Inside the newsroom: In search of a breath of fresh air

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  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 11, 2018 12:46 p.m.

    @CommonTater
    RE: "As long as there are climate deniers, our air and water will continue to get worse"...
    ---
    Actually all the pollution is not from "climate deniers".

    If I drove to work (which I don't) I'll bet ~50% of the people on the road are non-deniers. And their cars pollute just as much as a denier's car does.

    I've been called a "climate denier". Not because I don't think it's a problem. But because I'm not as radical as some, or don't think forcing others to live the way I think is moral, solves the problem.

    Many people trying to force their morality on others (by legislating others live according to what they think is moral) don't do the things they want legislated.

    Homes with"Clean air NOW" signs in the yard rarely have solar panels

    ==

    RE: blaming corporations...

    You realise most of our air pollution doesn't come from factories. It comes from the car you drive to work.

    And bringing Trump into it just makes it political.

    ==

    RE: "Talk is cheap, which is all our elected officials are willing to do"...
    ---
    Talk also seems to be all our activists are willing to do. Because I see them drive to work, and heating and lighting their homes with fossil fuels, etc.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 11, 2018 9:36 a.m.

    @Flipphone -11:16
    RE: "The current high pressure system causing the current air pollution"...
    ---
    People... Stop saying high pressure causes the air pollution. It doesn't "Cause" the pollution, it "Traps" the pollution (the pollution we cause).

    High Pressure, cold air, and snow on the ground, traps the air in the valley, but it doesn't cause the pollution. Quit saying the high pressure system causes air pollution. It doesn't cause pollution, it just doesn't allow it to dissipate like it would if the air wasn't trapped in the valley by the temperature inversion.

    We cause the pollution. The weather just traps the pollution we create when there's a temperature inversion.

    It's true the pollution will be gone when the high pressure is replaced by low pressure. But the weather didn't cause the particulates trapped. We did.

    What we need to focus on IMO is... reducing the amount of particulates we put into the air, especially when there's a temperature inversion.

    We can't control the weather. We can control the particulates we put into the air. By not burning wood, not driving, etc.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 11, 2018 9:03 a.m.

    @David 10:49
    RE: "I once heard a suggestion that the state subsidize UTA ridership 100%--in other words, riding buses, trains, etc would be free"...
    ---
    Then you thought about reality I hope.

    There's not a mass transit system in the country where you ride for free.

    Even in nations where they rely more on mass-transit than we do... it's not free. Even in Communist countries.

    The fact is... Rail systems are expensive to operate. Bus systems are expensive to operate. If nobody's paying for it... they don't last long.

    You have to pay for it. Buses and trains aren't free. The fuel isn't free. The drivers don't volunteer their time (they expect to be paid). The maintenance of the tracks/roads/vehicles isn't free. IMO the people who ride it should pay at least a little bit to help offset those costs.

    Fairs don't pay for the whole thing. But they help. Without them, as you pointed out, the tax payers in Heber and St George are paying for a transit system they can't ride (unless they get in their car and drive to SLC to ride it).

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 11, 2018 8:50 a.m.

    I agree with all 4 of his points, although I also believe some people use this situation for political purposes, which is bogus. Our air is not a political thing, it's a personal thing. It takes each one of us changing our habits to solve the problem, not a few people in the legislature.

    We could change the people in the legislature and we will only have changed 100 people (there are 3 Million people to change, so 100 is just a drop in the bucket).

    They are influential people. But they are still just people.

    You can use the 100 people in the Legislature to force people to live the way you want them to live, but if you haven't changed their hearts and minds... the problem is still there. They are just being compelled to live the way you think is "Moral". But they are only doing it because they are being forced to do it (That approach rarely works in a free society).

    ===

    I agree with all 4 of his points. But I agree most with his last sentence...
    "My own observation is that personal engagement will make the greatest difference"

  • David Centerville, UT
    Dec. 10, 2018 10:49 p.m.

    I once heard a suggestion that the state subsidize UTA ridership 100%--in other words, riding buses, trains, etc would be free. This was proposed by a Republican county official. I was surprised that such a suggestion would come from this source, and I recognize the challenge--why would rural and southern Utah tax payers subsidize Wasatch Front ridership?

    I recently heard Ben Shapiro predict that within our lifetime private cars will be virtually outdated. Everyone will be taking public transportation, Uber, etc. Again, the source of this prediction surprised me.

    I think technology can help reduce pollution. I think we can recognize that we are doing a better job than past efforts. I think we should recognize the seriousness of the current problem and do something actionable to help. Don't burn wood stoves when there's an inversion--be considerate of your neighbors. Consolidate trips in the car and avoid idling. Take public transportation. Just a few ideas. It's easy, it's smart, it's being kind to your neighbor, and it's time to step it up another notch or two.

    But to say there's no point, or efforts won't make a difference...?

  • WeThePeople Sandy, UT
    Dec. 9, 2018 12:09 p.m.

    Once again the doubters, critics, and communists are murmuring amongst themselves. They say we need to clean up our air, but all they want to do is limit our freedom. Our freedom to burn wood to heat our houses. To drive to see our grandchildren. To have successful businesses.

