Dear Pablo,

With the 4th of July around the corner, I was wondering: Do fireworks give off greenhouse gases?

I too have always wondered if fireworks are a fitting way to celebrate the new year when the global climate is high on our list of concerns. Let’s find out.

Julie Heckman, executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association, estimates that 18,000 fireworks shows occur across the nation on July 4 alone. According to the National Council on FireworksSafety, the United States consumed about 272.1 million pounds of fireworks in 2006, of which only about 9.5 percent are commercial fireworks shows. The remaining “consumer fireworks” are sold in roadside shacks and used to celebrate events and perform Darwin’s work. (more…)