Temporary Expert

New Inquiries About Air

The topic I’ll be diving into for the rest of the semester is air rights. I’m interested in how air is a public resource but people might own the space in different ways. It’s strange to me that other people are in control of the air or able to affect our health without our knowing or consent. I started off by writing down a bunch of things I think I related to this topic.


To get some more depth, I talked to my friend Clara who is knowledgable about many things in the realm of biology, the environment, data, and social justice. She used to work at the Environmental Defense Fund, which helped to develop the policy for cap and trade. We talked about carbon credits, placement of toxic waste sites, air quality data, accessibility of data, impact scales, and more. It’s also absolutely painful to hear me say “like” a million times. Here’s the conversation.

This conversation has definitely helped me understand how different stakeholders (scientists, policy-makers, communities, companies, etc) are playing roles in emissions, particularly in the US. Also what it takes to really make a dent in changing the thoughts or policy or action around air quality. I was skeptical about the effectiveness of individual actions and this sort of affirmed my ideas around that.

I also talked to my friend Kan who I went to engineering school with. He went on to study environmental engineering and I think he has a more practical approach on what it means to manage the air. I asked what he thought about cap and trade and he gave me some thoughts on air quality from a more technical perspective. This conversation is below.

I keep track of most of my references in Dropbox paper, which will live here.

So far, I’ve done some light research around how air rights affects architecture. Here are some of the links I found interesting.