    Instead of complaining, they need to support our leaders and help build a better city.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2018 12:03 p.m.

    B-Real2 - Saratoga Springs, UT

    "Did I read a $1.3B surplus? Holy cow, per household that is a ton of money. Sure wish Utah and the governor and the legislature would get our tax rate in line with all the other nearby states (some which are even at 0%). Lower the rate to say 4%. I’m not advocating we get all our own money back but jeez, $1.3B for a state this small? That proves our tax rate is too high."

    Republicans just love taxes, this "surplus" (over taxation) proves it. And out legislators complain that Medicare is too expensive. Our roads are some of the worst in the country.
    Teachers aren't paid enough and turnover is high because of that.

    Republicans wanted to raise gas taxes...for better roads...oh yeah, and schools, snicker, snicker.

    More taxes will fix the problem of too many taxes.

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    Dec. 9, 2018 11:16 a.m.

    This coming Tuesday the air will clear because the current high pressure system causing the current air pollution will be replaced by a low pressure system bringing in a storm.

  • kranny utah, UT
    Dec. 9, 2018 10:27 a.m.

    If air pollution is such a problem, caused by the growth of the population, why is the State government trying to grow it more by incentivizing businesses to come in. Oh, that's right. They're trying to grow the economy, to appear prosperous, until we become like Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc., places that people are fleeing to come here, all the while killing us off with the air pollution. Watching government wring their hands over issues they have created is like running around with fire extinguishers in times of flood.

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    Dec. 9, 2018 10:11 a.m.

    ConservativeCommonTater - Salt Lake City, UT

    There are Historical pictures of Both the Salt Lake and Utah valleys from a 100 years ago showing both valleys filled with winter time pollution.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2018 9:56 a.m.

    Flipphone - Sandy, UT

    "The Wasatch front valleys were polluted 150 years ago and they will be polluted in the future, why? because of high pressure systems."

    There were 2 million plus people in the Wasatch front valleys 150 years ago? What kind of cars and buses were around then? How were the refiners doing 150 years ago? How many roads were there? What kind of man made chemicals were being spewed into the air back then?

    Maybe you're right. We should just throw up our hands and do nothing about air pollution. It's easier and cheaper that way.

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    Dec. 9, 2018 9:30 a.m.

    The big 3 polluters along the Wasatch front valleys, are #1 cars, #2 homes #3 industries. and want traps the pollution in the valleys? Mother natures High pressure systems.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2018 9:10 a.m.

    Locally and nationally we have a problem with leadership.

    As long as there are climate deniers, our air and water will continue to get worse. We have many climate deniers locally who don't want to impose any regulations to make corporations clean up their act. Profits come first.

    Nationally, Trump wants to reduce the mileage and pollution standards for automobiles. Trump wants to bring back "clean coal" which no one has ever discovered.

    Talk is cheap, which is all our elected officials are willing to do.

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    Dec. 9, 2018 8:42 a.m.

    The Wasatch front valleys were polluted 150 years ago and they will be polluted in the future, why? because of high pressure systems.

  • zgomer Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2018 8:13 a.m.

    Same problem SLC has had since the native Americans and called the SLC valley valley of smoke and not many people lived in it then, the blame game won't change the problem nor will better pollution monitors or higher taxes, it will always be the same...air pollution period.

  • B-Real2 Saratoga Springs, UT
    Dec. 9, 2018 7:51 a.m.

    Did I read a $1.3B surplus? Holy cow, per household that is a ton of money. Sure wish Utah and the governor and the legislature would get our tax rate in line with all the other nearby states (some which are even at 0%). Lower the rate to say 4%. I’m not advocating we get all our own money back but jeez, $1.3B for a state this small? That proves our tax rate is too high.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Dec. 8, 2018 5:09 p.m.

    Then how about you stop being complicit and use your paper to do some investigative reporting into big industrial polluters? Why are sensors, designed to monitor the refineries, broken or missing for years? Why don't we require the most stringent pollution controls in the country, instead of the most lax that laws allow? Surely Chevron and Kennecott, US Mag, etc. can afford them. How about reporting on Big Polluters campaign "donations" to the Guv and key Legislators? It's much cheaper to "donate" a few hundred of thousands of dollars to our politicians, than to buy and install better pollution controls and processes that will help our air and lives. Use your position to help save lives.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2018 5:06 p.m.

    Obviously, take a look at the 10 leading sources of pollution and figure it out. The problem is : who is going to bite the bullet ? Somebody will need to cut back a lot to make an appreciable difference. Or send the pollution problems elsewhere out of the valleys around here. Maybe that means to draw a limit on how many new dwelling units can be constructed in Salt Lake, Utah and other impacted areas. Better commuter service and/or moving businesses out as well. Better zoning to eliminate sprawl is important. Or local shopping : "mom and pop" shops where customers can walk to the store; i.e. Micro communities. Everybody take a sabbath day of sorts where driving is not done. Maybe stores take turns on closing for such a day once a month.