Re Mike RichardsWhat good are beautiful mountains if you cann't
The population has doubled since the 1950's.A good thing we had a
Government back then to crack down to improve our air policies.BTW
-- The population is expected to double again...Playing
ostrich, denying their is a problem, or choosing NOT to do anything
more about it, is a stupid fool's game.
I just got to reading this today and am dumbfounded. Not surprised just
dumbfounded. Who in their right mind supports pollution. Even Mike Richards admitted that it use to be worse in the valley when
everyone burned coal. But then just moves on to defend the current pollution,
that is in fact dangerous. And I'm sorry 2bits but his suggestions were at
best just a rant (there is no lack of electricity, and if you make the
electricity with coal you're right where you started), and more likely just
KSL ran a great report last night about Mexico City.30 years ago,
Mexico USED to have the most polluted air in the World.That
has now all changed.Mexico City is in a backwards 3rd world country,
and has 20 times the population of Salt Lake, Salt Lake City
is worst than Mexico.Pathetic.Especially knowing we can do
better, but don't.
Typical conservative Utah response --- If you don't like it,
The #1 problem and general cause of pollution is the current build
environment.For instance, Someone works in Downtown SLC yet lives in
Herriman. They can take transit to work all they want, yet they can't walk
to the grocery store. Most won't walk to church let alone school. It is
the shorter trips that cause most of the problem.So, some will say
that we should allow more jobs near where people live. That is a good thought,
but what if where you work doesn't move near where you live? Will you move
to near where you work? Why aren't you now?60 years ago, 1/2
of the Salt Lake Valley was farmland and the majority of people lived near where
they worked. Slowly over the last 60 years, residential developers and smaller
towns have conspired together to bring the people to them. Roads have had to be
built, water use per-capita has increased and commute times have increased, all
for the sake of 1/4 acre of highly taxed land to pay for the resources needed to
support the suburban lifestyle and those taxes still fall short of the actual
Endless bickering about salvation coming to Utah in a Prius is nonsense. Even
if every family on the Wasatch Front drove nothing but a Prius, do you really
think that the air would be pristine and pure? Are you going to shut off your
lights, your heat? Are you going to shut down the schools and factories? Are
you going to shut down the stores? When will you finally admit that living in a
bowl that collects dead air will always produce pollutants unless every living
being leaves. Even if there is only one camp fire in the entire Salt Lake
Valley, that single campfire will produce pollutants that will remain until the
air is blown out of the valley, which will just carry those pollutants somewhere
else. No amount of Priuses or lack thereof will cure the problem. No amount of
shutting down industry will cure that problem.If you want clean air,
you must realize that you will never have clean air when you live in a bowl.
Thinking otherwise is childish foolishness. Do a 5th Grade science experiment
and prove it to yourself.
We live in a bowl that traps cold air and particulate emissions, and no amount
of arguing is going to change that. Our geography is not the government's
fault, corporations' fault, or public's fault-- but all of us have to
live with the consequences.Demonizing 'liberals',
'conservatives', 'industry', 'gas guzzlers', or
anyone else is not going to solve the problem. Bickering endlessly over whether
drivers or companies should have to sacrifice is not going to solve the problem.
The answer is yes to both. Everyone contributes to the problem, which is made
worse by circumstances outside of anyone's control-- and if we want cleaner
air, everyone, from big industry to small families, is going to have to
contribute. Making this into a partisan, 'business vs. the people'
issue is not helpful.
@curmudgeon: It takes a lot of energy to produce a Prius. There is a great
deal of pollution involved in producing hybrids and wind farms.
So exactly what part of "dirtiest air in the USA" don't people
understand? What difference does it make whether people moved here or were born
here? What difference does it make when we see that some Chinese cities have
pollution 4 or 5 times as bad as ours other than as Ralph Becker put it:
"look out the window and see our future". Is that what we want as a
city? To make a difference, it will take all parts of the problem to contribute
to the solution. One way to help might be for everyone to buy masks to wear when
we go downtown or to the Capitol to protest. Getting pictures in the press of
the masked populace of SLC will do much to stem the inflow of new migrants.
Simply saying that "it's not our fault" does nothing.PS. The winter problem is PM2. The summer problem is ozone. Both cause
respiratory problems, but only the PM2 are so visible. Too bad the legislature
meets in the winter, otherwise there would never be pressure for change. PPS. You can get a GMC Suburban in a hybrid.
@J. Thompson, Actually, the technology now exists to turn lead into gold--
it's done in a nano matrix that transforms the electrical charges of
subatomic particles (google it if you'd like). The technology also exists
to remove most of the pollution from our air, but our reactionary legislature
and governor refuse to act on it.
Mandatory electric cars.
