The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says more than half of rivers and streams in the United States are in such unhealthy shape they cannot adequately support aquatic life. EPA sampling found more than 55 percent of waterways tested were in poor condition, compared to just 21 percent in good health. The most widespread cause was pollution fueled by human activity, with high levels of phosphorus — a component of fertilizers, pesticides and detergents — found in 40 percent of rivers and streams.
What’s the simplest way to tackle global warming? Make sure that fossil fuels are priced properly and not subsidized.
That’s the core idea behind a big new report (pdf) from the International Monetary Fund, which argues that the world “misprices” fossil fuels to the tune of some $1.9 trillion per year.
Eliminating these subsidies, the IMF argues, and replacing them with appropriate carbon taxes could cut global greenhouse-gas emissions by 13 percent, curtail air pollution, and shore up the finances of many poorer countries now in debt trouble.