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Old 03-29-2008, 01:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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News: California lowers goal for zero-emission vehicles

From CNN:

Zero-Emission Vehicle Goals Lowered



Hmmm. Seems like a great idea

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Old 03-29-2008, 06:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, that's a little disappointing.
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That picture is really scary. Just a sky of gray.
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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In the 1760s, Spanish missionaries referred to the a place we now call the San Fernando Valley as the "Valley of Smoke." Maybe a couple hundred Indians lived there.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 03-30-2008, 01:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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a political decision?

one of the meaningful roles of central government. standardization
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Big Dave -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
In the 1760s, Spanish missionaries referred to the a place we now call the San Fernando Valley as the "Valley of Smoke." Maybe a couple hundred Indians lived there.
Oh yeah, "The Valley of the Smokes" :

will la air ever become clean (traffic, moving, land)
http://www.city-data.com/forum/los-a...e-clean-2.html
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Depending on which story you want to believe, either the Spaniards or the local indigenous tribes called the Los Angeles area, the Valley of the Smokes. While smog like conditions were reported in the early 1900's as both the population and industrialization of Los Angeles grew, the first officially recognized incidents of smog in the City of Los Angeles were in the summer of 1943. It was reported that visibility was only three blocks, and that people suffered from burning eyes, breathing difficulties, nausea, and vomiting.

The terms coined for the smog events at that time were "gas attacks" and "daylight dim outs". The incident in 1943 was believed to be caused by a synthetic rubber manufacturing plant and the plant was shut down to alleviate the problem. It didn't work. With the increase of manufacturing plants in Los Angeles during World War II, the number of such events increased. In 1947, to combat the problem, the Los Angeles County Pollution Control District was established, the first such agency in the U.S. From that day forward there has been a non-stop effort to "solve" the smog problem in Los Angeles. And even though it is estimated that smog has been cut by two-thirds since 1955, Los Angeles still has what is considered the dirtiest air in the U.S.

Unfortunately, as much as technology has improved the situation, there is one thing that can't be overcome, namely the location of Los Angeles itself. Many Angelenos have probably hear the phrases "The Basin" or "The L.A. Basin" to describe the area. Basically surrounded by mountains on three of it's four sides, given the right weather conditions, polluted air will become trapped and stagnate over the city. All the catalytic converters and smokestack scrubbers in the world won't change that.

So, smog has a long history in Los Angeles. And more than likely, it will continue to do so. The air will only get cleaner but probably never be perfect. To accomplish that, you would either have to move Los Angeles or get rid of all the people...LOL.

The Valley of Smokes
http://aaaim.com/echo/v4n4/v4n4ValleyOfSmokes.htm
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... The San Gabriel Valley at the base of the Angeles National forest was once a vast oak forest with a carpet of grasses. Generally, fires would be set twice a year by the local Indians and allowed to burn through the entire valley. The first fire of each season was some time around April or May (before the rains were over). Its purpose was to burn down the woody brush and tall grasses that resulted from the winter rains. There were many beneficial results from these fires, such as fertilizing the fields with ash, and allowing other more useful plants to grow.

The second fire would generally be in September, to clear the fields of whatever was left of the season's wild herbs and greens, and burn out dry tinder and fallen wood from the oaks and wild vines (such as grapes and blackberries). This served as a "pruning:" for the food trees, which yielded better fruit in greater quantity as a result. The fires also killed off the bulk of larvae that feed on acorns, and hardened the ripening acorn shells so that they'd be insect-resistant. In the old days, fire-hardened acorns might last up to 10 years with no insect infestation, whereas today they spoil in less than six months. And once again, the season's second fires would leave fertilizer ash in the fields. Since these were annual fires, the "damage" was minimal. A grassfire moves quickly but if there is little fuel, it moves on.

Village sites were usually protected from the fires by their strategic locations, and by the way the fires were set. Teams of workers would set a fire and keep it confined to a specific area. These people who lived close to the land were attuned to the weather and variables of the season, so they knew the best and safest times to burn. Fire was literally the cleanser, fertilizer-maker, and food-producer of the culture that inhabited this area before the Spanish missionaries arrived.

The upper San Gabriel Valley was called "the valley of smokes" precisely for this reason. That there is debate is understandable, given the fact that "we" allow housing construction in the most vulnerable of places. Homes go up in smoke, and tragically transform the sacred domicile into smoldering ash. But fire is not the enemy. The "enemy" is our own greed, our own blindness, and our own foolish stubbornness to attempt to fight against and conquer nature, rather than to learn and to live by the principles of nature. As Pogo said, "I have met the enemy and he is us." ...
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Carb

Since it's apparent that the California Air Resources Board is responsible for this weakening of pollutant regs, it hearkens back to "Who Killed the Electric Car", and their involvement.

Carlos- Great History lesson! Since the County Pollution District was the first of its kind, the legacy it generated has likely made homogenization among other States difficult, but good for the Region.

This is where I agree with diesel_john, to an extent. The EPA (when operated properly) should be able to ramp-up efforts in hot spots like "The Basin", Denver, and the Northeast Corridor.

Conversely, when they do not (or are not quick enough to respond) States tend to employ their own rules and Governing Bodies, and there you go.

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Old 03-30-2008, 05:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Most of that stuff isn't true smog, like it was during the days of indians and early settlers. The brownish haze is mostly unburned HC's and NOx, aka photochemical smog.

Los Angeles has a tough time because of an "inversion layer." In most areas, the sun heats up the ground and causes air to be warmed. This warm air and everything within it (smoke, debris, pollution) gets pulled up by convection as air rises to the cold atmosphere. I forget exactly why, but I believe it is due to the Santa Ana winds, that hot dry air is blown above Los Angeles from the deserts north and east of the basin. Essentially, air near the ground is around the same temperature or cooler than air up above so it just sits. During the winters, when NO2 goes to NO (if I remember correctly), the skies really clear up and the area gets really beautiful...especially with the San Gabriels in snowpack.

Just biking along the beach the other day I noticed an extremely thick, brown haze over the ocean...so bad that if a glass of water had the same color you'd only drink it by force. The Port of LA is a major polluter, along with anchored container ships just idling in the harbor. Looking the left (south torward Orange County) the skies were clear...panning to the right (north torward Los Angeles) the skies grew to an opaque brown. I hear they are trying to electrify the Port of LA, though... Now if only they'd think about electrifying LA...

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Old 03-30-2008, 08:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There are two types of smog.

One is "London smog" which is exactly what it souldns like: smoke+fog. there was a killer smog in London in 1952. Application of particulate emission controls (electrostatic precipitators for the most part) have eliminated the problem in London. It persists is cooler areas of the Third World.

The other is "LA smog" and it is what the pictures show. It is a photochemical reaction of VOCs (volatile organic coumounds) and oxides of nitrogen. This smog take quite a bit of sunlight to make the reaction go so you'd only rarely see it in the Great Lakes area. the surrogate for LA smog is ozone. The EPA standard for tropospheric ozone is 75 ppb. this pollutant shows up in concentrations three orders of magnitude less than other pollutants (usually they are in the parts per million) so tropospheric ozone is not the health hazard that Londo smog is. A variant of LA smog is denver smog which uses an entirely different reaction using carbon monoxide and is only seen on sunny winter days. The Great Smoky Mountains were never truly smoky. The "smoke" is actually LA type smog generated from the turpenes (a type of VOC) generated by the piney woods and dixie sunshine.

Maybe the best approach would be to dissolve the national EPA and let each state deal with their own conditons their own way.

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