2 Bits:I agree with your last post. Regulation and sacrifice will
be required of everyone. Most of the pollution comes from
automobiles. We need to increase emission standards for cars in Utah, which
will not be cost-free. During high pressure systems (which lead to inversions),
the speed limit on freeways should be reduced, which will reduce emissions and
increase cognizance of the car part of the problem. Maybe we should have a
variable gas tax, increasing the cost of gas during inversions as a disincentive
to drive during inversions.Everything above is disproportionately on
individuals.On the industrial side, maybe we need to mandate reduced
emissions during inversions, which would mean reduced production, which will
incentivize refineries to look at other locations. Maybe the state
can offer tax incentives for them to move to more geographically acceptable
locations. Some in the Legislature want to move the prison. I say let's
make it a package deal - prison & the refineries.I hope
you're right, and more of our traditionally conservative population is
ready to take more aggressive measures to mitigate the air pollution problem.
I'm ready to sacrifice, personally. We all need to.
10CC,I know the solution will require more regulations. We already have
regulations (EPA, oxygenated gas, etc), so why would I assume absolutely any
regulation is unacceptable?But the new regulations need to be on ALL
of us (not just evil refineries, or evil factories, or evil capitalists). It
needs to be on all of us. When we can accept that... and not just assume that
it's just the refinery's fault... we can make some progress and quit
pretending it's a partisan or political issue, or a Conservative vs Liberal
issue. It's not. If we can get away from constantly framing it that
way... we will quit sabotaging the conversation.===Unleaded switch was a LONG time ago. People have changed. And it was not
only opposed by "Conservatives". A LOT of people didn't support
it. So pretending all Conservatives opposed it (which isn't true). And
assuming only "Conservatives" opposed it (also not true)... just poisons
the conversation with partisan stereotype-based assumptions (and ends all
possibility of success).We need to keep the politics and the
stereotypes for people out of it.
2Bits,Without going to extremes, conservatives have historically resisted
every attempt to regulate our air quality. That makes it a political issue for
the rest of us. I will make a bet with you. Watch what happens with the
legislature this year--you will see fervent right-wing opposition to ANY
legislation to clean up the air. If not, I will eat my newspaper. If so, you
will eat yours.
2 bits:I appreciate your apparent willingness to de-politicize this
issue.Inevitably, our ability to take action on this issue will
involve regulation. I don't think there's any escaping this reality.
As Texas has shown, "voluntary environmental regulation" is meaningless,
just as if we suddenly made tax contributions for the military to be entirely
voluntary, we would see a rapid devolution in military capability.Addressing the air pollution issue will require sacrifice by many. Our cars
need more stringent emission control, speed limits on the freeways during
inversion should be lowered, there need to be incentives to take mass transit,
and the industrial portion of the problem will need to be restricted, certainly
more than they'd like to be.In my experience, getting the
anti-government part of our populace to accept that industry will need to be
more regulated is a significant hurdle.Hopefully we can learn from
the past. The revolt in 1972 against the EPA for requiring unleaded
gasoline is a good example to learn from. Is America less free now
because of unleaded gas? Of course not. We're now *better* off.
I read a little about sweet potatoes and how smokers lived to be in their
90's eating them. I thought I give them a try, since it should cure
What we have here is a conflict of values -- "clean air" versus
"freedom." Addressing clean air requires infringing on people's
perceptions of "loss of freedom" to deal with that issue... but in Utah,
freedom in a higher-order value compared to environmental issues. Environmental
issues will always take a back seat to higher-order values of "wealth and
business," "preventing gay marriage," "shutting down the evil
government," etc. Now, "children and families" are a
higher-order value for Utahns. If children are brought into the narrative --
that somehow we're trying to clean the air for our children and future
generations -- then we may see some traction here.I've read
elsewhere that Utah is losing business opportunities due to our bad air. What
we need, however, is to find a link on how our air quality is hurting beloved
industries in the state -- such as oil, coal, skiing, agriculture, etc. If
those were part of the narrative, it would indeed encourage our legislature to
act. What's needed is a series of stories about wanted
businesses that have decided NOT to come to Utah due to our air quality.
10CC,I think we all appreciate clean air. Spare us the smug
self-righteousness.Conservatives aren't against all government
regulation. But taking everything to the most ludicrous extreme possible
probably gets bonus point with the people you're talking too.Remember... "this isn't a political thing"... so quit trying to
make it into one.It's not a Conservative vs Liberal thing. So
don't try to frame it that way.Neither side has a corner on all
the answers. So listening and sharing ideas would be more productive than just
attacking your perceived opposition.We need to quit knee-jerk
assuming everything's a Conservative VS Liberal thing. We all live on the
same planet. And a lot of us live in the same valley. We should try talking
about something constructive (instead of the usual ad hominem blather).
