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Old 05-12-2018, 01:04 PM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,540 posts, read 6,363,072 times
Reputation: 3023

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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?
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:55 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,796 posts, read 12,776,540 times
Reputation: 4859
Who else have you spoken/complained to besides your "rant" in this forum?

I honestly do not think that anything will happen, ever, by just "ranting" on this forum ...
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Old 05-12-2018, 03:29 PM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,540 posts, read 6,363,072 times
Reputation: 3023
Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
Who else have you spoken/complained to besides your "rant" in this forum?

I honestly do not think that anything will happen, ever, by just "ranting" on this forum ...
to your first point, I've talked to many people, in fact. And to the second, I don't seek to change anything by ranting here. That should be pretty obvious. What I DO seek here is insights into WHY this is so, and the answers, obviously, lie with the body politic and state governmental. That is what I seek insight on and this is as good place to seek it as any.

The subject should also concern the Utah-boosters. You can be sure that there are many would-be transplants or transferees that, after learning about the inversions, ask "Well what are they doing about it?" It seems absurd to respond "Well, when you really get down to it, not really much of anything." Yet as far as I can see that seems to be the case.

So, irman, I ask you: why do YOU think there's so little concrete action and an apparent (willfull?) obliviousness on at least one proven path towards improvement?
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Old 05-12-2018, 08:46 PM
 
338 posts, read 254,700 times
Reputation: 767
I often wonder the same thing, kletter1mann.

Idling is frowned upon here, but I still see people doing it all the time, even when the weather is great and their windows are down. Why???

And then I keep hearing the recommendation, "oh, just drive up the canyon to escape the bad air during inversions". That doesn't exactly fix the problem!

I'm raising young children here, and I really love living here, but if anyone's health in my family is affected by the inversions, we are leaving.

I'd much rather vote for stronger environmental standards than have a kid develop asthma, or worse.
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:34 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,796 posts, read 12,776,540 times
Reputation: 4859
Quote:
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
So, irman, I ask you: why do YOU think there are so little concrete action and an apparent (willful?) obliviousness on at least one proven path towards improvement?
I used to talk a lot about what is going on and what "could" be done about it.
After a while, even attending meetings, I kind of gave up because I felt that there is some aloofness in this State, which was very disturbing to me.

I happen to live on a rather small street and it is very difficult, to get out of the yard and get on the street due to the relatively high speed, people drive in this small street, where the limit is posted as 25 mph!

The "official" answer was in essence, something like: "When there are a few deaths due to accidents, maybe we can look into doing something about that..."

I was really shocked about that and asked if we could do something privately like installing speed bumps.
That was expressly forbidden.

I then figured out that people may not really care at all what actually is happening here!
So, I gave up and just tried to get used to the situation! Something like the "Oh well" attitude!

Just because the postman's route is in a certain direction, our mailboxes are across the street, altho there are more homes on our side than on the other ...
It is really scary to go across the street to get our mail!
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:22 AM
 
Location: East Millcreek
2,540 posts, read 6,363,072 times
Reputation: 3023
Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
I used to talk a lot about what is going on and what "could" be done about it.
After a while, even attending meetings, I kind of gave up because I felt that there is some aloofness in this State, which was very disturbing to me.

I happen to live on a rather small street and it is very difficult, to get out of the yard and get on the street due to the relatively high speed, people drive in this small street, where the limit is posted as 25 mph!

The "official" answer was in essence, something like: "When there are a few deaths due to accidents, maybe we can look into doing something about that..."

I was really shocked about that and asked if we could do something privately like installing speed bumps.
That was expressly forbidden.

I then figured out that people may not really care at all what actually is happening here!
So, I gave up and just tried to get used to the situation! Something like the "Oh well" attitude!

Just because the postman's route is in a certain direction, our mailboxes are across the street, altho there are more homes on our side than on the other ...
It is really scary to go across the street to get our mail!
Thanks for that, it speaks volumes.

The other day I was gazing out the window towards the street. I heard a bang and saw a loose tire go flying down the street about 30mph, bouncing across 2 yards where kids play, before being stopped by a hurricane fence. I called the cops. The dispatcher asked if anybody was hurt. The answer was no and the cops never showed up. My expectation was that the miscreants would be charged or at least admonished for their socially destructive and irresponsible behavior. Since then I was told by several people, including and ex-cop, that they only respond if somebody is hurt or killed. Proactively improving the public good, such as Guiliani did in NY by going after the squeegee men and other low level stuff, isn't part of the plan.

