2011 Oct. 2: AK: Fairbanks: Prop 2 alternative COMMENT and Newspaper Editorial excerpts

2011 Oct. 2: AK: Fairbanks: Prop 2 alternative COMMENT and Newspaper Editorial excerpts

Prop 2 alternative
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
It could foreclose promising new technology, driving people toward wood stoves that produce more particulates for the same energy output. And the proposition itself isn’t immune from repeal by citizen initiative. Proposition 2 is a well-intentioned
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Fairbanks Daily News Miner
« sprucetree wrote on Sunday, Oct 02 at 05:43 AM »
After much handwringing, the NM (Fairbanks Newsminer Newspaper) has chosen to cast its lot with those who argue against their own self-interest. It’s a fascinating phenomenon, one that elects candidates and accepts ideas whose net effects diminish the whole in favor of a few people at the top of the pile.

And yet poison is poison; products from coal combustion are poison. This editorial cannot reorder the effects of physics and chemistry, but it can ignore them.

The fight against smog and smoke has attracted an army of energized clean-air advocates, many with advanced degrees, who employ mainstream science to make their case. They are well studied, articulate and locally funded.

In contrast, just months ago, the NM capitulated to a small group with no funds or credentials who demanded the end of water fluoridation. On the eve of the city council’s fluoride decision, the NM’s editorial was in full support-“get rid of the fluoride, it does more harm than good.” Looking at the editorials, today’s and one published June 5, 2011, one can conclude more than a measure of schizophrenia lurks in the NM’s editorial board room.

With an international reputation as one of the dirtiest communities in North America, we can now boast that the local newspaper is OK with that.

The NM could have just as easily advocated amending the ordinance, if passed, when and if clean-burning technology eliminates the poison. Instead, the NM chose principle over people, advocating to preserve the status quo. Property trumps health, according to the NM. Apparently, the ownership of our bodies is not a significant factor in the property equation. Children, and those who cannot fend for themselves, are the most vulnerable.

If the measure fails, those with the means will leave in order to avoid the spike in heart attacks and asthma emergencies. The majority, unable to escape, will live in fear of a large-scale event, such as the London Fog of 1952. Over the course of that winter, one beset with coal emissions and temp inversions, experts estimate that 12,000 people died of pneumonia, bronchitis, tuberculosis, and heart failure.

Douglas Yates, Ester

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – Prop 2 alternative
Excerpts from Newsminer Editorial (Fairbanks Newspaper): RAWSEP View: This editorial does not make sense, but it stands with the few large corporate donors in opposition to Proposition 2.

Fairbanks must clean up its dirty air. The health consequences demand it. The law demands it.
The proposition on Tuesday’s borough election ballot would start to do so. Much of what it proposes is necessary.
wood-fired gasification boilers — offer significant potential benefits(???!!!)
But only if they are allowed.
Rejection of Proposition 2 is not an easy course to recommend. (RAWSEP View: Then instead of rejecting it, Newsminer, tell people to vote for Prop. 2)
For years, the Daily News-Miner has advocated on behalf of cleaner air. We endorsed the advisory vote in 2009 calling for the borough to adopt rules to reduce particulate matter. We endorsed the resulting air quality program developed across two borough administrations, which the assembly approved. We strenuously opposed the 2010 ballot measure that halted part of that program.

The wood-fired boilers and coal furnaces in use today produce a vastly disproportionate share of the particulate matter. A few hundred such heaters are responsible for more than half the wood and coal particles in our air, even by a very generous reading of the numbers. Boilers foul neighborhood air to extreme levels.

Even though we’re voting Tuesday, Proposition 2’s ban wouldn’t go into effect until October 2012, because two years must pass before voters can change the proposition approved in October 2010.

(Newsminer outlines the additional hoops Clean Air Advocates must jump through if Prop. 2 fails on Oct. 4) The Borough Assembly could act nearly as quickly to address air quality, without imposing a blanket ban. If Proposition 2 fails, the assembly should adopt, with an effective date of next October, several other elements found in the measure, such as smoke density limits. The assembly should ban boilers that don’t meet particulate limits, and even those that theoretically meet the limits but fail in the real world, while leaving room for effective catalytic retrofits. The borough should immediately offer more enticing change-out incentives for all poorly performing boilers. The assembly must act quickly, though. We need, in short order, a plan that can qualify the community for an extension of next year’s federal deadline that requires cleaner air. Without an extension, we could face draconian federal actions, such as burn bans. This course (of Rejecting Prop. 2) has risks. Another citizen initiative could block borough action. The assembly might not act. Air quality could continue to decline, harming residents.

This entry was posted in 1. Take Action, 3. Meetings about wood smoke pollution, Comments against wood burning, GRASSROOTS anti-woodburning groups, Opinion, OWB ordinance discussion (local), OWB regulations, Wood stove ordinance discussion (local), Wood Stove regulations. Bookmark the permalink.

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