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Old 05-16-2018, 12:58 PM
 
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NIMBY people... everyone always has an opinion loosely based upon their experiences and what they deem to be fact. The issue with inversions is highly complex and the solution is even more so. It will require significant infrastructure investment, cultural/legal/regulatory change to work out of it.

There is not perfect solution and there will be a significant opportunity cost to any solution that is introduced.
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWFL_Native View Post
NIMBY people... everyone always has an opinion loosely based upon their experiences and what they deem to be fact. The issue with inversions is highly complex and the solution is even more so. It will require significant infrastructure investment, cultural/legal/regulatory change to work out of it.

There is not perfect solution and there will be a significant opportunity cost to any solution that is introduced.
I know the inversion is a complex issue and I'm still learning about it. What are some of the opportunity costs?
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:55 PM
 
Location: SLC
1,937 posts, read 1,256,915 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWFL_Native View Post
NIMBY people... everyone always has an opinion loosely based upon their experiences and what they deem to be fact. The issue with inversions is highly complex and the solution is even more so. It will require significant infrastructure investment, cultural/legal/regulatory change to work out of it.

There is not perfect solution and there will be a significant opportunity cost to any solution that is introduced.
Agree with everything you say, but a pre-requisite to all that hard work, tough decisions and investment is the political will and commitment. Lacking that, one will remain stuck in neutral as we are.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
Everyone here will surely agree that the inversion problem is serious and shows no signs of getting better. I've been simply amazed at how much reporting there is on inversions yet how little one sees about meaningful action beyond feel-good stuff that tinkers at the margins (no idling, denouncing fixed sources that are actually only a fraction of the problem, etc.).

In that vein I've also wondered at why there seems to be zero discussion of adopting the California emission standards. If this had been done 15 years ago the inversion problems now would be a fraction of what they are. Yet you don't hear a peep. I spent a fair amount of time searching and found practically nothing, zero, about this as a long term means to improve matters. I did find one reference however, and it's about 20 years old! That's it, nothing more. If anybody else can find anything I'd love to see it.

The NE states did adopt the CA standards years ago and guess what? It made a huge difference. I lived there and I know. What is it about the culture and politics of Utah that resists easy and common sense fixes that have been proven to work elsewhere? To my total astonishment, until about a year ago there was a state law prohibiting the adoption of any environmental standards stronger than the EPA standards. Is hatred of regulations and government solutions so profound and ingrained that the body politic prefers to live with the problem instead of doing something about it? And doing something that can be done immediately at a cost of only a few hundred bucks for a new car? Apparently the answer is "yes" (unless it's about alcohol or weed).

I can only conclude that the state government is not really serious about improving the common good and everybody (except a few tree-huggers weirdos living in SLC) is just fine with that.
Is there something in the water?
Reading this very forum I understand why nothing is done. We get regular inquiries from people moving here who talk about how they are looking for a state ruled by conservatives and conservative politicians. Such people are unlikely to back any real government regulation of air quality until they, or their children, are literally choking to death on fumes. These people make no distinctions. Even if its just one issue they are concerned about--like gun rights--they toe the line when it comes to the whole conservative agenda.

Than there are the inquiries from people who ask where they can live in the valley where they will be "immune" or "protected" from the inversion. These inquiries strike me as typical too. Its sort of like "as long as I am protected, I don't care about you or your family".

As much as I hate to say it, I think a large number of people in this state do not appreciate the uniqueness of Utah, its fragility, its desert climate, and its ecosystem. Climate change is scoffed at here. Many believe its made up or a plot by "liburals" to ruin things for hard working miners and ranchers.

I love Utah, but I am sick of certain attitudes here. The average Utahn will not support any serious action to regulate the emissions that produce these inversions. He will ignore the issue. He will make excuses. He will talk instead about gun rights, abortion, and complain about taxes. He will continue to vote for one party rule and domination of politics. A minority will continue to try and bring the population around, but they will ultimately see the futility of their effort and give up. Many will ultimately leave the state rather than deal with the intransignce that exists here.

I already have a vacation home in St. George. I don't really wish to do this, but out of frustration, I will simply go live there in the winter when I get old enough to retire in a few years. Frankly, there is no solution to this problem on the horizon for the next twenty years.

Last edited by markg91359; 05-16-2018 at 10:11 PM..
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:30 AM
 
Location: SLC
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markg91359 - Thank you very much for your excellent post! Very insightful!

The Utah way is a learning process for the newcomers, and we are still learning. I firmly believe that the political will is the most essential part of any meaningful action. Just this morning - I read an excellent exit interview of a retiring Salt Lake Tribune reporter Paul Rolly https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/05/...-lake-tribune/ which provided (for me) new insights into why the politics in Utah is the way it is, and how little hope there is for a change.
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:02 AM
 
8,013 posts, read 5,156,524 times
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Originally Posted by kavm View Post
Agree with everything you say, but a pre-requisite to all that hard work, tough decisions and investment is the political will and commitment. Lacking that, one will remain stuck in neutral as we are.
People think of thinks in isolation "fix the inversion" which inherently is an issue. Putting blinders on or tunnel vision is highly problematic. Without any lack of perspective in the bigger picture it leads to uninformed decisions then uninformed votes then uninformed solutions.

There is something called negative externality in economics or unintended consequences. All of the "solutions" to the inversion come at a very steep price with opportunity costs to many to correct a problem.

