Air Pollution From Every Factory Can Be Tracked


Shane Rakes

On Tuesday a mind-blowing announcement was made in the world of power plants and pollution.

 A nonprofit artificial intelligence firm called WattTime is going to use satellite imagery to track air pollution and carbon emissions coming out of every single power plant in the world. It’s also going to make all the data public for everyone.

This is a really big deal. Poor monitoring and gaming of emissions data have made it really hard to enforce the pollution restrictions of the power plants. This new system promises to eliminate poor monitoring and gaming of emissions data.

And it won’t just be regulators and politicians who can see the data, it will also be available to the public. When it comes to environmental enforcement, the public can be more terrifying than any regulator. If any citizen in the world can go online and pull up a list of the dirtiest power plants in their area, it eliminates one of the great informational barriers to citizen action.

 According to the latest State Of Global Air report, air pollution is the fifth greatest global death risk. It caused 5 million early deaths and 147 million years of healthy life lost every year, and the countries that are building the most power plants are experiencing the most air pollution. Their citizens have the most on the line. Now they’ll be armed with information about all of the power plants in the world.

Lakewood High School graduate David Dailey said, ” This would be great for the world, it would be better for it. We can now limit the amount of pollution that goes into the air.”