Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Breathe? Right!

A month or so ago there was an article in the Coeur d'Alene Press regarding pending legislation that would require vehicles of a certain type and age to undergo emissions testing. The intent being to reduce health problems caused by air pollution.

There was a huge hue and cry over why our county might be included since we were being lumped in with the Spokane area in determining the extent of the pollutants. How would our less affluent residents, many who drive basically junkers, be able to afford not only the test but the repairs the testing might bring about?

Today there was another article regarding the resumption of field burning. It had been stopped for a year due to law suits regarding health issues, but the farmers have been diligent in their resistance. For you not familiar with this story, it is an annual ritual that after the grass seed crop is harvested the chafe and stubble are burned to ready the fields for the next crop.

When we moved here, on prairie land that used to be grass farming territory, we were not advised that this was still the practice all around us. Each year I've written a rant complete with pictures of what we suffer through when a burn goes bad which always seems to happen. Like the wind shifting or a piece of equipment getting too hot and igniting the tinder by "accident". With a bad burn the smoke sucks the breath out of you, leaves particles, still smoldering, the size of match sticks and permeates every nook and cranny in your home even when closed up. Your fabric furniture, drapes, carpets and clothes reek for days. This is mild compared to what happens to the communities backed up against the mountains where the smoke gets stuck until it eventually settles or disapates.

Yet, it is likely to resume again this summer. Who says lobbyists aren't successful? Once again we'll be hacking and wheezing during the aggregious assault on "clean air"!

It's nice to know, however, that the residents of our fair capital city aren't without their own pollution and health problems. It seems they have a problem with smog. The Department of Environmental Quality is asking those locals to mow their lawns less often. Now that will clear up the air!

I guess, though, that may be the most practical solution since most everyone has a gas powered mower of some sort. They won't be able to afford to mow their lawns!

All we northern Idaho folk with asthma and heart problems can migrate south to escape our fouled air. I'm sure there will be a run on electric powered mowers. But no, the power plants to provide the electricity to power the mowers will pollute the air too! Arrrrgh!

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