Citizens of Upright Moral Character
don't drink the kool-aid
  USERS  
  Log-In  
  Register  

<< jump   |   ARCHIVES   |   If it's Friday, it's Meet Victor Davis Hanson! >>

Bush on Smog, R Buckminster Fuller on Smog

Bush Administration: Carbon Dioxide Not a Pollutant
by Seth Borenstein, Knight Ridder

WASHINGTON - Carbon dioxide, the chief cause of global warming, cannot be regulated as a pollutant, the Environmental Protection Agency ruled Thursday.

'CO2 IS NOT A POLLUTANT'
Environmentalists accused President Bush on August 28, 2003 of further undermining international efforts to curb global warming with a likely ruling that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Carbon dioxide occurs as a natural component of the atmosphere as well as being a by-product of industrial processes.
 
The decision reverses a 1998 Clinton administration position. It means that the Bush administration won't be able to use the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from cars.

Had the Bush administration decided that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and harmful, it could have required expensive new pollution controls on new cars and perhaps on power plants, which together are the main sources of so-called greenhouse gases. [...]


From R Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path', p. 278 (in 196?), speaking of industrial plants:

    Christmas and New Year's Days are celebrated everywhere in America, but Los Angeles, being a relatively new and gigantic social body, is able to alter its celebration customs. The L.A. refineries and heavy industries have learned that the people of California want to take a Christmas vacation. So the holiday becomes a ten-or-more-day vacation starting the weekend before Christmas and continuing through the weekend after New Year's Day. It pays all the refineries and other heavy industries to shut down their plants. As the holiday proceeds, the air gets clearer and clearer, until on New Year's Day--the traditional Rose Bowl Day — you find throughout Los Angeles a dreamy-clear view of all the surrounding, often snow-capped mountains. If you went out with scientific devices to measure the fume-level from the cars, your instrument would read approximately zero. The only reason that auto fumes were previously measurable was that the industrial-fume-laden ceiling held the auto fumes down and locked them in at the level at which you and I are breathing. I have taken many New Year's Day pictures from the hills of Los Angeles showing it to be absolutely clear. Then, on back-to-work industrial Monday, you see a vast, molasses-brown cloud rolling in from the southwest gradually to obscure the whole of Los Angeles.
   
 There is no question about it. It is the refineries, the steel and other mills, and the public utility fumes that produce the smog. But no municipal government anywhere in America is going to let its industry go away. Therefore, cities are always going to find political ways of absolving the industries while blaming the people. Air does not stay in any one place. There is a preposterously stubborn myth about "this being my or someone else's airspace.... This is my air." Air keeps moving right through the geometry of our environment to continually recircle the Earth. The air belongs only to everybody on our planet.


click more to read more from Bucky Fuller:

Here's the whole page:

