Comments about ‘Letters: Can't outlaw pollution: Temperature inversions aren't new’

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Published: Monday, Feb. 18 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Burke, VA

"The real problems come when the government gets involved. In about 99 percent of the cases, when government becomes involved, things get worse."

Please don't make such provocative statements without backing them up with evidence. One example I like to use in the opposite direction is the agricultural extension program from the Department of Agriculture. Land grant universities were established for the sole purpose of improving the production of the nations farmers and they have become the most productive farmers in the world - feeding a good portion of the world and teaching farmers in other countries better farming practices. The extension program is a wonderful example of the federal government working with state and local entities to better our lives.

And while winter weather conditions cause an unpleasant inversion in geographic conditions like the Salt Lake Valley, our air quality in most of the country has vastly improved over the past 40 years primarily because of requirements mandated by the federal government. Lower emissions from cars and from factories have cleaned our air and other restrictions have cleaned our waterways. There is still much to do but much has improved because of the government's involvement.

salt lake city, utah

First of all the letter comes from someone who doesn't live in the "dirty bowl", and secondly ECR is exactly correct. Through government action as bad as the air is it's better than it was. It's true on a bad day you can't see the mountains across the valley. However, take a look back at the tribune pictures from the early 20th century and you'll see that on a bad day you couldn't see across the street. So Mr. Bender you are exactly incorrect. Government action does produce positive results, and we need to do more...keep protesting folks.

Ex Pat
Salt Lake City, Ut

Russell Bender - I found it humorous too! Live in a bowl surrounded by mountains that cut off the wind to clean things out, and then march up to the gov's office.

Salt Lake City, UT

This is epitome of the argument we saw play out last summer at the political conventions. Is this a country of individuals making their own way or a collective enterprise? The answer is it both. We are individuals seeking our own path, but we live in a society that at times requires collective action to work on problems.

Can we fix our air pollution problem? I don't think anyone knows that yet, but to ridicule efforts to improve the air is sophomoric at best. There is no doubt that with the best ideas of many citizens we can improve things and perhaps even have a breakthrough that would cleanup the mess once and for all. I say keep pushing to not accept the status quo as "just the way it is".

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Lets do nothing about it but then complain when our health care system is overloaded with respiratory illnesses. Russel Bender writes nearly every month denying global warming. He merely just took advantage of this inversion talk to push his agenda. Which is?

Do nothing. Kick the can down the road and do nothing. But complain at every turn.

Typical of the GOP and their almost cult like following today. Can't wait until 2016 where you folks are going to be beaten down once again.

Makanda, IL

Temperature inversions may be natural, but pollution isn't. The fact that the Salt Lake Valley is prone to temperature inversions that trap pollution makes it all the more imperative to make efforts to clean up the air - not a reason to dismiss efforts to that end.

Woods Cross, UT

I had to laugh - "The government has got to do something about this natural phenomenon!" Give me a break. Gov. Herbert got it right - the gov't doesn't have the authority to shut down businesses on bad air days. It doesn't have the authority to keep us from driving, taxing us for it, forcing us to ride a bus or train or any other action. It is the consequence of so many people living in a closed valley. The Los Angeles basin was called the "Valley of Smokes" by the local Indians because of the inversions and burning of wood fires. Deal with it. Limit your driving, stay indoors, or whatever you can do to help. Stop going to the government for everything. More government=less freedom.

one old man
Ogden, UT

We may not be able to stop it entirely, but does that mean we should do nothing to reduce it?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Speaking of Los Angeles, the pollution there is practically non-existent. It used to be really bad then government intervention happened. It's a heck of a lot more clean than salt lake city's air. They didn't get there by sticking their head in the sand and doing nothing.

It's time for us to put our shoulder to the wheel and fix our air. It can be done. We just need to have the courage and work ethic to clean up our community. Time to ignore big business and its's puppets (like this letter writer).

American Fork, UT

So which is it, Russ? Do you just hate government, which is popular and easy, or are you too naive and lazy to believe we can do anything about pollution generation? Or both? Neither requires anything more than throwing pot shots, and neither should be representative of what America stands for.

