J.D. Moyer

sci-fi writer, beat maker, self-experimenter

Environmental Regulation = Clear Skies (Thank You Clean Air Act)

Clear skies in California.

Clear skies in California.

It’s cold outside. Crisp. You snow-state people might laugh, but temperatures in the thirties are unusual for the Bay Area (especially the East Bay). But what I was thinking of, when I dropped my daughter off for school this morning, was how thankful I felt for *clear* skies. If you’ve been following the news in China you know what I’m talking about. Air pollution is so bad that visibility is as low as 5 meters in some cities.

I remember similar stories about Los Angeles in the early 70’s (though I don’t think it ever got as bad as mainland China). Things got better after strong amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1970 and 1977.

Environmental compliance can be an expensive chore for businesses (I’ve helped a few on the reporting side of things). But once the changes to operations and systems are made, they’re done, and the result is a cleaner environment.

The alternative is the pollution dystopia the Chinese have created in their balls-out push for global economic domination. The good news is that the problem is fixable. The solution is not to wait for a windy day (the current Chinese strategy), but national legislation with high air quality standards and strong enforcement.

I would love to visit China someday. But not just yet.



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  1. Those pictures of China are horrendous. The horrible thing about them is that air currents bring those toxins overhead to the west coast here in California 🙁

    • And we still make plenty of our own pollution, unfortunately. Long-term I’m optimistic — most kids I meet are committed environmentalists.

  2. I’m glad you linked clear skies here in the US with the federally mandated Clean Air Act because our (relatively) clear skies were a result of government action, not voluntary Corporate benevolence.

  3. I grew up in the Palo Alto area – I can remember days that were pretty smoggy back in the 60’s and early 70’s. Whatever price we’re paying for cleaner air, it’s worth it. MattYLBody – since smog is really pretty much a ground-hugger, the chance of China’s smog getting caught up in the jet stream and reaching CA is fairly remote. Smog is heavy in particulates and most of it probably ends up in the Pacific Ocean – still not a good thing.

  4. Felipe

    It looks like comments are disabled in “How I cured my Asthma…” post. I`m sorry, but I have to leave a message here.

    I am from Brazil and I am very glad to say that I haven`t had any asthma attack for more than 2 months.

    I am trying a mostly-paleo diet (a couple of cheats during the week) plus Vitamin D and calcium supplement (not every day) and Miflasona (don`t know an American version for that).
    The thing is: I have always used Miflasona, it was effective, but whenever I had sinus issues (allergies, cold, sinusitis etc.) I immediately had asthma attacks as well.
    But after following most of the steps you suggested, for the first time I had cold without having asthma issues together.

    I would like to thank you for sharing your experiments. Is it alright for you if I translate that post to Portuguese?

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