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Comments about ‘My view: Relieving your 'pollution headache'’

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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 8 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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higv
Dietrich, ID

We always had the resources we use on earth. Of course people want clean air? Thing is why are people living longer now, and when did people not die of the above things. We are all going to die and some of those things people die regardless. Our lifestyle increases our lngevity now.

Cherilyn Eagar
Holladay, UT

No question Salt Lake has a pollution problem, but to clarify this situation. My deceased mother was raised in Salt Lake a century ago. According to her account, “spring cleaning” was to remove the soot from kitchen walls. Even with a small population, few cars, minimal use of wood and coal, the valley was known for air inversions creating a blanketing haze across the valley.

So perhaps Utah should ban people and a growing population. Also, why are chemtrails from planes that fly over being ignored in this discussion?

My father was a world-renowned urologist in Hollywood, California, chief of staff at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, professor of surgery at USC and on the State Board of Medical Examiners. While your mother died from air pollution, he died from government pollution: a heart attack, related to stress caused by the new Medicare-socialized medicine legislation of 1965, combined with the insurgence of ambulance chasers. With a clean slate, his malpractice insurance developed a computer glitch that prevented him from performing surgery-his livelihood-for several months. Please tell me you are not also a supporter of a federal government-controlled and regulated medical industry as well.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "As I write this, I have imprisoned myself in my house . . . ."

Any chance we can convince you to continue your prison sentence indefinitely? Funny how we never see your posts on clear days.

It's certainly your right to stay indoors, if you like. But, as you're certainly aware, it's not medically necessity.

As another commenter pointed out, and as those of us know that have been here longer than the last couple real estate boom-bust cycles, Utah air is much, MUCH cleaner today than it used to be. Back in the day when we would only panic over REAL health issues.

Somehow, we not only survived, we enjoyed oursleves. We played outside. We went skiing, sledding, hiking, hunting. We revelled in Utah winters, even though snow was gray and the air smelled of coal and sometimes made our eyes water.

We didn't sicken and die, as true-believing activists attempt to convince us we will.

Real people, Doc, just don't believe tree-huggers' disingenuous bleating.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Cherilyn Eager
"Also, why are chemtrails from planes that fly over being ignored in this discussion? "

Because planes that fly overhead are above the surface inversion. Any pollution from those planes is able to leave the valley since it's over mountaintop height.

"So perhaps Utah should ban people and a growing population. "

Obviously not going to happen but more people does make the problem worse. A 25% population increase theoretically means what a 5 day inversion would look like before only takes 4 days to build up assuming no increases in energy efficiency in that timespan.

@procuradorfiscal
"But, as you're certainly aware, it's not medically necessity."

Try telling that to my friend with a lung condition who always gets sick during inversions and has had a heck of a time with the current one we have.

@higv
"Our lifestyle increases our lngevity now."

No, medical science increases longevity. Our lifestyle is why our life expectancy is lower than a decent number of other nations with issues like obesity, smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, and other issues decreasing our life expectancy.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

atl134– Don't use science and facts it only confuses them.
They've been trained by their radio to watch for out "Truth and Science" code words for "Lies & Alchemy."

They don't trust things they can't see, like clean air, they like to be able to see and taste the air.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Cherilyn, Procurer, etc., seem happy with the choking status quo. They just don't care. They're simply irresponsible and selfish, which are the core attributes of conservatives.

Sensible Scientist
Rexburg, ID

I question the validity of the mortality statistics bandied about by the UCS and others. A valid claim that 1000 - 2000 people die because of air pollution in Utah would have to be based on a comparison of the same demographic in the same location with and without the pollution. Such a comparison simply does not exist. People die from combinations of causes. Fact is, air pollution on the Wasatch Front has improved over the past 30 years even while population increased.

It's a game to some to use statistics to further their own pet cause. The UCS is playing such a game in hopes of funneling money and power to themselves.

jsf
Centerville, UT

Brian, did you turn your lights on, use a computer, cell phone, go to your practice. Then the gunk in the air is yours as well. Because you complain does not eliminate your contribution.

louie
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Right today the Wasatch Front counties (Utah,Salt lake and Davis) plus Cache county are recording the highest pm2.5 concentrations in the entire country. We are exceeding the 24-hr standard by almost three times. Not one government official seems concern. Gov Herbert is more concerned about exploiting energy supplies than conserving or minimizing the effect of fuel use during inversions. What does it take to open up their thinking?

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Right today the Wasatch Front counties (Utah,Salt lake and Davis) plus Cache county are recording the highest pm2.5 concentrations in the entire country."

Before we all follow the lemmings over this cliff, note that the primary source of particulates in our air is known as "sea spray aerosols," though our sea happens to be the Great Salt Lake.

