Reagan Vindicated Again

by Steven F. Hayward

From the current issue of Nature magazine (May 28 cover date), Eric Vance’s article “The Man Who Smells Forests” (unfortunately available to subscribers only):

Working at the tops of the trees with ever more sensitive detectors, [Goldstein] has found that forests play a crucial part in the chemistry of aerosol particles and with pollutants such as ozone. His discoveries may help to fill in confounding gaps in atmospheric science, such as how VOCs [volatile organic compounds] from plants affect air quality and how they influence climate. . . . Estimates suggest that the vast majority, perhaps up to 90%, of Earth’s VOC output comes from vegetation, a fact infamously alluded to by US president Ronald Reagan, when he said that forests pollute more than cars.

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