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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

This letter would ring true if Los Angeles and Mexico City hadn't been able to cut down on their own air pollution inversions.

It amazes me that the people who scream the loudest about how we cannot do anything to clean our air simply ignore what other cities have done to actually clean up their air. Sorry, but it has been done. Cleaning our air despite our bowl like geography can be done. It has been done several times before in other states and countries. I guess it just depends on whether utahns want to.

Who do you support? Big oil and dirty gas? Or our health and the health of our children and grandchildren?

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Pollution comes from our homes, our cars and from industry."

And, don't forget the Lake.

Most visible pollution in Utah is composed of water droplets, chlorides, and nitrates -- primarily from the Lake. So, any solution that makes the harmless, but visible air go away must include elimination of its major source -- the Lake.

And, BTW, that large flushing sound you hear is the sound of any of a number of equally deranged liberal projects to "clean" our already clean air, flushing our tax revenues into ineffective oblivion and into the pockets of cynical crony-capitalists, with zero effect on air quality.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

What Maverick writes is true but doesn't preclude the truth of the letter writer also. We each play a part. Some parts are bigger than others but all count.

What troubles me (I'd use another word but I'd probably get bounced) is the number of letters this winter virtually defending and dismissing the filthy air this year. I absolutely don't understand that.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

OR... we could just sit back and blame it on "Big oil and dirty gas"... and just continue driving alone to work, and doing what we do every other day when it's not an inversion. Smug in our feeling that we're doing our job (Blaming it on "Big oil and dirty gas").

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "What troubles me . . . is the number of letters this winter virtually defending and dismissing the filthy air this year. I absolutely don't understand that."

No doubt.

But it's actually quite simple -- the dirty little secret of environmental activism is that Utah air you can see is not hazardous to your health.

It is a nice foil for cynical, disingenuous socialists who want to destroy the economy, for real estate developers who want money, and for dishonest politicians [OK, OK, that term is redundant] who want power. But it's not dangerous.

And, BTW, it originates, almost entirely, from natural sources.

Jl
Sandy, UT

This letter skims over the most important aspect of the issue. It is leadership. We must have a clearly defined plan to attempt to address these issues. If we continue down the procuradorfiscal path then it will continually worsen as people continue to move into the region and the "natural" contributors are ignored. What if, just what if we keep it from getting worse. That in itself would be worth the effort. I choose to believe there's a lot that can we done with determined leadership, active citizens, civic business and innovative minds. One thing is for sure, nothing begets nothing and that's worse.

Hemlock
Salt Lake City, UT

Most studies indicate that air pollution has decreased in Utah over the past decade. The bowl-like geography and weather fronts will continue to make inversions problematic. Industry contributes about 15% of the pollution. We should continue efforts on public transportation and more efficient cars, but the solution requires sacrifice by all Utahns.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Oh, please. We do know where the pollution is coming from. Half of it is auto emission, and the other half is industrial. A lot is being done to cut auto emission--hybrids, e-vehicles, and 3rd tier gas are all coming on strong. Meanwhile, industry is allowed to "volunteer" to cut emissions "someday" while they continually violate standards. And yes, that is the governor's fault.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Irony Guy,
Can you name the companies you are talking about in our valley that are "continually violate standards"?

And name what standards they are continually violating.

Or did you just hear that talking point somewhere ("industry is allowed to volunteer to cut emissions someday while they continually violate standards")?

The EPA measures air quality in general. But they can't tell specifically where any of the components in their samples came from (from a car or a fireplace, or a factory, or WHICH factory it came from).

But if YOU know the companies that are "continually" violating EPA standards... you can shut them down, and the EPA should shut them down. That's what EPA standards and government regulations are for.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "The EPA measures air quality in general. But they can't tell specifically where any of the components in their samples came from . . . ."

They measure the number of particles per cubic meter and particle size. That's it. That's the unfortunate state of the art.

What no radical "environmentalist" really wants to us to know is the composition and source of aerosolized particulate matter. In coastal areas, they've known for years that their airborne particulates are primarily harmless water droplets and sea-salt aerosols.

Utah's air quality is different only in the sense that our sea-salt aerosols come from the Lake. OK, maybe some come from the salt we put on roads and aerosolize by driving on them. But, even that salt comes from the Lake.

Don't tell the radicals, though. It infuriates them when someone rats them out on their dirty little secret -- no matter how much money, power, and control we hand over to them, Mother Nature has decreed that Utah's air will always be harmlessly hazy on 20 or so days out of the year.

And, you can't fool Mother Nature.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

procuradorfiscal,
I'm sure there are some natural components. I don't know how much. But it helps explain something I've been wondering about... why LA has such bad air, especially in the AM.

They call it the "marine layer". It burns off most days, but they still have pretty bad air. They don't have mountains and temp-inversions holding the air in. It's wide open to the Pacific Ocean to the West, and still the smog just sits there in the city. Looking down on it from Griffith Park is always so depressing. I always wondered why it doesn't just blow out to sea (prevailing winds?). But the water vapor theory helps explain some of it.

CA doesn't have a ton of dirty industry in down town LA (Compared to it's population) and they aren't surrounded by mountains. And yet they have serious air pollution. They do have a LOT of cars and drivers though. I wonder if over there they just blame it on "industry" and just keep on driving?

It's very convenient to be able to blame it on someone everybody hates, and someone you can't control (industry).

Sven
Morgan, UT

No worries, our Glorious Dear Leader has already told us his intentions:

"You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would NECESSARILY SKYROCKET. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers (emphasis mine)." -Barack Obama

Just a few alternative energy companies supported by Dear Leader's stimulus that have gone bye bye (bankrupt):

Solyndra (received $535 million)
Beacon Power (received $43 million)
AES’ subsidiary Eastern Energy
Nevada Geothermal (received $98.5 million)
SunPower (received $1.5 billion)
First Solar (received $1.46 billion)

Utopia...Pfft!

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I'm consistently mocked by the "It's industry's fault" crowd, because I suggest each and every one of us doing whatever we can to drive less (presumably because it's not enough). But Barack Obama comes out with HIS plan (get a tuneup and inflate our tires correctly) and they fall down overwhelmed with how sufficient HIS plan is.

I guess I just don't use the correct talking points for these people.

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