The answer to the question is that many conservatives view *any* type of
government regulation as anathema, the killing of freedom.When I was
a kid in Utah, people were up in arms about the evil feds mandating that we all
use unleaded gasoline. Or mandating that people use seatbelts. Today those
stalwarts of freedom would very, very begrudgingly admit that reducing lead
emissions has had a beneficial effect for children."Freedom"
for them means the freedom to die an early death from pollution, as long as the
government is not involved. "Give me liberty, or give me death," except
the rest of us and minor children are along for the ride, too. The
rest of us view clean air and water as a type of freedom.
To "Pagan" those are nice tidbits, but they don't convey the whole
story.First, the studies that link strokes and dimensia include
areas that have high year round pollution rates. While not the worst, they do
have higher rates.You are also not telling the whole story about the
coal plants. None are located in the Salt Lake Valley, they are located in
areas that are not bowls, and do not trap the particulates from it. In the Salt
Lake valley the power plants are all gas fired, which emits few pollutants.Then finally, who cares about how much CO2 is released. It isn't a
pollutant, nor has it been proven to be a significant greenhouse gas.
RE: "Bad air is not a political issue"...That is correct.
Why make it one?Nobody "wants" bad air. And nobody's
"against" improving our air. The only difference is our level of
radicalization. Some people think if you aren't as radical on
environmentalism as they are... you "Want" bad air. If you don't
agree with their solution, or draw the line differently... you "want"
dirty air. The dirtier the better. That's just bogus rhetoric and talking
points talkin.====Removing refineries from the valley is
probably not feasible (but if you disagree with that approach you "want"
bad air).Say something we CAN do... like drive less... and you
"wanting" bad air.===You hit on one viable
alternative. Moving out of the area. That is feasible because it's
something we can actually do (removing the refineries isn't). And it
addresses the real source of the problem (the population in the valley). The refineries have always been here. Inversions have always been here.
It's the growing population in the valley thats changing. So one
possible solution would be for some people who don't like it here to move
out of the valley.
The premise of your argument is absurd. NOBODY wants dirty air. You are a
perfect example of the problem. Unless you don't own a car, heat/cool your
home, or use any electricity, then your family is a NET addition to the problem.
So how would like us to offset that? Should twenty families that were already
here reduce their lifestyles even more to accommodate your family? Now multiply
that by the thousands of new families that have moved to the valley. How about
you deal with the real world. We have to completely offset their pollution just
to stay even let alone reduce it. I'm very aware of my energy usage and
have done all I can to conserve. Industry/business are being asked to meet
increasingly stringent standards at great costs. Once again I ask, did the head
of air quality for Utah not tell us the truth when he said that our has gotten
better every year for the last 20 years? Pretending that you're more
concerned than anybody else adds nothing to finding a solution.
'I don't want to leave but I might have to make that choice based on
what is healthy for my family.' - Letter And with good
reason: '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.' *Studies link air pollution to increased risk of strokes
and dementia’ – by Amy Joi O’Donoghue – Deseret news
– 02/15/12 The poison in Utah affects everyone. Not just based
on political party. What saddens me is that Utah leadership
factually does very little to change anything. When we have examples of what the
actual source is: *'EPA inventory shows Utah's sources of
greenhouse gas' - By Amy Joi O'Donoghue - 02/05/13 - Published by the
Deseret News 'WASHINGTON — The nation's power plants
continue to be the single largest stationary source of greenhouse gas emissions,
according to new information released Tuesday by the Environmental Protection
Agency.' (sic) In Utah, 14 power plants are responsible for 75
percent of the state's direct greenhouse gas emissions, releasing 33
million metric tons. '
IMO breathing bad air is better than NOT breathing it. I mean one kills you
for sure, the other probably won't.Leaving the State if they
won't do it your way is also an option. It's actually a
very good step in the right direction. Because population in the valley is a
big part of problem. The inversions didn't just start happening. But the
more people/drivers we have in the valley... the worse it gets. So if less
people would transplant themselves here, or if some people would leave... the
situation would get a little better. And that's what we want... right?We could all decide to drive a little less too... that wouldn't
"fix" it, but it would help.Or we could pretend we can
banish all the refineries, factories, mines, and manufacturing from the
valley... and even though we could never do that... it at least makes us feel
better to insist that it's the solution.