Those damn environmentalists are at it again. This time, bitching and moaning about air pollution in, of all places – Salt Lake City, UT.
Even the EPA has demonized the region for having the nation's worst air for most of January because of an icy fog that blankets the valleys for long periods of time and traps microscopic soot.
And doctors are lining up, too – more than 100 of them, calling on lawmakers to lower highway speed limits, curb industrial activity and make mass transit free for the rest of the winter. Socialists!
There really should be a “sarcasm” key on a keyboard just in case some folks reading this aren't picking up on my sarcastic tone.
Unfortunately, sarcasm is often what I cling to when reporting on things like this. It makes it easier, because quite frankly, to see such a beautiful place like Salt Lake City choking on this kind of pollution is just depressing. And I need something to counter that. Thus, the sarcasm.
Nonetheless, Salt Lake City has a real problem right now.
According to doctors, microscopic soot which consists of combustion particles from tailpipe and other emissions, harms the lungs of even healthy people.
The president of Utah's Physicians for a Healthy Environment Brian Moench has actually called this a public health emergency, noting that for every pregnant woman breathing this stuff, this is a threat to her fetus through chromosome damage.
And Salt Lake City pediatrician Ellie Brownstein equated the smog to smoking, saying that instead of breathing clean air, you're breathing particles that make it harder for your lungs to function and get oxygen.
This ain't China, folks. This is right here in the U.S. - where we actually have regulations in place to avoid these types of problems. So the question is, will Utah take the appropriate steps to lower emissions in an effort to avoid these types of problems in the future? Or will lawmakers there continue to mock the necessity of common sense clean air laws. I'll guess we'll find out soon enough. In the meantime, if you live in Salt Lake City, doctors have advised that you stay indoors. Especially pregnant women, children and the elderly.