Monday, May 4, 2009

Advocacy Project: Air Quality Index

The focus of my advocacy project is CLEAN AIR...and reducing emissions from cars. The purpose of the activity is to understand what the AQI is. 

If you click on "CLEAN AIR" above you can visit an interactive website that explains the Air Quality Index. It is basically a chart to tell what the air is like based on colors (green "good", yellow, orange, red, and purple "bad") and numbers ranging from 0-500 (lower the better). It's meant for kids but it's actually really interesting. Essentially it's just an virtual tour breaking things down step by step as well as a little quiz. 

Transportation accounts for more than half of the state's air toxins that contribute to asthma and the degradation of our lakes and rivers. Transportation also attributes to 1/4 of the states global warming emissions. Adopting the Minnesota Clean Cars Program can bring up the number of "good" days over "bad" by manufacturing new cars to a 30% reduction in emissions. The car industries are not too happy about it and think it'll hurt their business.
In the mid-1970's cities including Duluth and Twin cities had such dangerously high levels of smog that the federal government came up with new clean air requirements. Those requirements forced automakers to put catalytic converters on vehicles, even though they thought it was an "unreasonable risk of business catastrophe". In the scheme of things, the air got cleaner. The automobile industry did not die. And millions of people breathed easier. Now here we are 30 years later with the same issue. 
14 states have taken action to require the automakers to bring these advanced technologies to consumers..something Minnesota needs to take part in to bring that number up to 15.

State Representative Melissa Hortman
Here is a close to home article a college student from St. Olaf advocating for the same topic 
(Sorry group! My internet on my computer has not been's been driving me crazy)


  1. My final score was 85 out of 100. This was an okay score. I think some of the questions were worded a little weird, but it gave me a chance to test my knowledge on air pollution.

    I hope that a purple air quality day never comes, cause that means you cannot play outside.

  2. Jayme-

    Fun games... "what does purple stand for... Ice Cream" haha at least i got that one right through processof elimination.. I got an 85 as well!

  3. Jayme,
    I earned an 80, fun little test, hopefully we never get to the day that it's to dangerous to play outside. Good Post!