Capturing carbon dioxide instead of releasing it into the atmosphere is a way we can use fossil fuels without it having harmful effects on the climate. Energy storage is a way to address the volatility of clean energy sources like wind and solar power. Excess energy stored during peak production can be used when production ceases, such as when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing.
China has worked to reduce its coal consumption in recent years but the air quality in cities like Beijing is still notoriously poor and a major health hazard.
Particulate matter and toxic chemical pollutants are a pervasive problem in the air people breathe in many places. Poor air quality causes health problems worldwide and is a factor in diseases such as asthma, heart disease and lung disease.
There are 35 megacities in the world – metropolitan areas with more than 10 million people. Fifteen of them have populations above 20 million. And many of these teeming metropolises have to contend with some of the worst air pollution on the planet.
Much of the public discourse about pollution is focused on the long-term consequences of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. There are still some who doubt that such consequences are really in the offing or that our actions are responsible in any case.