2011 Sept. 27: AK Fairbanks: (Vote for Prop. 2, ignore bad information) Letter to the Editor about Bad information from opponents of Prop. 2 & COMMENTS
by Larry Landry, FairbanksFairbanks Daily News Miner
Letter to the editor
Sept. 24, 2011
To the editor:
I attended the recent forum at the Noel Wien Library about the PM 2.5 issue. Excellent presentations were given by a panel of knowledgeable scientists, doctors and borough staff. They made it clear that particulate emissions are an issue of serious health concern, especially for the young and elderly, and there is a solid understanding of where the greatest emissions come from and how we can move forward in addressing the problem.
A question was asked suggesting the issue was overblown because there have only been a handful of days this year when North Pole exceeded the particulate standards. Those who drive through North Pole regularly know air quality can be extremely bad there in winter. Jim Conner, head of the borough air quality department and probably the man who knows this issue better than anyone, explained this assessment was based on a misunderstanding of the data, that the correct figure was likely three or more times higher than suggested.
The proper response to such an assessment by a recognized expert would be to drop that statement from your repertoire or take some time to reevaluate your position. But Tammie Wilson marched right out after the meeting and spouted the exact same misinformation to the media.
There is room for disagreement on an issue, but why can’t she stick to the facts? Why do she and her allies keep insisting that the ultimate design of Proposition 2 is to “take our wood stoves,” when absolutely no one is saying that, when the proposition would expand the stove buyback program to all property owners to help bring cleaner stoves into the borough and when almost everyone working to pass Prop 2 burns wood?
Thomas Jefferson said that democracy is dependent on an informed and reasonable citizenry. Spreading bad information hurts us all.
« rationalcitizen wrote on Wednesday, Sep 28 at 01:23 PM »
If 80% of the PM 2.5 is coming from woodsmoke as the studies claim, and you get eliminate most of the woodsmoke, I don’t care what the inversion does, you’re going to have less of a problem.
So lets stop throwing up our hands because we have bad geography, and a bad climate, and debate whether that 80% number is accurate…because if it is the solution is clear.
« rationalcitizen wrote on Wednesday, Sep 28 at 11:31 AM »
“There was a comment in one of the chat rooms about forest fires being an act of God. But wood stove spoke is an act of human beings. When God acts the wood particles go up over 1000 per microgram per cubic meter but yet a paltry 35 µg per cubic meter outside the home is a serious health factor – according to you folks.
The way I interpret the comment about if it’s if it’s God’s work we can do anything about it. But, if it is man’s work we have to ban. To me your are saying: we have to be better than God.”
« rationalcitizen wrote on Wednesday, Sep 28 at 10:37 AM »
“Yes we are exposed to all the things you mention, but we are exposed to them wether we burn wood or not, with allowing the power plants to keep burning, koch brothers oil or forest fires, etc.”
You might be able to argue this point…but what you can’t argue with, is that if we clean up a few bad polluters the air WILL BE CLEANER….that is unless in your physical universe pollution is a universal constant uncontrollable by man.
You also can’t argue that if the wood boiler across from Woodriver was shut off, the air would be just as dirty. It wouldn’t.
We caused the pollution, and we can end it just as easily. But we have to have a back bone.
« rationalcitizen wrote on Wednesday, Sep 28 at 10:31 AM »
“Last winter, I timed my outdoor exposure. 3 min. walking to the car – 3 min. walking into Walmart from my car – 3 min. walking back to the car and 3 more minutes walking from the car/carrying the groceries into my house.
MY total time outdoors the 24 hour period was 12 min.”
You have an amazing car I must say…one with an air supply apparently independent from the rest of the physical world. I suggest you recalculate your estimates.
I also wouldn’t assume the air supply inside your house is completely independent from the outside world. Unless you or your wife never have to dust, you are tracking in PM 2.5 as much as anything else.
« NRAforlife wrote on Wednesday, Sep 28 at 07:06 AM »
Twain, good job with planning for the upcoming winters. You are doing the right thing in drying your wood properly.
I’ve read all the fine print in Prop2. You can have 100% opacity for up to 15 minutes per hour and not get fined. With your dry firewood, you will not put out that much smoke, and once your fire is hot, you will have almost no opacity at all.
My wood is about the same as yours, and I watch my chimney when the stove is going. There is almost no smoke. I’m not worried about wood police, and you shouldn’t either. What you should worry about is hospital bills, shorter life span, and your kids getting asthma.
And you should worry about burn bans if we don’t fix this problem now and EPA takes over. I need my wood heat, can’t afford burn bans, so I’m voting yes on Prop 2.
« sprucetree wrote on Wednesday, Sep 28 at 02:14 AM »
…you’re not listening. Try this: Traffic lights control and regulate vehicles using public roads (airshed). These are the rules; we take them for granted. People still use their vehicles (wood stoves) but choose to adhere to the rules in order to maximize effectiveness and safety. Not to mention those who prize their vehicles (healthy bodies) above all other possessions, do they not have an expectation that using public roads (airshed) will not unduly endanger them?
Of course, some people think their priorities are above others (red-light runners) and place the rest of us at risk. If identified and apprehended, they pay a price. Many of us have glimpsed the carnage scattered in the wake of red-light runners T-boning a family station wagon or a taking out a cyclist. We know the consequences of free-for-alls so we play by the rules. They make sense and most of us abide them.
There’s a few of wood boilers running red lights and trampling the health and welfare of the community. We are not yet so poor that we must sacrifice healthy air to remain in Fairbanks. Prop. 2 is a measure to catch the worst of the operators, get them off the streets. This community should not tolerate red-light runners holding the community’s health hostage.
Douglas Yates, Ester
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