Comments about ‘Clear air advocates holding caroling event at Library Square’

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Published: Thursday, Dec. 26 2013 6:38 p.m. MST

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BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

My Wife who has Family in the SL Valley tells me retiring to Utah in 10-15 years would help my California retirement dollars go alot further there as opposed to SoCali. My concern is the Winter Air Quality in the Valleys is abysmal and will only get worse. Will Utah's Air quality worsen, Improve or, stay about the same? It would be ironic if COPD in the future be the leading cause of death of Aging Baby boomers, desspite statistically fewer people of the cohort smoking?

Thinkin\' Man
Rexburg, ID

It's easy to be a "clean air advocate." It's hard to come up with any solutions that will work.

So many seem to think inversions are new in Utah, or are worse than in the past, or that they are all the fault of industry and vehicles. I've got news for you. The pioneers suffered bad air during inversions in the 1800's. Air pollution in the 1970's in Salt Lake was worse than today. No amount of clever songs or berating family-sized vehicles and the engines of the economy will stop inversions from trapping air in the closed Utah valleys -- there's no changing the odd combination of weather and geography that creates this plague. It will never go away, it will only be a bit less after all we can do.

And by the way, Utahns have among the best health and longest lives of anyone in the U.S. If inversions were as bad as people quoted in the article claim, that could not be true.

FelisConcolor
North Salt Lake, UT

BYU Track Star:

If you only knew just how bad Los Angeles' air was compared to Salt Lake's there would be no hesitation on your part to retire here.

According to data provided by the EPA at their AirCompare website, Salt Lake County averages about 21 days where the ambient air quality is rated "unhealthy" by the EPA. That's about two weeks on average during the winter, and one week on average during the summer.

Compare that to Los Angeles County, which on average has 90 days where the ambient air quality is rated as "unhealthy" by the EPA, including several days where it is rated as "very unhealthy". Basically, spending the summer in LA will expose you to unhealthy levels of air pollution almost every single day from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

There's no comparison: Salt Lake City's overall air quality is much better than LA's.

Shamal
Happy Valley, UT

I get that inversions have always been with us and that solutions tried or planned carry a disappointing ROI. (3 steps forward, 2 steps back)

Lets put the glut of locally educated engineers to work on some off-the-wall ideas.
If money was no object, is generating enough wind or a change in air pressure to encourage the bad air along remotely possible? Probably not but what would it take?

Are there winter wind patterns trying to get in the valley or pressure pushing out that we could enable by removing an obstruction in the form of the right hill, ridge or even mountain?

We know that smoke from local brush fires can cause some crazy weather. What could a heck of a lot of steam do? Would bumping the humidity of our dry winter air by 10 or 15 percent affect a change in air pressure or behavior?

Is there an element we could introduce into the air that causes smog to behave differently?

Lets give the Aggies a chance to prove that all of those NASA projects have a more practical benefit than training the next generation of college professors.

Pops
NORTH SALT LAKE, UT

I hope the protesters aren't as clue-free as the article makes them out to be. Addressing just the partial lyrics to their modified carol:

1. CO2 isn't a pollutant. You can't see it, smell it, or taste it. It doesn't contribute to inversions or bad air. If anything, atmosphere CO2 works against inversions, although the effect on temperature is so minuscule as to be undetectable.

2. If large vehicles are banned, I suppose that means large families will have to travel in multiple vehicles. Is that better? Smaller, lighter vehicles fare poorly in crashes. Is that better?

3. Are they suggesting we should all just stay home? Or perhaps just those wishing to visit family should not do so, as traveling to sing absurd carols to protest mother nature and demand that Governor Hebert and the legislature "do something" is apparently the only sufficiently worthy cause for driving downtown.

I agree with other commenters - we would be better served if we worked together to find solutions rather than spending time and energy demanding that somebody else do something about it with somebody else's money.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

Thinkin' Man is exactly right.
Back when we burned coal to heat our homes the snow would be blackened by soot during an inversion.
Our cars are cleaner than ever. Our appliances are more efficient.
In fact, without the imposed growth in population we'd be cleaner than ever.
So, are you against children or immigrants and illegal aliens?

