Don’t worry, I haven’t died, nor given up social pontification. In addition to the general business of life, I’ve been composing an entry on a subject that is very thorny, and about which I want to express myself very carefully. Hopefully it will be ready soon.
In the meantime:
The Utah Division of Air Quality declared today yet another red air pollution day for Utah, Salt Lake, Davis, and Weber counties. I haven’t kept an exact count, but I believe we’ve had about a week straight of red alert days.
The innate climate and geography of the Wasatch Front create an environment ripe for this situation. The bowl created by our high mountains make it difficult for air to circulate and disperse.
But the cause of the hazardous air quality? Our extremely decentralized communities, our dependence on automobiles and our highly mobile and independent lifestyle.
How can we possibly insist that the decentralization, transportation system, and lifestyle are perfectly legitimate if they cause periods in which we are encouraged not to breath the air?
If we value the health of ourselves and our children—if we believe that our bodies are temples and that we should take care what we put into them—we should carefully reflect upon our communities and lifestyles and their impact on our particular environment. If they are not conducive to those things we really consider valuable (such as breathable air), we must show some small measure of responsibility by considering long-term solutions and changes rather than mindlessly perpetuating poor choices.