Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blue Dogs, dingy skies.

Woohoo! First mention of the Merced area on the Atlantic Cities site. Oh wait, it's kind of negative...

Why Does California's Central Valley Have Such Bad Air Pollution?

Well, not negative negative.  Not third most miserable place to live in America negative. Apparently it's even getting better! But I will admit, I have noticed the smog, and I do think it is a genuine problem. Mostly it bothers me from an aesthetic point of view. I want so badly to claim that the Central Valley has a natural beauty that's on par with just about any other place that you can name...and it does, but too many days there's an ugly haze obscuring that. The local news stories that I've read on the same topic (which of course I didn't think to bookmark at the time and now I don't really know that I could find them, so don't expect a citation) have taken great pains to point out that a good deal of smog here is created elsewhere, even suggesting that China is a making major contributions, and that therefore it would be unfair to expect locals to do anything about it. Apparently some recently changed laws on agricultural emissions are already having an effect though, so that's encouraging, and I guess if the price of gasoline keeps marching upwards, fewer people will be choosing long commutes in oversized cars. For my own teeny tiny part of it, I've started taking the bus to and from work most days. It's not quite as glamorous as my initial plan to ride my bike, but it's about as fast.

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