Quiz 10: Air Pollution

Geology/Geography/Oceanography/Atmospheric Sciences

Answers will depend on one's view of government, of regulation, of markets, and of other possible mechanisms for ensuring cooperation with collective interests for pollution control. How we evaluate these different options might vary with context, and students should consider whether or not they can identify different contexts that require different strategies.

Primary air pollutants are those released directly from the source into the air in a harmful form. Secondary air pollutants are modified to a hazardous form after they enter the air or are formed by chemical reactions as components of the air mix and interact. Photochemical oxidants are secondary pollutants created by interaction of sunlight and chemicals in the air. Point sources are specific origins for pollution, such as smokestacks. Fugitive emissions are diverse sources, such as dust storms or exhaust fumes from vehicles.

How do we evaluate responsibility Ethically In terms of mutual responsibility In terms of long-term, rather than short-term costs Answers should consider these different factors that influence our understanding of who should pay for our impacts, and why.