Thursday, October 22, 2009

Red air, red state, blue resident

Some of my favorite responses to our local newspaper's question about what Cache Valley residents intend to do toward reducing pollution with the cold season and inversion coming up. Some context: Because we live in a big bowl and have periods of almost no temperature change we get air that is neigh on unbreathable. Think NYC, or LA. We have "yellow air" and "red air" alerts when we're cautioned to not go outside and exercise because it can damage our lungs. We have University of Utah researchers doing breathing tests on our kids on red air days like we're the proverbial canaries in a coal mine. We've shot for the stars and obtained a level of air quality that requires federal intervention.

Here are the quotes:

"Absolutely not! First there was this huge hole in the ozone...Hmmm haven't heard much about that the last several years, huh? THEN they had us all believe that global warming was actually we continue to shatter cold records weekly!! Funny how that talk is ALSO starting to fade now, huh??

I inversion does trap air in the winter within this valley, however, the inversion is not an automatic thing that happens each year. But when it does occur, no doubt some bad air gets trapped..but that is life! Too bad! "

" Yes, I'm going to buy corks for my neighbors' cows. "

" Yes, I plan to ask CVTD to discontinue operation so that we can eliminate the exhaust emissions from engines of empty and near-empty buses. " CVTD is our local bus system. It's a no-fare system supported by tax dollars, some of the buses even run on natural gas

" Limiting my contribution to air pollution isn't the only consideration. Far from it. I plan to drive my vehicles when I feel it necessary. Oh, and I don't pay much attention to those silly flashing signs that indicate red or yellow air day. It's such a trivial aspect to my overall decision to drive to where I drive.

I'd like to see the Nibley CVTD run eliminated. It seldom has very many, if any people on it, but it sure spews out a lot of exhaust. "

" HELLL NO!!!! "

" Because cows produce so much methane, I will eat as many steaks as I can to reduce the cow population. "

" In the interest of seasonal fairness, I'm committed to producing equal levels of pollution throughout the year. "

" Feedback has the right idea, spend more time at the beav and cut back on pollution at the same time, win/win. On top of that I will ride my bike on any weather permitting day, even though its more for exercise than helping the pollution since I don't think its all that big of a problem here. "

" While reducing air pollution for the sake of public health and comfort is a noble goal the cost of such reductions can be measured in the millions of dollars in time and productivity if it even costs on average 5 minuets per person per day.
Reduce pollution when you can but keep in mind the cost of your actions, don't use it as an excuse to reduce productivity. "

" I plan to warm up my diesel truck an extra 10 minutes every morning!


" Inversions are natural and occur in many places. The idea that we cause Cache Valley inversions has no supporting data.

Human induced climate change is unproven. There is no evidence that human production of CO2 is driving the temperature. All we have, at the moment, is debate about the idea. "

How do you get to a place where your response to those personally working towards improving everyone's air quality is not only "no" but "no, and screw you for trying." How does that happen exactly?

1 comment:

robmba said...

I really dislike the "empty bus" argument I hear all the time about getting rid of the CVTD. I rarely see empty buses. Maybe I just ride at peak times and on the busier routes, but it is not my experience that the buses are always empty.

Even if there are a few routes or times that are a little less efficient than others, the fact that the buses run on a consistent schedule to all parts of the valley make it more likely that people will ride it. I don't often ride the bus at 8 p.m., but knowing that I could ride it at 8 p.m. makes me more likely to ride it earlier in the day, because if something holds me up, I can still get home later.