Saturday, November 26, 2005

'Progress' making it harder to breathe

TUCSON -- We are seeing more and more 'bad air days' in southern Arizona. Blame urban sprawl, agriculture, and motor vehicles for the extra pollution.

Most bad air days will be officially labled 'moderate' by government monitors and the TV weaterman, this is mostly due to poor air standards by the feds and state that allow far too much pollution, as seen in 2 local photos.

Sure, Phoenix, LA, and other cities have worse pollution, but Pima County's air quality is declining, and pretty fast. The haze may make for more radioactive sunsets, in fact some days it blocks most of the sunlight, but the dust and pollution also make you cough, and is especially hard on children and old folks.

High gas prices don't seem to have people driving less, they just pay more; put it on the credit card. But I do see more and more people on bikes, which is a good sign. People are concerned about global warming pollution, and more motivated to take individual action to curb it.

You can help: drive less, report dust pollution to the county, burn less fuels and wood, stop buying crappy sprawl development, and push politicians to stop permitting so much of it. You can also move in to town closer to where you need to be, maybe even in to a high rise.

Someday Tucson may need to build the tallest building in the southwest to get above the smog. Let's hope not, and do something about it.

Cleaner air for 06? We can breathe easier if we try. Or cough away our health and vistas if we don't.

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