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'There's no comparison: Salt Lake City's overall air quality is much better than LA's.'

*'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.' - article

The difference between LA and SLC is that…

LA, actually did something about their dirty air.

Utah, officially has the worst air quality in the nation. Often times compared to the filthy air quality in China.

China.

The air quality in Utah 1) Detracts from tourism and 2) Job creation.

I work for a major call center. A national company. 3,000 employees. At the last company wide meeting the leadership asked for questions. When no one replied he prodded us by saying…

'I'm not here for the air people.'

3,000 FT jobs would be gone from Utah, if this man decided the air was poor enough.

I have run the numbers, that is equivalent to a town in Utah.

LA factually did something about their air. Putting carbon taxes, emission caps, etc.

The difference in Utah?

Leadership in Utah, does nothing.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'I hope the protesters aren't as clue-free as the article makes them out to be.'

As much as people who resort to name-calling…

instead of presenting opinion, dressed up as facts.

okeesmokee
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Response to Pagan

There have been days and there will be days where the air quality was worse in Utah than in any other place in the US, but over the course of the year, California has the 8 of the top 10, and the top 7 cities for worst air pollution.

This doesn't excuse us from doing something about it, but it does demonstrate that California has not "solved" their air pollution problems as it so widely discussed on these boards.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'There have been days and there will be days where the air quality was worse in Utah than in any other place in the US, but over the course of the year, California has the 8 of the top 10, and the top 7 cities for worst air pollution.'

You can have a response….

but until you can provide some sources to support your claims this will be more 'Iraq has WMD' talk.

Sorry.

FelisConcolor
North Salt Lake, UT

Pagan

It is true there are a handful of days each year where particulate levels in Salt Lake City are the highest recorded in the nation. That does not mean Salt Lake City has the worst air quality in the nation, any more than a few days with the highest recorded precipitation total in the nation means that Salt Lake City has America's wettest climate.

I would suggest you Google "EPA air compare" and examine the data for yourself. In 2012, Salt Lake County recorded 11 days where air pollution levels exceeded EPA limits. In 2012, Los Angeles County recorded 105 days where air pollution levels exceeded EPA limits. I think most mathematicians would agree 105 is significantly more than 11.

Finally, anyone who thinks Salt Lake's air quality is even comparable to China's is sorely misinformed. In the past 24 hours, the highest PM 2.5 level in Salt Lake City has been 62.7. In Beijing it was 126, in Guangzhou it was 178, and in Shenyang it was 460 -- a level which hasn't been recorded here in decades, if ever. And those levels persist for weeks there, not just a few days.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'This doesn't excuse us from doing something about it, but it does demonstrate that California has not "solved" their air pollution problems as it so widely discussed on these boards.'

So, 1) You cannot cite any sources to support this claim. As such, I do not need to take it as a factual statement.

2) Is it 'ok' for Utah to have bad air…

Because Utahns fabricate what happens in California.

I'm sure we can all take solace in that when…

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

*Studies link air pollution to increased risk of strokes and dementia’ – by Amy Joi O’Donoghue – Deseret news – 02/15/12

wrz
Phoenix, AZ

"Clear air advocates holding caroling event at Library Square"

How did they get to the event? My bet is they drove their air-polluting vehicles there.

If Utah air so bad, I suggest moving to, say, Louisiana, Kansas, or some other mid-western state where strong winds blow the pollution away... and most of the houses with it.

okeesmokee
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Pagan - I attempted to respond earlier, but my comment didn't pass through the DesNews censor.

This is a good place for info:

www.stateoftheair.org Go to the City Rankings tab and click Most polluted cities. There you will see three lists, By Ozone, By Particulate, and by Short-Term Particulate. California cities rank high in all three categories. Unfortunately, SLC does make the top 10 (#6) for short term particle, but that was my point in the first place. SLC has an air pollution problem, always has. But California cities are still battling the problem and over the course of the year, exceed pollution levels in SLC.

As for quoting newspaper articles for references, Remember, Dewey beats Truman was also a newspaper article.

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