Wouldn't it be nice to have the mythical "perpetual motion machine"
parked in the driveway? Those who think that the Prius does not pollute have
been suckeredinto believing the impossible. Energy is required to move mass.
That energy requires fuel. If the fuel is in a battery pack, then something was
burned to created that energy. Whether it was burned in the car or in an
"electrical generation plant" does not matter. Fuel was burned to
create that energy. When fuel is burned, there is pollution. No matter how
gullible you might be in thinking that a Prius does not pollute, you would have
to take your argument to Einstein, who would be all too happy to help you
understand that even the advertising section of Prius cannot change the laws of
physics. Things at rest remain at rest until moved on. Movement requires fuel.
Consuming fuel creates pollution. A Prius creates pollution just like a
Peterbilt truck creates pollution. Depending on the amount of mass being moved,
the pollution is larger or smaller. Those who believe otherwise are always free
to explain how they change lead into gold.
Re: Mike Richards "If those who complain about pollution would thank God
for the beauty of this valley and the beauty of the mountains around us, maybe
they would focus on those things that are important instead of moaning and
groaning about how wonderful it would be if they and they alone lived in this
valley."Problem is, there are real health risks to the current
pollution levels. It's not just aesthetics.
So a Prius, even when running off its gasoline engine, is NOT polluting
"like any other gas powered vehicle. Yes it is, just a smaller amount.
That does not equate to no pollution.
What difference should it make to anyone what kind of vehicle I drive or that my
neighbor drives unless they are willing to hire me so that I can afford the
vehicle that they think that I should drive. Too many people want to force me
to do what they think is best for me. Well, thank you very much, but your
desire to force me to be your twin is not part of my reason for being alive.Those those want to shape society after themselves might be better
served if they looked in a mirror and asked themselves when they last created
dirt. If they can't even create dirt, just how to they propose that they
have the answer to sustain life in their "perfect environment"?Does Obama ride around in a Prius? Why not? Shouldn't those who yell at
us because we don't drive in the car of THEIR choice also yell at the
President? Does Obama flit and fly in an ultra-light plane? Why not? Is he too
"good" to conserve millions of gallons of fuel?Before
yelling, spend some time looking in the mirror.
Mike: You should educate yourself about super ultra low emissions
vehicles (SULEVs) before you pontificate too much. Vehicles in that class
(which includes not only the Prius, but models from Honda, Ford, BMW, Subaru,
Chevy, and Hyundai), achieve that status because they produce 90% fewer
emissions than comparable gasoline powered vehicles. So a Prius, even when
running off its gasoline engine, is NOT polluting "like any other gas
powered vehicle."Granted that some families need larger cars
(the Prius carries 5 adults comfortably), but that doesn't give them a pass
to ignore their impact on the pollution problem. There are larger vehicles that
also achieve lower than average emissions. Is your big truck a low-emissions
vehicle? Does it run on natural gas? It is not only liberals who ought to pay
attention. After all, pollution affects both liberals and conservatives.And what's with the elitist dissing of people who moved to Utah
since the 50's? I'm guessing that most of your conservative heroes
fall into that group. And what about the old-timers like you who fill up the
bowl with many children; they add to overpopulation just like the newbies.
Liberals dictate to us what we should do to make their life easier and more
enjoyable. They are so fixated on themselves that they can't see that
those who have big families require big vehicles and that big vehicles use more
gas than small vehicles. Some people deny that a Prius, when running off its
gasoline "side", is polluting just like any other gas powered vehicle
and that when it runs off its electric "side", it is using coal
generated electricity which pollutes whether that electricity is used in a Prius
or in a lightbulb.Those who moved here since the 1950s are part of
the real problem - too many people in a bowl. They didn't live here before
natural gas became the common fuel to heat our homes. They don't remember
what it was like when everyone used coal or wood. But, now that they've
moved into the area, they want us all to drop everything and sit quietly in a
corner while they yell at us for living.We live in a bowl with over
2,000,000 neighbors. Get used to it.
Wonder,When we collectively agree "let's use the government to
make em do it our way"... I'm Leary. We're all
adults and can make our own decisions. We may not all make the same decisions,
but that doesn't mean we use government to force everybody to make the
decisions you think are right. That's like the religious-right deciding
if enough of them say "do it this way"... the government should FORCE
people to do it that way. It's not right. Even if a lot of people
collectively agree that's the RIGHT way.We all have our own
approach. We all have a level of environmentalism we are comfortable with. I
just don't appreciate the people who think if you aren't as radical as
they are... you're wrong (even if what you are trying, but just don't
go as far as they would like).Same with religion. We may have a
lot of people who collectively agree how it should be done... do you want them
using the government to force you to do it that way?I assume not.
My last comment (for what it's worth).