The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles government did everything they could to invite industry to move into their domain because industries produce the greatest amount of taxable money-making. Industries also produce jobs and thereby in turn wages that can be taxed. Los Angeles did everything it could to attract industries and businesses. Having many locally occurring petroleum wells, one of the most logical of industries brought into Los Angeles was that of oil drilling, pumping, refining, storage, and shipping, such as those of the concentrated operations of the oil fields and harbor are of Los Angeles's Long Beach. Los Angeles built a vast number of huge refineries in the southwest part of the city. On its southeastern side Los Angeles positioned its steel mills to satisfy the large demand for steel products in the building of the oil refineries, their storage tanks and pipelines.
    The fumes from these industries then loaded the mist and the warm airs, and the Sun-exposed upper cloud surfaces and their shaded lower surfaces produced temperature differentials, which in turn produced layer inversion, with the fumes locked in on the underside, which then acted as a widespread lower atmospheric lid, holding the industrial gases and fumes close to the ground throughout the whole Los Angeles basin. Thus smog became an industrially produced phenomenon.
    Los Angeles's citizens became politically articulate about this "air pollution" and went to their city government saying, "We mustn't have this in our city." The city government then went to the utilities, refineries, and steel manufacturers and said, "Stop putting your smog-producing fumes into our sky. We've looked into the situation and find there exists equipment that makes it possible to precipitate that fume. But you don't have that equipment." The companies responded, "If we put in that fume-precipitation equipment, it will cost us so much more to produce here in L.A. than it does companies producing in places that don't have such controls that we won't be able to compete in our industry. We'll be forced out of business. So we're either going to have to cut out this nonsense about fume precipitation or move out of your city." The municipal government said, "For Heaven's sake, don't leave. Your tax base is essential to our political survival. We're politicians, we'll fix it up in some other way."
    Soon thereafter the L.A. city government made the following pronouncement: "People, the smog is your fault. It's your backyard incinerators that are producing this smog." The people said, "Sure enough, we are incinerating in Los Angeles. We are in the wrong. We must stop incinerating." So a law was passed saying that nobody could incinerate within the city limits. The people did stop incinerating, and the smog abated--but only in minor degree. The real offender was the industrial fumes. Along came World War II, and the issue was buried under more immediately pressing matters.
    When World War II was over, great numbers of additional citizens moved into California. Suddenly the smog problem was back, and the whole act of pre-World War II was repeated. The people complained to the municipal government, and the omnichanged government personnel had entirely forgotten about what had happened twenty years earlier. They went after the big corporations, which threatened to leave town, and the city once again pleaded, "Don't leave town. We need you here."
    Once more the city blamed the people: "It's the fumes from your automobiles that are producing the smog. We have taken samples, with scientific instruments, of the below-the-smog air, which samples when analyzed proved the obnoxious fumes to be those of your automobiles." With their greatest election-fund support coming from the oil men, and with the most powerful regulation lobbying being carried on also by the oil men, the politicians of America took up the cry, "It's the automobiles." The people said, "Why, sure enough. We'll have to do something about it. We'll pass laws to limit the level of fumes coming out of each car and require the manufacturers to produce and install special smog-control equipment in each car." The automobile companies loved that. It meant more accessories to be manufactured and sold and an obvious way to rationalize increasing the price of their cars.
    Christmas and New Year's Days are celebrated everywhere in America, but Los Angeles, being a relatively new and gigantic social body, is able to alter its celebration customs. The L.A. refineries and heavy industries have learned that the people of California want to take a Christmas vacation. So the holiday becomes a ten-or-more-day vacation starting the weekend before Christmas and continuing through the weekend after New Year's Day. It pays all the refineries and other heavy industries to shut down their plants. As the holiday proceeds, the air gets clearer and clearer, until on New Year's Day--the traditional Rose Bowl Day — you find throughout Los Angeles a dreamy-clear view of all the surrounding, often snow-capped mountains. If you went out with scientific devices to measure the fume-level from the cars, your instrument would read approximately zero. The only reason that auto fumes were previously measurable was that the industrial-fume-laden ceiling held the auto fumes down and locked them in at the level at which you and I are breathing. I have taken many New Year's Day pictures from the hills of Los Angeles showing it to be absolutely clear. Then, on back-to-work industrial Monday, you see a vast, molasses-brown cloud rolling in from the southwest gradually to obscure the whole of Los Angeles.
    There is no question about it. It is the refineries, the steel and other mills, and the public utility fumes that produce the smog. But no municipal government anywhere in America is going to let its industry go away. Therefore, cities are always going to find political ways of absolving the industries while blaming the people. Air does not stay in any one place. There is a preposterously stubborn myth about "this being my or someone else's airspace.... This is my air." Air keeps moving right through the geometry of our environment to continually recircle the Earth. The air belongs only to everybody on our planet.


Moral Citizen: evil-barry on Aug 29, 03 | 9:50 am | Profile
[100] Trackbacks | [0] Pingbacks | Link | Email Article

COMMENTS



Notify me when someone replies to this post?




Powered by pMachine