Salt Lake City, UT

So since we can't completely eliminate pollution we shouldn't do anything to reduce pollution? That's illogical.

Sandy, UT

When will some of you get off the anti-government thing and realize you are the government. You elect those that make these calls. You may stop burning wood on inverted mornings but who will prevent me from doing the same other than duly elected representatives that we have given that responsibility? Yes, we face a natural barrier to clean air but to do nothing is irresponsible. These proposals our neighbors have suggested may or may not work but at least they proposed something besides sticking their heads in the sand so the local oil refinery can operate unimpeded. I respect those acting rather than those sitting on the sideline mockingly pointing fingers.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Russel, what's wrong with at least trying to clean up the air?

That's what's hilarious about climate change deniers. So what if we aren't "causing" the warming? What's wrong with doing THE RIGHT thing? What's wrong with cleaning things up? Isn't that what your parents taught you when you were young? The Lord I'm sure would look down favorably upon those who clean up his creation.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

One of the great ironies of life is the label "conservative" used by people who don't want to conserve anything. Their mantra: "Burn every drop of fossil liquid so we can choke in our own smoke." I protest their use of the word "conservative." The real word ought to be "suicidal."

Orem, UT

I think this has to do more with pride and power than what's truly good for the environment.

The GOP and it's AM radio drinking constituency would rather go down with the Titanic while refusing to admit that it is sinkable than admit that they were wrong and hop into a life boat full of minorities, women, homosexuals, and liberals.

Face it, the GOP hasn't a leg to stand upon on this issue. Scientists, peer-reviewed studies, even polls show where America stands on global warming. Yet, the GOP refuses to acknowledge the truth. In fact, the GOP sits on the WRONG side of nearly every single issue (abortion, marriage, taxes, environment, entitlements) as indicated by polls. Hence, why they lost big time in the last election. However, instead of admitting that they were wrong and need reform, they seem to rather yell their tired and old message even louder. Thinking that perhaps the volume, not the actual message, was what did them in a few months ago.

I encourage those on the right to think for themselves for a change. Extinction is at the door, it's time to reform.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

For all you "government haters" out there I have a few things for you to think about. The "more government means less freedom" lunatics tend to forget these services.
Highways, schools, firefighting, police protection, FBI, Armed Forces, etc. These are the obvious ones. But how about the other services the government provides? You can trust that food you purchase isn't tainted, or rotten or prepared unsafely thanks to the "evil government", you have access to a court system to seek redress if you are cheated in business, you have safe drinking water and mostly clean air, the restaurant you eat in has been inspected for cleanliness, etc..
Stop whining about how much you hate the government and be grateful for all the services it provides to make your life better and safer.

William Gronberg
Payson, UT

Mr. Bender states very clearly his purpose for writing this letter in his last paragraph. Here are his own words.

"The only real point I am trying to make is that we need to stop going to the government to try to solve our problems. The real problems come when the government gets involved. In about 99 percent of the cases, when government becomes involved, things get worse."

1. "...we need to stop going to the government..."

2. "The real problems come when government gets involved."

3. "...99 percent of the..." time government makes "...things get worse."

What a distortion of the real world. I assume that Mr. Bender includes the government of the USA and the state of Utah.

If the result of government action is almost always bad then the foundation must be very suspect also. Major foundations of state and national governments are their Constitutions. They may need some additional changes here and there. But they should and do produce basically good “fruits”. Not 99 percent worse results.

The people in government are flawed just like you and I, sir. They are NOT 99 percent crooks, idiots or wolves in sheep’s clothing.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

We could outlaw making it worse. All power must be electric on inversion days by 2020!

Steve Cottrell
Centerville, UT

Perhaps a reduction or elimination of fares on public transit lines, both bus and rail, when there is an inversion would help increase the ridership and reduce the number of cars on the roads. How about trying it? That is something that government could do that I think would be worth a try.

Demo Dave
Holladay, UT

Most people won’t voluntarily do anything that affects their lives or takes them out of their comfort zones because no one thinks that their little bit of pollution makes a difference. That’s the biggest problem of all, and that’s why we need strong leadership and government intervention.

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