I liken it to the pharma adds where they disclose all of the side affects... nausea, diarrhea, gaunt, shortness of breathe, heart murmur all for a medicine to prevent migraines. I can go into further detail but those blaming conservatives, or the mine, or gas plant/oil refineries are missing a great deal of perspective.
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Old 05-17-2018, 12:55 PM
 
338 posts, read 253,163 times
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Originally Posted by SWFL_Native View Post
People think of thinks in isolation "fix the inversion" which inherently is an issue. Putting blinders on or tunnel vision is highly problematic. Without any lack of perspective in the bigger picture it leads to uninformed decisions then uninformed votes then uninformed solutions.

There is something called negative externality in economics or unintended consequences. All of the "solutions" to the inversion come at a very steep price with opportunity costs to many to correct a problem.

I liken it to the pharma adds where they disclose all of the side affects... nausea, diarrhea, gaunt, shortness of breathe, heart murmur all for a medicine to prevent migraines. I can go into further detail but those blaming conservatives, or the mine, or gas plant/oil refineries are missing a great deal of perspective.
I'm not trying to blame anyone. I don't want to have tunnel vision. On the contrary, I'd like to expand my perspective to understand what the opportunity costs are to improving air quality.

So please, do elaborate SWFL. What happens? Do businesses start going elsewhere, hurting the economy? Will taxes to improve air quality increase income inequality? What else?

Thank you.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:29 PM
 
Location: SLC
1,937 posts, read 1,256,915 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWFL_Native View Post
People think of thinks in isolation "fix the inversion" which inherently is an issue. Putting blinders on or tunnel vision is highly problematic. Without any lack of perspective in the bigger picture it leads to uninformed decisions then uninformed votes then uninformed solutions.

There is something called negative externality in economics or unintended consequences. All of the "solutions" to the inversion come at a very steep price with opportunity costs to many to correct a problem.

I liken it to the pharma adds where they disclose all of the side affects... nausea, diarrhea, gaunt, shortness of breathe, heart murmur all for a medicine to prevent migraines. I can go into further detail but those blaming conservatives, or the mine, or gas plant/oil refineries are missing a great deal of perspective.
I respect your point of view. But, please don’t think that those who argue for a different trade off are somehow naive who are incapable of appreciating the complexity, the costs, technological limitations. I continue to believe that the political will is a necessary prerequisite engaging with the issue with any seriousness, and that is simply not there. The Utah politicians overvalue the economic activity, growth (if not, political contributions and personal gains) and grossly undervalue the nature and environment that make it special. I suspect that citizens at large would make a different trade off but not certain, given who we elect.
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:24 AM
 
Location: SLC
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In case my post able gave the impression that the economic growth and environmental protection are mutually exclusive and the trade offs being made by the Utah politicians are simply represent good stewardship of the economic growth, one should note that the data on that is far less clear. The environmental economists find that the the impact of the (tougher) environmental regulation on the economy has both positive and negative dimensions. The following link provides an academic dimension: https://academic.oup.com/reep/article/11/2/183/4049468. Even when the short term impact is negative, the negative impact falls well short of the doom and gloom suggested by the conservative donor network that seem to drive the politics here. Here’s an evaluation of the impact of tougher environmental standards in China from The Economist - https://www.economist.com/finance-an...economy-suffer

Then there are the real life example of tougher environmental regulations in California. They have had the positive impact on the air quality and environment. And, the economy isn’t doing that badly, and we are seeing more innovation and the emergence of environmentally friendly businesses.

So, I continue to believe the provincial politics and the anti-environmental positions here are driven by sound economic trade offs for the people at large but the economic interests of the politicians themselves. And, in the meantime, the consequences of inaction continue to accrue in the lungs of the residents of the SL valley - whether they see discernible health consequences now or in years from now.

Last edited by kavm; 05-18-2018 at 05:50 AM..
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:18 AM
 
8,013 posts, read 5,156,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kavm View Post
I respect your point of view. But, please don’t think that those who argue for a different trade off are somehow naive who are incapable of appreciating the complexity, the costs, technological limitations. I continue to believe that the political will is a necessary prerequisite engaging with the issue with any seriousness, and that is simply not there. The Utah politicians overvalue the economic activity, growth (if not, political contributions and personal gains) and grossly undervalue the nature and environment that make it special. I suspect that citizens at large would make a different trade off but not certain, given who we elect.
For example blaming the “mine”. That mine was the largest and now the 3rd largest open pit min in the world. It’s been in operation since the 1800’s and has taken billions of $ of investment to build out to its current state. It provides 1/3 of all US copper demand in this country. I’ll let you lookup the importance of copper on your own.

Now there is the mine itself, a few insllamemts of transport facilities and two large plants to get the raw material to a purified level of the final product. Each component has their own environmental impact and benefit to the eventual output.

Finally the mine itself has a questionable life going forward without even contemplating inversions. There are still significant deposits but the current mine would have to be widened significantly to get down to it. With all of that said the likely will close it in the next 10 years if alternate sources can be brought on.

But my point is the mine took 100 years to develop billions of $ and supplies a vital commodity to this country. It employs thousands and has a significant impact on many other supporting industries here in Utah (boart longyear and dyno nobel are examples). The mine was developed and utilized when no population existed in that area for miles. You might even say the influx of $ and investment caused by the mine helped support growth and development around it. Many of the very same people that assign blame to them for the inversion.

Anyway I think it’s always beneficial for people to have perspective of all sides the history the costs and the benefits before forming an opinion and proposing a solution. We could also go into further detail on the gas plants as well.
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