number of units sharply. Here is Bait-and-Switch in reverse. The bait here, 2600+ units, is actually more of a threat: Big Bad Developers Threaten Orgy of Construction. When the developers graciously acknowledged local anxieties and cut their proposal to 1400 units, they won urgently needed bargaining purchase. Note that neither the threat nor the cut cost the Wailea 670 a penny.
To understand the cunning and the malice of the Wailea strategy, we need only look at the original development proposal with disenchanted eyes. In this new light, it becomes apparent that the 670 never had any serious intention of providing their own water, or of building affordably on site, or of freely donating a park or road improvements. Similarly, the 670 never intended 2600 units on tiny lots. These were merely dodges made in order to advance themselves from one stage of public approval to the next. More simply put, these were bare-faced lies, lies conceived in contempt of the common good, lies told with no other purpose than net profit.
Given such policies, we may see the Wailea 670 as a good example of what may be called public fraud: a phrase that ought to be applied either to attempts by private entities to deceive public authorities, or to attempts by public authorities to deceive the public at large. The Bait-and-Switch fraud, in all its luminous cynicism, is equally evident in a developer masking his greed with haloed philanthropy and a president hawking a war of political convenience as a heroic quest. Fraud of either sort should be branded as illegal and punished by law.

Friday, February 29, 2008

New at Clean Air Design

http:/ will continue adding new pages as it defines its mission. The most recent newcomer is ISSUES, which includes positions on air and water quality taken by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, as well as up-to-date election results. Note also the addition of a search window for the National Science Digital Library.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


NEW: See the new International Green Construction feed in our footer.

NEW: Thanks to improved search procedures, has become the world's most comprehensive source of news about air quality. To access our weekly-updated list of articles, go to>NEWS.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Physicist Reports 80% Effectiveness in New Solar Panels

Nanoantennas Collect Infrared Energy

Beijing Races to Clear its Skies (NPR)


Senators Boxer and Feinstein Introduce Measure to Overturn EPA’s Denial of California’s Clean Air Act Waiver
By admin - Posted on January 27th, 2008
Senate Calls on GAO to immediately open investigation into EPA’s denial of California’s waiver

January 24, 2008 -- Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined with Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) today to introduce a measure to overturn the EPA’s denial of California’s Clean Air Act waiver. The Boxer-Feinstein bill would legislatively grant the State of California (and any other state) the authority to adopt and enforce tailpipe emissions reductions.

The bill is also cosponsored by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), and Barack Obama (D, Ill.).

The denial of California’s waiver effectively blocks implementation of the State’s landmark law to cut tailpipe emissions by 30 percent below projected levels by 2016.

Numerous news reports have indicated that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson either ignored or overruled the Agency’s technical and legal experts – experts who found “compelling and extraordinary conditions” that would enable California to qualify for a waiver.

“It’s become clear that Administrator Johnson’s denial of California’s waiver was based on politics, not science. Even the EPA’s own experts have said that there was a compelling need for action,” Senator Feinstein said. “So, today, Senator Boxer and I have introduced legislation to take this decision out of the hands of the EPA – and allow California to move ahead with curbing tailpipe emissions. Bottom line: I’m committed to protecting California’s landmark global warming efforts – and will do everything in my power to ensure that this Administration doesn’t stand in the way.”

Senator Feinstein today also called on the General Accountability Office (GAO) to immediately open an investigation into the decision of EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson to deny California’s waiver.

This follows a similar request submitted by Senator Feinstein earlier this month to the Inspector General of the EPA to investigate this matter. Senator Feinstein has not yet received an official response from the IG’s Office.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Clearing the Air (an occasional posting)

The following passage is excerpted from Richard Behan's article, Nancy Pelosi, You Must Impeach! in Information Clearing House


The Bush Administration's Curious Behavior

Hours after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush told the world the United States would take the fight directly to the terrorists and the states that harbored them. Thus the Bush Administration's "War on Terror" was born.

Less than a month later, on October 7, Mr. Bush launched a savage aerial bombardment of Afghanistan. He had the support of a shocked American citizenry and a sympathetic world, all of whom expected justice to be delivered soon to the terrorist Osama bin Laden and the harboring state embodied in the Taliban.

The incursion into Afghanistan was sold as the first action in the "War on Terror." It was a brilliantly executed charade.

Flashback to October 12, 2000, a year earlier. The USS Cole, an American Navy destroyer in the Yemeni port of Aden, has suffered heavy damage from a terrorist attack, perpetrated by Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda.

