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.