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Re: RC: Re: Re: Re: And so it goes....

You are dreaming, David, but thank God for dreamers! The visualization
of today could become the manifestation of tomorrow!

David LeBlanc wrote:
> At 09:03 PM 3/16/00 -0800, Duncan Fletcher wrote:
> >Look elsewhere for Los Angeles' smog.
> I used to teach air pollution control at the college level, and my
> dissertation was on predicting emissions from vehicles. Here's the way it
> has gone - LA was among the first of the US cities to really have a problem
> with air pollution, though there are documented instances of air pollution
> killing up to hundreds of people (mainly in the UK, though some instances
> in the US) over the last several hundred years - I think the first recorded
> instance was in the 1300's.
> In the 1950's, we started recognizing that air pollution was a real
> problem, and passed laws where we tried to get the states to enforce air
> quality standards.  This became a problem for two reasons - the states
> weren't very active against companies who might account for a lot of
> industry, and Maine couldn't very well act against Massachusetts or NY for
> the pollution that rolled across the borders.  By the early 60's we were
> beginning to recognize that it was a national problem, which led to various
> national air quality standards, with penalties for the states if they
> didn't meet the standards.  During the Nixon administration, a veto-proof
> majority of Congress brought the EPA into existance, and interestingly one
> of our more conservative presidents (Bush) is to be thanked for reinforcing
> and strengthing the Clear Air Act.
> The state government has very little to do with air quality, so Nixon,
> Reagan, Boxer, etc. can't take much credit or blame for air quality in
> California during their state-wide positions - though Nixon definately gets
> some credit, and Reagan quite a bit of discredit for their actions
> regarding the environment while president - Reagan's assertion that trees
> pollute was one of the more ridiculous statements a president has ever
> made, and demonstrated his depth of understanding in this area.
> Basically, what accounts for LA's air becoming cleaner is better technology
> on the part of automobile manufacturers - a 1990-era car is about 1000
> times cleaner than a 1960's era car - and typically produces more power per
> cubic inch than the 60's vintage cars did - a clean burn is an efficient
> burn.  Restrictions on point source pollution (factories, plants, etc) have
> also been important.  A current vehicle is even cleaner - most cars produce
> 25% of their total emissions during 2.5% of the driving, and there are ways
> to reduce that significantly by changing the levels at which the higher
> emissions are generated - new testing procedures that my research
> contributed to will reduce emissions on a national basis by several million
> tons per year.
> There's also geography to take into account - LA has a uniquely bad
> physical situation that really encourages air pollution, and San Francisco
> has better prevailing winds - which is one reason why San Francisco was the
> first major US city to meet air quality standards 3 years in a row, and be
> taken off the EPA list.
> Air pollution control has been one of the better arguments for national
> standards and enforcement, which is a typically liberal approach - but
> conservative approaches were tried first, and just didn't work since air
> ignores state and national borders.  I've never quite figured out why a
> 'conservative' would want to ignore air quality, because what you do when
> you allow someone to pollute is someone else has to bear the impact of
> their failure to properly clean up their own waste - for example, all types
> of crops are less valuable because of damage from air pollution, and the
> lakes that have died from acid rain previously generated income from
> tourism and fishing. A friend of Jennifer's died from a severe asthma
> attack a couple of years ago during a particularly bad bout of high ozone
> levels in Atlanta - I don't know how to put a cost on that.  Personally, I
> think it is fairly conservative notion to ask people to clean up their own
> messes and be accountable for the impact of their own actions.  But then
> again, it seems to me that 'liberal' and 'conservative' have really lost
> their meaning, and are only used as insults to declare someone to be of a
> group you don't like.  Maybe if we focussed less on Democrat vs. Republican
> or Liberal vs. Conservative, and more on just what's the right thing to do
> to solve our various problems, we'd all be better off - but now I'm dreaming.
> David LeBlanc
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Bette Lamore
Whispering Oaks Arabians, Home of TLA Halynov
I've learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer it
gets to the end, the faster it goes. Smell the roses!

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