@2bits. Read Mike Richards first post. He said stop complaining. His second post
was not posted when I made a comment about his original post.
@2 bits -- What you are proposing is for people to voluntarily produce less
pollution. Yes, some people will, but not enough to make a difference.
That's why we, collectively, can agree that we don't want to live
somewhere where we can barely breathe for months at a time and we say, jointly,
this isn't acceptable. The way we, as a people, jointly decide something
like that is through our government. Would you ever say this: Hey, it's a
bad idea to rob and/or kill people, but you all make your own decision. Of
course not, but you're willing to gamble with the health of people whose
health is affected by pollutants.
When I talk about pollution with my conservative neighbors, they get a defensive
look on their faces and advise me to move away. Irony of the Day: My moving
might solve the problem--both for me and for them.
@Mike RichardsThe bowl is responsible for inversions sticking in place.
Nature is responsible for the inversion. The contents of the air in the
inversion are heavily influenced by humans.
@Mike Richards:Surely you know that a Prius is a hybrid vehicle not an
electric vehicle.Perhaps you could consider a natural gas vehicle.
With the closing of Geneva steel, Utah valleys air is much better that it was in
the mid 70's. And that's with thousands of acres of green chopped down
for homes and parking lots. The only real solution is to modify the
basin that Northern Utah sits in, or realize that the population here has to be
controlled,and dirty business is not attractive anymore.
It is interesting to note, The CO2 emissions have decreased in the US by 20%
over the last so many years. Not because of a carbon tax, yet we still hear a
call for a carbon tax to decrease CO2 emissions. Punitive taxes do not equate
to better out comes.
RE: "@Mike Richards. So your solution is to do nothing"...I
don't think Mike Richards said, "do nothing". In fact he gave a
list of things we could do. So I don't see how you twist that into him
saying, "do nothing"."Opinion" isn't putting
words people didn't say into their mouth and pretended they actually said
it (a strawman).. Reread him and you'll see he didn't actually say,
"do nothing". ===Just because what somebody
suggests isn't as radical as you would like... doesn't mean they said
"Do Nothing".To find common-ground... we must overcome the
assumption that if somebody's not quite as radical as you are... they want
to do nothing. It's not an all-or-nothing thing. It's a spectrum.
He's just at a different point on the spectrum than you are. I
think as long as people are coming up with ideas (even if they aren't as
radical as we would like)... we don't pretend they said, "do
nothing".Nobody thinks we should "do nothing". We all
know we need to do something. We may just disagree on how radical to get.
Real Maverick,The main problem with government regulation is... when you
expect the government to solve the problem for you, by forcing somebody else to
do it your way... it rarely works.We need to do things for the right
motivations. Not because the government is forcing us to live the way a more
radical environmentalist would like us to live.We need to drive less
and conserve more because it helps our own life and the environment... not
because the Government has its boot on our throat and insists you do it the way
the more radical elements in our community would like you to do it.It's the same dilemma you always have when you decide the only solution
is to use government regulation to force people to do it your way...Like seatbelts etc (you won't do it just to save your life... there has
to be a law first, and then you might do it to avoid the ticket). Same with
helmet laws, pollution regulations, etc.When government force is the
only motivation... it doesn't really work. You only buckle up when you
see a cop.
In the summer time forest fires and in the winter we have to keep worm every one
has a fire in their heater. Summer time dust is blown every where in the winter
smoke is stuck in the boll. All you can do is your best. I heard yams are good
for your lungs.
@Mike Richards. So your solution is to do nothing. I would expect nothing less
from the republicans in this state.
Curmudgeon,Surely you know that coal is used in Utah to generate the
electricity that powers a Prius. But your idea is good. Why not tell it to
UPS, to FedEX and to the trucking companies. Sure, why not use 200 people each
pushing a wheelbarrow to carry the cement that one truck can carry?Not everything fits in a Prius. I use a truck most of the time because the
truck is the most efficient way for me to carry everything that I need to
service my customers. Making four or five trips in a Prius to do the same job
as carrying everything in a truck and making one trip would be
counterproductive.Simplistic solutions are just that - simplistic.
It's easy to sit at a computer and complain, but complaining never solved
any problems. Why not advocate nuclear power plants? Why not have
electricity so cheap and so plentiful that we could use all-electric homes? Why
not make it so cheap that industry could use that electricity for all processes
that now require fossil fuel? Why not ride horses or bicycles?
What's wrong with government regulation?What's wrong with
stiffer penalties for industry which refuses to even meet basic EPA
standards?What's wrong with special tax breaks and programs to
encourage people to conserve and use green energy?Why must we always
cater to big pollution? Oh yeah, because they contribute more to our legislature
and AG than others. If the Swallow debacle has proven anything, it's that
our local government is up for sale. The people are losing out while big
industry and payday loan lenders are winning big.Rather than
relocate the prison, why not relocate the refinery?
