Source: adapted from K. Button, Center for Transportation Policy, Operations and Logistics, George Mason University, Lecture Notes.
Spatial and Durational Environmental Effects
The spatial and temporal dimensions are to be considered when assessing the potential environmental impacts of various pollutants. The more extensive and spatial and the temporal dimensions, the more difficult it is to link a pollutant to environmental externalities. While noise, particulates and lead emissions are clearly linked to harmful environmental and health impacts, linking CO2 to climate change, which is a global and intergenerational issue is much more complex. Even labeling CO2 as a "pollutant" is subject to controversy since it is a gas that occurs naturally in physical and biological processes.