Taken at face value, the results of the fourth edition of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), released 11 March 2011 are sobering. Every person in the country is at 10 times or greater risk for getting cancer from outdoor air pollutants than the agency’s general goal of 1 in 1 million the average risk is 50 times greater than the goal, and about 5% of the population is at more than 100 times the risk.

Pitched battles are a regular occurrence in northern Alberta, Canada, as development of the province’s oil sands continues to expand. One ongoing battle—with another salvo launched in February 2011 with the leak of a European Commission report—concerns how dirty oil sands are, relative to other fuels.

The intricate, intertwined forces driving global climate change are mirrored by similar complexity in the human response to it. That makes it nearly impossible to anticipate the stance of any one group based solely on a label such as nationality, race, or economic class.

Worldwide an estimated 7.9 million or more babies are born each year with a birth defect. The causes of birth defects remain largely a mystery, although a few culprits, including some environmental agents, have been identified as contributing factors.

Over the past several decades, satellite surveillance with increasingly sophisticated instruments has enabled scientists to better visualize the complex fluctuations of several pollutants as they make their way around the Earth. One aspect of this research has focused on directly correlating satellite-observed concentrations of pollutants in the atmosphere with those at ground level.

After a decade of deliberations and review of more than 1,700 new studies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the new primary standard for ground-level ozone in March 2008. The new standard, 75 ppb, is being assailed from all sides