These particulates have never been shown to be harmful to humans. Good thing, since 80% of the people in the world live near the primary source of them.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Every armchair climatologist in utah (and there are a lot of them) knows man does not affect climate. It's how we convince ourselves we don't have to do anything about it.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

From Global warming, to our own little version of it right here in the Great Salt Lake Valley.

and conservatives deal with it like ostrich's sticking their ignorant heads in the sand...

louie
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@procuradorfiscal

I have never heard of such nonsense. Are you saying that during the stagnant weather conditions The Great Salt Lake is influencing pollutant levels in places like Cache Valley and Utah County but not places like Tooele. By the way the pm2.5 is not a toxicity characterization. It is merely a level of particulate concentration that if at certain concentrations for a period of time can affect breathing especially for those who have respiratory ailments. This has been demonstrated after years of study. Where is your rational thinking? Who is the real lemming here?

GoBanana
PROVO, UT

Wish We had the luxury of being able to stay in our homes during an inversion. Unfortunately we have to work for a living! We have to drive our cars to work or we don't eat. What is the solution, Doc Moench?

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . pm2.5 is not a toxicity characterization. It is merely a level of particulate concentration . . . ."

Try again.

"pm2.5" refers, not to any particular level or concentration, but to the size of the particles composing the particulate matter. In the case of pm2.5, it refers to particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, pm10, to those less than 10 micrometers.

And, the composition and source of these particles is of surpassing importance.

Particles originating from the evaporation of brine, called "sea spray aerosols," are composed mostly of salts left behind when water evaporates from brine, and may be carried considerable distances -- many kilometers, in a recent study -- from their point of origin.

Sorry, but the fact is, the Great Salt Lake and surrounding salt pans really ARE our primary source of particulates. And, those particulates really are NOT dangerous to human health.

That you may not have heard of it doesn't change the facts.

louie
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@procuradorfiscal

I have to respond to your comment. How do you figure that the "Sea spray aerols" are the major source of particulates especially during an inversion when there is very little movement or mixing of air. And why would Utah County and Cache County have higher levels than Salt Lake and Davis Counties. It makes no sense. Furthermore there has been no validation, that I could find, of what you speak. It has more to do with the confined "air sheds" in these locations and products of combustion that build up in the environment without the typical warming currents or weather to move pollutants out of the region.

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Dr. Moench's claims are merely guesses and anecdotes. He is an environmental activist who is opposed to mining, fossil fuels, and nuclear power. But his opposition is based on ideology, emotion, and manufactured fear, not science. There are no sound scientific studies showing that people die from air pollution.

Dr. Moench likes to cite two things that happened at the same time, and then claim that naturally one caused the other.

Yes, air pollution can be a serious problem and should be addressed in reasonable ways. But if we follow Dr. Moench's recommendations, this would further damage our economy and kill jobs, while providing little or no provable health benefit.

airnaut
Everett, 00

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Yes, air pollution can be a serious problem and should be addressed in reasonable ways. But if we follow Dr. Moench's recommendations, this would further damage our economy and kill jobs, while providing little or no provable health benefit.

9:54 a.m. Jan. 9, 2013

==============

How so?

The number reason companies refuse to come here in the first place, or leave it in droves is our poor air quality.

I'll bet more jobs are LOST or never created and our economy suffers far MORE from Utah's bad air quality, than your assumed assumption and fear about lost jobs and a worse economy.

Besides - What the good Doctor is saying is that killing jobs is preferred to killing people.
You on the other hand, are saying just the oppossite.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "How do you figure that the "Sea spray aerols" are the major source of particulates . . . ?"

It wasn't me that figured. This is a well-known datum. Studies as far back as '59 characterized Wasatch Front particulates as being primarily chlorides and sulfates, orginating in brine. Winter levels may rise in the absence of strong winds, because of application of salt to roads, and the aerosolization of that brine by traffic, but it's still Salt Lake salt.

Globally, natural aerosol concentrations are typically 5 times larger than anthropogenic aerosols [search "Erupe 2008"]. That ratio may be skewed some by local conditions, but Utah air particulates are dominated by these natural, mostly benign, chloride and sulfate aerosols.

While Utah faces a few minor air-quality issues, we should avoid being buffaloed into expensive, but useless restrictions on our freedoms by disingenuous liberal bleating over non-hazardous atmospheric components, especially particulates, which will always be high in Utah because of geology, NOT anthropology.

And which need not -- cannot -- be addressed by any totalitarian, socialist, tree-hugger political scam.

GoBanana
PROVO, UT

Dr. Moench fails to mention his mother died in her 90's and had survived years of inversions without ill effects.

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