Three weeks later officials of the Clinton Administration met with theTaliban in the Sheraton Hotel in Hamburg, Germany. To avoid a violent retaliation of furious bombing, the Taliban offered the unconditional surrender of Osama bin Laden.

Before the details of the transfer were completed, however, a Supreme Court ruling gave George W. Bush the White House, and the message was passed: the actual handover of bin Laden will be deferred until the Bush Administration is sworn in.

Once in office, the new Administration asked the Taliban to delay the handover of Osama bin Laden at least until February. As winter faded into spring, and spring into summer, the Administration demurred twice more.

Then Osama bin Laden struck again, on September 11, 2001.

On September 15, Taliban officials were flown in U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft to the Pakistani city of Quetta, where the deal was sweetened. The standing offer of surrendering Osama bin Laden was renewed, but now the Taliban would also oversee the closure of bin Laden's bases and training camps.

This time the White House simply rejected the offer out of hand. It did so again when the offer was repeated several weeks later, and days after that President Bush ordered the violence to begin.

The invasion of Afghanistan was something vastly different than a quest to apprehend a terrorist..

Sources for this section:

1. "Bush Rejects Taliban Offer to Hand bin Laden Over," Guardian Unlimited (UK), October 14, 2001.

2. "Bush Rejects Taliban Offer to Surrender bin Laden," Andrew Buncombe, The Independent (UK), October 15, 2001.

3. "Dreamers and Idiots: Britain and the US did everything to avoid a peaceful solution in Iraq and Afghanistan," George Monbiot, The Guardian (UK), November 11, 2003.

4. "How Bush Was Offered bin Laden and Blew It," Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, CounterPunch, November 1, 2004.

5. "Did Bush try to stop bin Laden in his first eight months in office?" MSNBC Countdown, September 28, 2006.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Books of Interest


GREEN BUILDING PRODUCTS, by Alex Wilson and Mark Piepcorn. ("Interest in sustainable, green building practices is greater than ever. Whether concerned about allergies, energy costs, old-growth forests, or durability and long-term value, homeowners and builders are looking for ways to ensure that their homes are healthy, safe, beautiful, and efficient. In these pages are descriptions and manufacturer contact information for more than 1,400 environmentally preferable products and materials. All phases of residential construction, from sitework to flooring to renewable energy, are covered. Products are grouped by function, and each chapter begins with a discussion of key environmental considerations, and what to look for in a green product. Over 40% revised, this updated edition includes over 120 new products.")

The New Ecological Home, by Dan Chiras . ("Shelter, like many other elements of human existence, comes at an extraordinary cost to our planet and its inhabitants. In the U.S. alone, construction of 1.2 million new homes a year results in a massive drain on Earth's natural resource base. Today, nearly 60 percent of all timber cut in the U.S. is used in building houses, not to mention construction wastes and the huge amounts of resources used in the day-to-day operation of the "modern" household. In addition to environmental costs, there are the personal economic costs--the thousands of dollars each homeowner spends each year to heat, cool, and power our homes. Today, a new generation of architects and builders is emerging, intent on creating homes that meet human needs for shelter while causing only a fraction of the environmental impact of conventional housing. The New Ecological Home provides an overview of green building techniques, materials, products, and technologies that are either currently available or will be in the near future. Author Daniel Chiras provides a wealth of up-to-date, practical information for home buyers, owner-builders, and anyone interested in building for a sustainable future. Included are chapters on: * The Healthy House; * Green Building Materials; * Wood-Wise Construction; * Energy Efficiency; * Earth-Sheltered Architecture; * Passive Solar Heating and Passive Cooling; * Green Power: Electricity from the Sun and Wind; * Water and Waste: Sustainable Approaches;* Environmental Landscaping.")

GREEN BY DESIGN, by Angela Dean. ("There is no "one-size-fits-all" plan for so-called "green" homes; rather, there are universal principles of design that can be applied to individual tastes and needs. Architect Angela Dean offers a variety of ways to incorporate green building into your home, including using healthy building materials such as straw bales and natural flooring, taking advantage of local materials and resources, reusing gray water for landscaping, and incorporating passive solar design. Her goal is to teach people how to think about building sustainable homes. Green by Design provides a thorough analysis of what it means to build green and offers advice on what to consider when designing a sustainable home. Green by Design features full-color photographs and line drawings of floor plans show different examples of successful sustainable homes. It also includes in-depth case studies of more than a dozen homes so readers planning a green home can see what worked for others. By providing people with knowledge, inspiration, and the ability to ask the right questions (and understand the answers) Green by Design puts home builders and owners on a path to creating beautiful, environmentally responsible homes that they can be proud to live in. Angela Dean, AIA, is principal architect of AMD Architecture in Salt Lake City. She specializes in environmentally responsible designs to create healthy, comfortable buildings that are in harmony with the environment.")

