Saturday, May 15, 2004

Dimmer world

In an interesting scientific development, the NY Times reports that the world is literally getting darker:

Defying expectation and easy explanation, hundreds of instruments around the world recorded a drop in sunshine reaching the surface of Earth, as much as 10 percent from the late 1950's to the early 90's, or 2 percent to 3 percent a decade. In some regions like Asia, the United States and Europe, the drop was even steeper. In Hong Kong, sunlight decreased 37 percent.

No one is predicting that it may soon be night all day, and some scientists theorize that the skies have brightened in the last decade as the suspected cause of global dimming, air pollution, clears up in many parts of the world.
I'm in no position to comment on this in detail, but I think we need to realize that the changes to the environment wrought by industrial processes deserve a lot more attention -- especially at the policy making level -- than they currently receive.