San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, June 3, 2016

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes....Boo Hoo

The front page of the Denver Post had a featured story entitled "Cleanup Unclear" that detailed how the federal government of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika continues to assert its deity by claiming to be able to make the air in this clean country even more clean.   Neither the man who wrote the story, Bruce Finley, nor the editor who approved it believe that the air in this country is very clean.  They believe we are suffering under the effects of unprecedented air pollution and that only massive expenditures of taxpayer dollars can fix the problem, coupled with expert government planners and managers of course.
To prove just how bad the air in this country has become they quoted Jen Clanahan, a member of Colorado Moms Know Best and a lady who testified at a hearing of the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year.  I don't know about you but I firmly believe that moms know a lot of things.  My mom was downright brilliant.  But I am not thoroughly convinced that talking to a member of a group called Moms Know Best is the best way to assess the quality of the air in this land.  Here is what Jen had to say, "Our protected natural areas are some of the few places where I thought I could take my daughter and not have to worry about pollution.  If I can't take her to our national parks to escape, I am not sure where to go.  It leaves me feeling like we can't escape the pollution we are breathing in all the time, like I can't get my daughter away from it.  As a parent, you want to protect your child and to feel like you can't is a frustrating and scary feeling....For the sake of my daughter, of all of our kids and their kids, please implement the changes that have been proposed to make the Regional Haze Rule stronger."  Well there you have it.  A brilliant mom has spoken.
I believe Jen was reading from a prepared statement and she, like, had to say, like you know, the word "like" in her message to the EPA.   I honestly do not know what Jen is talking about.  I have visited all of the National Parks in Colorado and never once choked on the air I was breathing.  Well, that is not completely correct.  I once sat too close to a campfire I had built in Rocky Mountain National Park and inhaled some smoke that sent me into paroxysms of lung and diaphragm spasms.  Fortunately, from what I could tell, nobody else was affected.  Jen says that she is not "sure where to go" to find clean air.  I can suggest about a hundred thousand places here in Colorado where she can breathe freely, provided she stays away from my camp fire.  I also must confess that despite being a parent of a daughter I have never once believed that I endangered her life and welfare by hiking with her in the mountains.  Let me continue to confess that I have also never been frustrated and scared because of some imaginary inability to find a place to hike with clean air.  In other words, Jen is a nut-job. That makes her a perfect activist to testify to career bureaucrats at the EPA. 
The Regional Haze Rule was created by the EPA in 1999 as a part of  the Clean Air Act and it was supposed to "put the nation on track to restore natural air conditions in parks and wilderness, removing the haze that is made up of sulfur dioxide, ozone, mercury, nitrogen oxides and other toxic emissions."  Remember the days, not so long ago, when we were told we did not have enough ozone and that man was responsible for its disappearance?  Apparently we now have too much ozone and man is responsible for that as well.  Nevertheless, as the newspaper article pointed out, "even with the rule visibility still is impaired."  As proof of that impairment the article cited data collected by the National Parks Conservation Association, whoever they are, which claimed that, "Colorado's four national parks have natural visibility of about 175 miles but combined have an average 47 miles of distance lost because of haze."  As I pondered that daunting statistical measurement I began to wonder to myself.....who took the first measurement by which the standard was set?  Was it some Ute Indian, standing in each of those areas destined to become federal property, who first said, "Hey, I think I can see 175 miles from this point today?"
Just what are the "natural air conditions" that existed in these four parks at some unknown point in the past and how does the EPA believe it is possible to restore them to that original state given all of the changes that have taken place in the world since then?  Even more interesting to me is why should this even be an issue?  If everything must be restored to some unknown level of naturalness why do we not simply destroy everything ever created by every human being on the face of the earth?  Even that would not work however as there would be enormous piles of unnatural rubble as a result of our destruction program.  Can we all just come clean and admit the truth?  All attempts to restore "nature" to some preconceived earlier state of naturalness are nothing more than programs motivated by socialist drivel and driven by an anti-capitalist mentality that also happens to bow down to the throne of civil government and the career politicians and bureaucrats who populate it. 
I found it interesting that, according to the article, "On Wednesday, EPA officials took action under the existing haze rule against two power plants in Utah -- PacifiCorp's Hunter and Huntington plants -- contributors to haze in Utah's Canyonlands, Arches and other parks and wilderness areas." we are getting close to the truth.  The EPA fined a profit seeking corporation an undisclosed amount of money, pocketing it to fund future fining operations, because of the inherent bias against fossil fuel power generation that exists in those who worship civil government.  I have spent large periods of time in those areas in Utah that are presumably filled with toxic air and suffered no ill effects.  In addition, I was treated to marvelous vistas that went on for as far as my eyes can see.  Let us admit that the EPA "action" was nothing more than a immoral, but legal, shakedown of a profit seeking business on the part of a government bureau. 
Praising themselves for their valiant efforts at cleaning the air the article reported that, "While the ability to see stars and mountains is impaired compared with pre-industrial conditions, data show that visibility in the Colorado parks improved during the past decade by, on average, 14 miles."  I am so excited.  Praise the EPA!  Praise the government!  Praise the environmentalists!  But condemn the top 49% of the income population who financed all of their efforts.  Those folks just aren't paying their fair share of the bill.
Not surprisingly, the rules and regulations associated with the haze elimination program specifically eliminate government agents who start fires, called controlled burns, to "manage" the forests under their authority.  I have lived in Colorado most of my life and I can assure you that the wildfires that have raged in this state over the decades have put exponentially more haze into the air than the combined impact of every power plant in the country.  I can also assure you that, like everything else man does to the earth, the earth quickly cleaned things up so that little to no trace of those fires remains today.  Also not surprisingly, the failed management plans of the Forest Service that have resulted in enormous swaths of standing dead timber and the associated raging wildfires were not mentioned as causative agents in the alleged increase in haze.  This is a fine illustration of the principle that your god can do no wrong. 

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