GOOD GREEN HOMES, by Jennifer Roberts. ("Green. It conjures images of a meadow in spring for some, and the color of money for others. What does "green" have to do with our homes? In essence, green building-or sustainable building-means being smart about how we use energy, water, and building materials so that we can live well without needlessly damaging the environment. Creating a good green home isn't just about conservation, about using less or saving more-although that's certainly part of it. It's about creating better homes that are easier on the environment, less expensive over the long term, and more delightful to come home to. That's the message Jennifer Roberts wants to share in Good Green Homes, the ultimate new guide for people who want to live in comfortable, healthy, environmentally conscious homes. With some simple steps outlined in this book, you can save money, and do your part to help save the environment. For instance, using an energy-efficient light bulb saves you money. It also results in less demand for electricity, which in turn results in less pollution from power plants, which may help a child with asthma breathe a little easier. If you associate green-built housing with the unconventional or the quirky-tree houses, geodesic domes, dwellings constructed of tires or soda bottles-think again. Perfect for homeowners, remodelers, renters (who might be surprised by how much is within their power to change), architects, builders, and interior designers, this book lays out seven fundamental principles of green building, illustrated with more than 150 color and 20 black and white photographs of more than twenty-five homes. Jennifer Roberts launched two retail stores in San Francisco specializing in environmentally sensible consumer products, including household goods; and is a freelance writer and editor on topics that include energy-efficient building design and systems.")

HOMES THAT HEAL, by Athena Thompson ("Media reports focus increasingly on the declining health of children in industrialized countries. Asthma, autism, learning and behavior problems, and cancer are all on the rise. At the same time there is consistent news about poor indoor air quality, mold, and how buildings can make people sick. Homes that Heal addresses both of these developments, revealing that our own homes can contribute to many of these health problems. A passionate examination of our built environment and the alarming impact today's chemically polluted world is having on the health of present and future generations, Homes that Heal is easy-to-read, solutions-oriented, and humorous, full of stories and advice that empower families to take back their health on a daily basis.")

GREEN REMODELING, by David Johnston and Kim Master ("Whether because of changing lifestyles or simply because houses are becoming outdated, millions of North Americans are renovating their homes every year, spending more money annually on renovation than on new home construction. But renovations can be fraught with unintended consequences like indoor air pollution. How do you remodel in a healthy, environmentally friendly way?")

PRESCRIPTIONS FOR A HEALTHY HOUSE, by Paula Baker-Laporte , Erica Elliott and John Banta ("For people concerned about exposure to toxins found in conventional building materials and practices, and for the millions of people who are chronically ill from chemical exposures (an estimated 15% of the population), Prescriptions for a Healthy House offers real hope and practical help in building homes in which humans can live without getting sick. This invaluable guide for the homeowner / architect / builder / medical doctor takes the mystery out of healthy house building by walking the reader through the construction process.")

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Clean Air Design is now up and running at Google Apps made domain registration and page-building very easy for me, and $10 per year is hard to beat for their service. Moreover, with Google Apps you can edit your pages right on the Internet, rather than paying a consultant or struggling with complex programs like DreamWeaver. On the minus side, GA does not (at least not yet) offer advanced tools like menus or interactive windows; and the process of establishing your domain as a simple URL is rather complicated.

Please visit and, if you are a webster, link to it. That will help to establish it on the Internet.

Friday, January 4, 2008

News on the Air Cancer Risk from Polluted Air
DIAMOND BAR, Calif.—A new study on air pollution has found that Southern California remains among the riskiest places in the country to live when it comes to cancer rates.
The study released Friday by the South Coast Air Quality Management District says that between 1999 and 2004, the overall cancer risk from air pollution declined by more than 15 percent but is "still unacceptably high."
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, where diesel use is significant, carry the biggest lifetime cancer risk. Other high-risk areas include Burbank, downtown Los Angeles, Fontana, Huntington Park and Wilmington.