Case Study - Clearing California Skies

Historical progression of the impact of automobiles and air quality

1940s photo of california businessmen in gas masks from smog California, 1943. The mysterious haze called smog was getting worse - burning eyes, searing throats, literally choking the life out of Californians. The video, Clearing California Skies tells the story of how concerned citizens, top scientists, and local and state government agencies fought back. It took the best science and engineering to control smog forming emissions from factories, shops, incinerators, and the automobile. Despite meteoric population gains, (more factories, more cars, more trucks) - air quality has improved dramatically over the past 50 years, and along the way California emerged as a world leader in the battle against air pollution.

Clearing California Skies (18:00) is a video produced by the Californai Air Resources Board to document the 20th Century rise of the automobile and industry in California, and the impacts to air quality. The historical newsreel footage is revealing of where transportation has been, and the imapact of new technology and regulations to limit pollution in an arena of rapid population growth and growth in the number of cars and trucks.

clearning california skies video link title

(Introduction adapted from the California Air Resources Board)