Sky (Air)

Lake Huron_LocksSeptember 18, 2014

A fourth of the world is breathing unhealthy air. In 2012 the World Health Organization estimated that air pollution was responsible for 7 million premature deaths. Over the last decade air quality has gotten worse. The 2014 Environmental Performance Index estimates that over the past decade the number of people breathing unsafe air has risen by 606 million people, totaling 1.78 billion people – That’s one-quarter of the world’s population.

Where people are suffering the worst air pollution – or breathing the cleanest air – can be seen on an interactive map by clicking here.  Take a look and see what the quality of air is where you live. When you look at this map, keep in mind that 70% of the monitoring stations are in wealthy countries. Many countries don’t have monitoring stations to measure fine particulate matter. Scientists predict that by 2030 that nearly half of the growth in urban areas will be in China and India, while urban areas in Africa will grow by 590 percent from 2000 levels! Many of the countries that are modernizing so quickly lack ground monitoring stations to communicate daily warnings of air pollution levels to their populations. Cities obviously have it worst.

Like water – see my previous post on Water – it’s important that we recognize our contributions to environmental degradation. Despite the current state of our air, there this hope. Even what we may consider the most insignificant act to keep our water and air clean means so much. Imagine if everyone just did a little to contribute to a cleaner environment, a cleaner Earth. Don’t take the water you drink, the air you breathe and the food you eat for granted. We live on a beautiful planet. My pictures in this series of posts – Water, Sky (Air), Landscape (Earth) and People, I believe, show that. Our planet nourishes and cares for us. It’s not asking too much to do just a bit each day to remain mindful and contribute to a sustainable environment for all life and future generations.

I hope you enjoy these photographs from around the United States and world featuring Sky (Air).


New Mexico - north of Santa Fe

Buttes blanketed in clouds near Santa Fe, New Mexico

Utah - Zion

Storm clouds roll over a pastel landscape outside Zion National Park, Utah


A vast sky dotted with cottony clouds and an endless road on the Kansas prairie

Lake Huron - Docks

Water mirrors a fluorescent sky on Lake Huron, Canada

Thailand - Similan Sunset

Another mirror for an orange and pink sunset in the Similan Islands, Thailand

Washington - Cascades

Clouds cling to a mountain top in the Cascade range, Washington State

California - Bakersfield Wind Farm

Wind farm near Bakersfield, California

Nevada - road to Las Vegas

This is a cell phone panoramic shot of a storm over distant mountains on the road to Las Vegas

Minnesota - Hibbing

Dense clouds sweep over flat pastures and thousands of lakes near Hibbing, Minnesota

Afghanistan - Dust Storm

An approaching massive dust storm in Spin Boldak, southern Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border

Afghanistan - Spin Boldak

Sunset on a U.S. military base in southern Afghanistan paints the dusty earth

Hurricane Irene - Eye of the Storm

Swimming on Lake Spofford in New Hampshire in the eye of Hurricane Irene in 2011

Brazil - SunriseSanPedro

Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean, Itacare, Brazil

Michigan - Upper Penninsula

Sunset reflects on a draw bridge on the Upper Peninsula, Michigan

HarvestMoon - Oct2013

Harvest moon over a hay-field in Dummerston, Vermont

New Mexico - East

Pockets of swirling rain wash a distant landscape in eastern New Mexico

South Dakota

Cumulus clouds at sunset over prairie lands in South Dakota

Honduras - CalmAfterTheStorm

Calm after the storm in Roatan, Honduras

Glacier - St Mary's Lake

Cumulus clouds and blue sky blanket St. Mary’s Lake and Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier - Many Glacier

A robin perches on a branch over the deep valley of Many Glacier, Glacier National Park, Montana

Colorado - Mesa Verde

Near Mesa Verde, Colorado

Wyoming - Lone Buffalo

A lonesome buffalo stands as a solitary sentinel in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Paragliding with my daughter near Bucaramanga, Colombia

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Thank you!

Coming soon: Landscape (Earth)


All content copyrighted © Stephen Tavella

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