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Published: Tuesday, Dec. 6 2011 12:00 a.m. MST

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Corn Dog
New York, NY

All is not doom and gloom.

The WSJ article was titled "The Hidden Toll of Traffic Jams - Scientists Increasingly Link Vehicle Exhaust With Brain-Cell Damage, Higher Rates of Autism"

The article mentions an instance where reducing traffic congestion lowered ambient air pollution levels, and another instance where reducing congestion around toll plazas resulted in a drop in premature births in the surrounding area.

Cars and the fossil fuels that power them are going to remain an essential part of America's transportation industry for a long time. Both the vehicles and the fuels have become cleaner and will continue to get cleaner. Despite these advancements it's important that planners not build in bottlenecks as is often the case with "smart growth" strategies.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "The Wall Street Journal says air pollution makes our kids stupid and alters their chromosomes"

It'd be interesting to know how the good doctor feels about using some of the very same substances he rails against as air pollution in his craft as an anesthesiologist.

It would be interesting to know why, if he had ANY actual evidence of air pollution making our kids stupid, he wouldn't he cite it, instead of this WSJ article? Is this an attempt to use the WSJ to add some cachet of credibility to an otherwise incredible claim?

Or, is Physicians for a Healthy Utah now suggesting we now adopt the WSJ as the fount of all scientific wisdom and knowledge?

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

There are a lot of good reasons to clean up our air. This is only one of them.

roswell
Saint George, UT

Brian,
Your article is well-stated, although I believe there are some additional facts and perspectives that must be considered. While our elected officials may be pro-fossil fuels, I applaud the efforts by them (the state) to support projects that will mitigate against pollution along the Wasatch Front, such as TRAX and the Frontrunner trains, that I believe will become much more significant as time proceeds. Also, unfortunately the Front is a natural setup for fog/smog that has obviously been a problem for hundreds if not thousands of years, and eliminating all emissions may not totally eliminate the problem.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

*'Northern Utah's air is the worst in the nation' - KSL - 01/11/10

'SALT LAKE CITY -- Northern Utah currently boasts the worst air in the nation, and it's not even a close margin.'

*'Lung Association slams Utah areas for bad air' - By Amy Joi O'Donoghue - DSNews - 04/30/09

*'Ozone raises its ugly head in rural Utah' - By JUDY FAHYS - SL Tribune - 10/22/10

'According to new air-pollution data, breathing air around the oil and gas fields of the remote Uinta Basin was unhealthy on 40 days this past winter.'

*'Study says coal burning in Utah kills 202 a year' - AP - Published by DSNews - 10/19/10

'SALT LAKE CITY A study commissioned by Utah state agencies says air pollution kills 202 residents a year.'

Yes.

It IS as bad as they are claiming.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "*'Northern Utah's air is the worst in the nation' - KSL - 01/11/10"

Interesting note -- According to the 22nd annual Americas Health Rankings, released today, Utah is the 7th healthiest state in the Nation, same as last year.

Hmmmmm.

I guess timing is everything with this kind phony disaster story, huh?

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

I guess timing is everything with this kind phony disaster story, huh? - procuradorfiscal | 10:55 a.m. Dec. 6, 2011

*'Utahns think about suicide more than other Americans, study shows' - By Dennis Romboy, Deseret News - 10/21/11

I guess.

And by 'phony' are you claiming I 'made it up?'

Because that would mean I had some SERIOUS clout with the DSNews, Salt Lake Tribune, and KSL...

wouldn't it?

Thinkin\' Man
Rexburg, ID

Life expectancy continues to rise, even in urban areas. SAT/ACT scores are high. Lung cancer rates in Utah are low while health levels are high.

Some things sound viable in theory, but just don't bear out in reality. We should continue to work to clean our air, but not panic or go overboard like the physicians association advocates.

Arguments against developing fossil fuel resources are myopic. We depend on fossil fuels NOW, therefore we need to keep developing resources NOW. If you have a viable alternative to gasoline, diesel, and natural gas, please start making it or investing in it. But remember that if it costs too much, it won't happen. And it has to power semi-trucks and trains, too. Can't come up with anything? That's what I thought.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

procuradorfiscal said:
Interesting note -- According to the 22nd annual Americas Health Rankings, released today, Utah is the 7th healthiest state in the Nation, same as last year.

You can be healthy and have brain damage too, as some posters demonstrate daily.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Air pollution? What air pollution?

Demo Dave
Holladay, UT

We're all holding our breath. Literally.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

As any member of the Utah association of armchair climatologists knows, we didn't cause this problem. So we don't have to try to fix it.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

I've actually found much of the WSJ's reportings to be of outstanding caliber. They have produced many fair and balanced articles, many useful articles, and many ethical articles that I have resonated with. By all means, I'm not the biggest fan of how much of wall-street operates. I see many strengths and equally many weaknesses in our current model. The WSJ isn't perfect and there are probably articles I may even find strong moral disagreements with. But in general, I have only found the opposite when taking a glance here and there.

-------

Regarding pollution. I am conservative. I love Utah. I love what Utah was built on. But in every sense of the word, I am utterly disgusted with our legislatures ignorant and neglectful approach to several matters. The air I breath is one of these. I'd promote good stewardship and say 'clean it up' for the sake that I like technological and environmental advancement. I like the idea of taking care of the land we live on, cultivating it, and so on. But even more than that, I like to take a deep and healthy breath. Currently, that only happens when visiting other counties.

Utah deserves better!

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

I think that the doctor has been omitting too many facts.

The truth of the matter is that 30 to 40 years ago the pollution levels along the Wasatch Front were significantly higher than they are today.

So, if added air polution makes a person lose IQ points, then shouldn't we be seeing an incrase in IQ points in Utah because our pollution levels are lower?

Now, since the group that the doctor belongs to believes that pollution causes all sorts of problem, why is it that the problems that they associate with pollution were not as prevalent 30 to 40 years ago when pollution was much worse?

Dart Thrower
Ogden, UT

Air pollution, like almost all of our modern maladies, has it's roots in one metric. Too many people. If we can stop population growth and then reduce the planets population to 2 Billion or so, almost all of our problems go away. Just that simple. At a minimum, we need to take away tax credits for children. No reason to promote something we have plenty of already - people.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Air pollution . . . has it's [sic] roots in . . . [t]oo many people. If we can stop population growth and then reduce the planets [sic] population to 2 Billion . . . ."

How do you propose, then, to kill off the other 4.8B? And who gets to choose who is and is not among the annointed? [And, do you really believe anyone from Ogden would be among them?]

Maybe you're suggesting we need [a lot] more war, famine, disease, pestilence?

Or that we should be forcibly sterilized. And, since there won't be anyone to care for us when we're old, we would be euthanized when we're, say 30.

Hey, and then we could recycle the bodies. And to hide the source of the protein, we could pretend it's made from soy, huh?

Maybe we could call it "soylent green."

Yeah -- that's the ticket.

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