What's the point of my little story? Well, it squares with yours in many ways: apparently the cultural norm is to simply ignore issues until and unless they simply can't be ignored anymore. No proactive thought or effort to look down the road and act now to prevent issues later. I've been pondering the question of where the water will come from in 20 years with the huge projected population increases. Read Recommended Water Strategy (UT legislature, 2017). This document states:

"Water demand management has not received an appropriate amount of funding and policy emphasis to help meet Utah's future water needs, with far less emphasis than new supply development." (pg. 20, bolding mine)

"A number of recent public opinion polls, surveys, and studies show that Utahns place the importance of agriculture very high. Water will continue to be converted from agricultural use to urban M&I use primarily through market-based transfers between willing sellers and buyers. Yet the strong value placed on agriculture and food security calls into question the long-time practice of shifting water and land from agriculture to other uses." (pg. 31)

This report is terrific. The state govt seems to love the growth. Yet I've seen nothing about it's implementation. Same mindset. This stuff pretty directly hits at the cultural values blocking actual action. Don't even get me started on the asinine Utah Lake remediation by building islands (private enterprise) with zero effort to get at the root causes that created the problem in the first place (government-driven analysis and solutions).

In conclusion, the silence on this general topic has been deafening. To be sure, it's not as much fun as debating the best pizza or benches-vs-valley. My take-away is that what I've described is an uncomfortable truth about Utah culture, and not a flattering one I'm afraid. The irony is that the Cali car standards don't even require taxes or much of anything else (inspection stations). Cost is borne by the car buyer/driver which is as it should be.

So that's it for me on this topic. I've drawn my conclusions. To be honest, I see this stuff getting far, far worse (bad air, no water, uncontrolled sprawl, etc) before the masses rise up and say "Enough!" Too bad too, when foreseeable problems could have been avoided by past action. But apparently that's just how people like it.
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:56 PM
 
Location: SLC
1,962 posts, read 1,276,990 times
Reputation: 5304
Kletter1mann -

Back to your original post, I find no real reason for optimism on the environmental topics in general and the pollution / inversions in particular. Unlike some, I do not think that the reason is that insufficient number of people are concerned about it or that they are not talking to each other and thei political leaders. The issue is that the political leadership is more interested in other ‘more important’ issues and does not see a political cost for inaction on this topic. Instead, it sees a cost of (minor) action - and that’s the reason for limiting the wood / solid fuel burning on only the designated air action days.

Forget the CA standards, the politicians gave a 19M tax royalty discount to the largest coal producer in the state recently, and along with WY - the state is funding legal challenge to the West coast coal policies. At the same time, the same politicians successfully lobbied to reduce Utah’s national monuments. That’s what the environmental priorities are in this state.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,787 posts, read 2,336,921 times
Reputation: 3587
Heh, the UDAQ would love to have the teeth to actually be able to enforce EPA rules, and likely go even more strict, but the business-first legislature of Utah won't allow for that. I have friends who work at the UDEQ (environmental quality), one in the UDAQ (air quality), and the stories they tell me about how little ability they have to obtain compliance from business and the regulated community is disgusting. So, stop voting for names followed by the state's one-true-letter, and you may begin to see some improvement, but until then...

I suppose on the bright side, Utah has a fantastic manufacturing economy complete with 5 lovely oil refineries that produce quite a number of jobs. That big mine on the western edge of the metro is also a wonderful economic powerhouse! Too bad none of them belong in a metro of 2 million people, confined by 10,000 foot tall mountains and frequently stagnant winter weather patterns.
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Evanston and Lake Forest, Illinois
2,941 posts, read 2,445,766 times
Reputation: 3735
Standard Examiner - Despite the inversion, Utah's air is actually better than it used to be
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:05 AM
 
Location: SLC
1,962 posts, read 1,276,990 times
Reputation: 5304
In this day of Faux News and alternate facts, you can make any headlines to continue the lead cheerleader role. But, for the not so gullible - seeing and breathing the air during inversions brings a dose of reality. If there is some discernible ‘improvement’ that can be found in that data, the reality is far from acceptable and the need for substantial improvement is no less urgent.

Geo-Aggie has it right, as usual. While the Utahans continue to vote the way they do and keep on electing politicians that aren’t really serious about addressing it in a meaningful way, there is a little prospect of any meaningful improvement. We have to continue to get distracted by Twitter, which offers an copious supply.
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