For all the good your request did you might as well suggest an increased minimum
wage. We're going to come down on the side of big business every time.
Come to the Clean Air, No Excuses Rally at the Capitol January 25th at noon.
This is the message more than a thousand citizens intend to share with our
lawmakers. Your letter is spot on, thanks for writing.
You people on the Left make me chuckle. You move to Utah because it is family
friendly, has a great economy, and enjoys a low crime rate. Then you get busy
trashing the Conservative leaders and people that make it such a great state to
live in. You have my blessing to leave at any time it becomes unbearable.
Mike, even people who have to drive for a living can do something about air
pollution. I assume you drive an ultra low-emissions vehicle, like a Prius,
right? You can "thank God for the beauty of this valley and the beauty of
the mountains around us" from the driver's seat of a low-emissions
vehicle perhaps better than from the driver's seat of a gas guzzler,
because you will be showing God that you are a wise steward of His creation.
Jake,You hit on the only real long-range solution to the problem (less
people living in downtown SLC).This valley has always had the
geography it has, and the weather it has. What is new (and has coincided with
the increasingly bad air on inversion days) is the increased population.A lot of people are going to need to do what you suggested (and move out
of the area) if we are to actually solve this problem. SLC and the suburbs are
growing too fast.===Industry is part of the problem.
But they aren't the whole problem. They can't solve the whole
problem.Industry can and should make improvements (but the problem
will remain).As long as the population in the valley continues to
increase at the rates it has for the last 5 decades... the problem is going to
continue to increase (even if we got rid of all industry).More
people means more homes, more furnaces or fireplaces, more cars, more schools,
more roads, more refineries (for their cars), more industry (for their jobs).
You can't have the population growth we've had in a valley like this
without air problems.
Thank you for doing your part! There's no question that tail pipes are a
major source of the problem, and we need to alter our behavior when a higher
system begins to trap the air in our valleys. Everything to this point has been
voluntary, but one way for us, the consumers to reduce emissions would be to
lower the speed limits on our freeways during inversions.I see way
too many people still driving at 80 on the freeways, out of sheer habit. If
those signs above the freeway said "Due to Air Quality, Speed Limit now 60
mph" it would help curb behavior for the benefit of us all. Having UHP
handing out tickets will drive the point home (so to speak).I'm
seeing more & more people use the masks on their faces when they go
outdoors, and as we start to see more photos of people doing this, and it starts
to hit businesses, tourism, and puts a dent in our perceived high quality of
life, THEN our leaders will have the courage to curb industrial pollution.Common citizens have limited influence, but other businesses have a
voice that's heard.
We live in a bowl where air, including polluted air is trapped. Did the
Governor "build" this bowl? Is he responsible for nature? Utah is part of a complex society. It's wonderful that some people can
walk to work. It's wonderful that some people can walk to the grocery
store. Most of us can't. My closest customer is twelve miles away. My
next closest customer is 40 miles away. Neither are on a TRAX or FrontRunner
line. When those customers call, I have to respond, which means that I
can't form a carpool and I can't take multiple buses to get to them.
That's life. In order to feed my family and to pay my bills, I have to
drive a great many miles every year.If those who complain about
pollution would thank God for the beauty of this valley and the beauty of the
mountains around us, maybe they would focus on those things that are important
instead of moaning and groaning about how wonderful it would be if they and they
alone lived in this valley.
Mayor Becker says companies won't come to Utah if we don't clean up
our air. I say, good! Pollute more so people will not come. We don't
have the water for more population.Fortunately, we suffer dirty air
only a few weeks out of each year.
Thank you for your efforts. If only the polluting corporations would be good
neighbors. I've noticed that the "little guys" in this State
are the ones always asked to make sacrifices (whether it be individuals or small
companies) while the large corporations appear to have a blank check as to what
they do. What good are their jobs if they are harming the people? There is so
much more the large companies could do to reduce pollution. Unfortunately they
don't appear to want to do it voluntarily. They appear to be here simply
If you want legislators to represent you, you just have to give them the same
level of "donations" as the corporations do.
And of course we wouldn't want to tread on anyone's rights....Why
should someone driving a twelve passenger gas-guzzler have to pay their fair
share??? I'm guessing many if not most Utah legislators drive gas
guzzlers. There should absolutely be a tail-pipe tax in this state, but who
would dare propose that.
Gary Herbert and Utah's "leaders" spent hundreds of thousands on
those signs on the freeways telling us to "drive less and carpool for
cleaner air"! Isn't that a great way to spend our tax dollars?Typical Utah leadership...Build Eight lanes of freeway and then tell
people not to drive.