Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bad Air Equals Big Money In Utah

Salt Lake City is infamous for it's bad air in the winter.  It happens every winter and it seems to me that it gets worse every year, but I'm probably getting more sensitive to it as I get older.  For at least a week, probably more like two weeks we've had RED AIR ALERTS every day. This means our air is toxic to breathe.  The Red Air Alert is a warning to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary.  I almost always think about the poor Mail Carrier trudging through this crude with weeping red eyes and a dry hacking cough as he/she worries about slipping on ice that no amount of ice melt will melt.  Day time temperatures haven't been higher than the 20s in all this time, and the combination of trapped stinking air pollution also keeps the sun from reaching the ground.  It's probably crystal clear and 20 degrees warmer at the ski resorts where I (when I was still skiing or living up Emigration Canyon) could look down on the Salt Lake Valley and see nothing but a bowl of thick taupe air that looked like a dingy blanket and wished I didn't ever have to breathe it again.  The local news media euphemistically calls this crud "fog."  I call bullshit on that.

We are governed by Mormon businessmen whose only goal is to get rich and richer and stay that way, by any means possible.  The only exception to that rule is the occasional Democratic Mayor who spends all his time (sad to say Salt Lake hasn't elected a Liberal Democratic female mayor in my lifetime -Didi Coridini doesn't count) battling the Legislature and Governor trying to improve air quality standards and put in place fines for polluters.  But we are now in the very big business of courting other countries toxic and radioactive waste, and I'd bet every penny I own that we're cutting corners on safety to make money for the dickhead politicians and their business cronies who are getting very rich in this business.  Our motto isn't "Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses yearning to be free," or something nice like that.  Oh no, our motto is: "Give us the most dangerous toxic waste no one in the rest of the world feels safe living next to and we'll dump it near our biggest city, because we don't give a  shit about anything but money and the end days are near anyway, so get it while you can."  The company doing this is Energy Solutions and the guy running that operation is now on the staff of our new Senator, the very awful, very corrupt, Mike Lee.  I hear he also has a lobbyist for Blackwater/Xi on his staff.  This guy makes Orrin Hatch look like a saint.


Fran said...

I live in the Valley in Oregon, between the coast range & the Cascade Mountains... enough people here use wood stoves & cars... when we have air inversions it is like we are in a "bowl" & the air stagnates & becomes filled with pollutants.
Very different from fog, which is not brown & stinky!

Utah Savage said...

Fran, I think the thing that makes this so bad, besides the stink and the taste of the bad air is the bone chilling temperatures.

Much of our pollution is auto emissions despite the emissions tests for registration of a car.

What I smell and taste is like coal smoke. It tastes like coal smoke smells. It's supposed to be illegal to burn coal in a wood stove, but I'm sure a few people desperately trying to keep warm are burning it. And Utah is a coal mining state. Our power plants are coal burning. It's cheapish and dirty but very plentiful.

I doubt I'd smell the things that would kill me if I breathed it. Thats the kind of thing being imported and dumped by Energy Solutions. It's a local company doing well buy disposing of spent uranium and other toxic chemicals.

enigma4ever said...

look at that smog "air" puddin...if you can smell and taste it-who knows what sludge is being burned for you to breath...Love their name...Energy Solutions...why do rotten companies always have "solutions " in their name???

Jolly Roger said...

It is amazing..... wherever you find "conservatives," you find these thick clouds over the cities. Columbus used to burn my eyes a half-hour before I'd get there.

They know, for certain, that they kill a few hundred people every day because of the pollution-but they can't be bothered with it. "Compassionate Conservatism" at its finest.

Utah Savage said...

I don't know why, but whenever I lived in a big city during the period I lived there it was "the city with the worst air in the country" LA, then Denver, now Salt Lake. I know it's not my fault, but it makes me feel a bit like Typhoid Mary.