Monday, April 27, 2009

To Save the Earth, Start with Data (Wired)

"To save the Earth, start with Data", one sentence says it all. See the article published in the Wired Magazine, on April 22nd, 2009.

You can’t cast a stone without hitting a list of tips to save the planet, but few of them come with any hard data on how hand-washing your dishes will save polar bears.

Metaphorical, but it hits the bulls eye. Coming back to the problem of air pollution in the growing number of cities, the main constraint to make an informed decision is the data - all the way from its availability to its reliability, and especially in the developing countries.

Modern information technology advances (the likes of the Google Earth with maps of energy use, population, emissions, and pollution), and their increasing presence, offers a tremendous opportunity to establish the necessary data networks, to help city managers, regulators, academia, and citizen groups to develop a coordinated approach for effective pollution management for the decision makers and an informed public awareness scheme.

In line with the data needs, the UrbanEmissions.Info, has four objectives: (1) Promote the sharing of knowledge base on air pollution analysis (2) analysis based on science (3) advocacy and awareness raising on air quality management and (4) partnership building among local, national, and international stakeholders.

See SIM-03-2008 working paper, "Informed Decision Support for AQM in the Developing Countries".

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