Jay Evensen: Like swallows to Capistrano, inversions always come back

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  • EPJ Skull Valley, UT
    Dec. 18, 2018 6:50 a.m.

    This is not intended to be flippant--maybe we need to figure out how to break up the high pressure system when inversions begin to form?

    EPJ. Grantsville, . . . not Skull Valley.

  • Brett AA Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2018 10:55 a.m.

    How can a conservative say they are for private property rights, but allow people to send their car pollution into the air so it then pollutes the airspace of other private property? It is immoral for us to pollute the air which benefits mostly the healthy and wealthy and damages most the children, elderly and sick.

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    Dec. 15, 2018 9:12 a.m.

    A low pressure system recently cleaned out the valley, but now a new high pressure system is building causing yet another winter time inversion.

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 12:27 p.m.

    Native Americans called the Salt Lake Valley, the Valley of smoke.

  • RedShirtUofU Andoria, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 9:42 a.m.

    To "unrepentant progressive" since nearly 60% of the pollution is due to automobiles, what is the replacement? How does the Salt Lake Valley remain viable? How do you convince a person that they need to give up their 30 minute commute in their car with a 90 minute commute by bus?

    If you really wanted to cut pollution significantly you would make and sell electric cars that perform like gasoline powered ones, charge in the time that it takes to fill a car with gas, and cost the same as a gasoline powered car. Now, if you did that, you would still have to wait 10 years or more for most of the gas powered cars to be disposed of.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2018 9:31 a.m.

    The inversions continue but our air is better than it was decades ago despite the population of Salt Lake County doubling over the past 40 years because of the innovations and regulations that have gone into effect over that period.

  • 1Reader Alpine, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 10:09 p.m.

    Those swallows of Capistrano used to make their homes in my window corners, and create a huge mess in their off season. They're not as fun from that angle.

    I used to be committed to fixing this smog problem in SLC--but then I realized that we're not even trying. We still have wood burning stoves creating tremendous pollution (although there can't be very many of those left)--except on a few of the worst "Red" days. And many people still think it's just more fun to burn the household trash or leaves--just like it's 1941. I don't understand that; it's not even discouraged.

    Some strategy advice here is to determine precisely what has decreased pollution while the population has increased. If you don't understand that, you can't expand on those gains intelligently.

    Lastly, people are fretting about air quality during a potential 2030 Olympics. The best estimates are that electric vehicle cost parity (with all its many significant advantages) with combustion autos is by year 2023--with some estimates in 2020 and others around 2026. From that point on, we'll see a fast drop in gas vehicles. I'd guess three-quarters of cars are electric by then. Tech is the solution.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 4:51 p.m.

    Clouds can form at 1200 ft. SLC is more or less 4000 ft. Might be a factor.

  • UtahEngineer Sandy, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 4:10 p.m.

    Re: My previous comment:

    The exact name and date of the WFRC publication I referred to is:

    WFRC COMMUNIQUE, A Newsletter of the Wasatch Front Regional Council, February 1999.

    "Automobiles and Air Quality: A Success Story"

  • UtahEngineer Sandy, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 3:18 p.m.

    Many problems with the same old outlook of these articles.

    Here are 5 problems:

    Uunrepentant-progressive represents the common ignorance current reporting on this issue produces when he said,
    "Unless the good people of Utah decide the air is a threat to their lives and well-being, i doubt very much that anything is going to get done."

    Is $6 billion dollars enough for you, "progressive"?

    Fact 1:
    Utah car owners have easily spent an added $2 billion for cleaner cars over the last 20 years. That was the prediction and message in the Wasatch Front Regional Council Communique in 1999, when it described auto emissions cleanup in newer cars as a great success story.

    Fact 2:

    Utahns have dumped over $5 billion in the UTA money pit for alleged reductions in car emissions from building train systems and buying much cleaner buses and increased operating costs.

    Fact 3:

    Wood smoke from fireplaces only contributes 1 microgram per cubic meter to our bad air.

    P.S. I don't trust your alleged experts when they don't provide free access to the scientific studies they quote from.
    This amounts to secret science, which is anathema to Deseret News' goal.

  • Fubijag West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 12:59 p.m.

    So what changes do you have in mind? Alot of hyperbole there in your comment but no substance. What would you like to see done? What law can be passed that will ensure we no longer have bad air days?

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 11:29 a.m.

    “Researchers at the University of Utah analyzed data on women here who miscarried between 2007 and 2015 and concluded that pollution led to a 16 percent increase in the chances of losing a fetus during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.”

    If the above research is accurate why do we add to the pollutants during this inversion period by promoting massive projects like the Inland Port with it’s accompanying Diesel Trucks and Trains?

    If we absolutely must have this “Bulk Coal” facility why must it be in the valley with the most population?

    Why don’t we move it to a less populated area of the State?

  • Flipphone Sandy, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 10:53 a.m.

    When mother natures high pressure systems are outlawed or replaced by constant low pressure systems then inversion and only then will eliminated, but if that were to happen we would have to much water. The other and easiest solution of course is to move out of the valleys.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2018 10:35 a.m.

    Back in the days when there was a much smaller population footprint in the valley, yet much burning of wood and coal, air pollution was reportedly worse than it is today. Technology has removed much of the pollution even though the population has grown significantly. Even so. air pollution is a problem. Current technology has limits; we cannot relay on tech to completely solve the problem. The point of diminishing returns has probably been reached. So, what is to be done ? A perplexing and Gordian knot of a question. Perhaps, like Alexander of old who cut the Gordian knot with his sword,, the question may have to be answered by drastic action ( but not a sword ); or else pour more and more money to achieve less and less results. After all, a reduction of more than 50% of the valley population is not going to happen. Can we even stop the growth of population in the valley ?

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Dec. 13, 2018 10:20 a.m.

    Unless the good people of Utah decide the air is a threat to their lives and well-being, i doubt very much that anything is going to get done.

    Just as they say that inversions are like the swallows to Capistrano, so it is with human nature. Asking people to make material changes to the current life style (which promotes pollution) is impossible to put into place. It is called denial in the parlance of psychology. Just pretend things are not so bad.

    Sadly, given the general nature of politics, the party that tells us we that we can have our cake and eat it too controls the agenda presently. The party line re-enforces our tendency to deny the obvious.

    So, Utahns will have to wait for the inversions to become intolerable and/or tourist dollars start drying up. Even then...

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Dec. 13, 2018 9:58 a.m.

    Inversions happen in valleys everywhere. What we do is output pollutants into the atmosphere, held in place by the inversions. Think about the consequences of future huge growth here in the Salt Lake Valley. . .

    Do you believe it might just be time to rethink the age old 'Growth model'? There is no shortage of people or economic activity in the valley. Don't build it and they won't come.