There is a reason why the powers that be call high pollution days "ozone smog" and not "high hydrocarbon smog" days. Hydrocarbons come from industry. Industry pays taxes. Ozone come from nature. Ozone doesn't pay taxes. Turning natures response to man made pollution, the life saving god particle ozone that saves us all from an ignominious sure and painful death if it did not exist, smog, the powers that be effectively draw attention away from man made sources and pin the blame on ozone. Genius really. I'm sure the marketing wiz that came up with that idea got a nice bonus. Not only did that person vilify the god particle ozone that also cures mostly all diseases, even cancer, without side effects so that the brainwashed lemmings (citizens) equate ozone with smog, but he or she also drew attention away from the industries that pollute our airways with impunity.
Which industries are to blame for our pollution problem? Several. The main culprits are the 1) trucking industry and 2) transportation industry. These industries hire special interest lawyers that lobby to allow their older vehicles, vehicles without emissions controls, to billow clouds of black smog up and down our streets, our freeways, from sea to not so shining sea. (not anymore at least.) The solution is simple. Require ALL TRUCKS AND BUSSES, EVEN OLD ONES, TO HAVE POLLUTION CONTROL CATALYTIC CONVERTERS! I even offered the California ARB board a solution 15 years ago when I was an IAQ expert of sorts but they poo-pooed the idea. I'm still sore about that, given the amount of work and research I put into that proposal.
The idea, in a nutshell, was to contract with factories in China (I was going to spearhead the program for free) to manufacture the parts needed to convert these older busses and trucks to clean running vehicles AT COST, FOR UNDER $100 and offer them at cost to the owners who would then be required to have those parts installed in order to pass a smog test that would allow those older vehicles to remain on the road. In this way, with only a few million dollars, California could provide the nation a blue-print on how to drastically reduce smog in all major cities. You see, studies found that more than half of pollution is caused by older trucks and buses that are not required to have pollution control equipment, by law. I now think that a better idea would be to take a rust belt city and have them manufacture those parts, put Americans back to work, and have the Federal Government subsidize the program on a Nationwide basis. No more black smoke emitting cars allowed!
Doing my research, I also discovered something that was very disturbing to me. I discovered that virtually all of the old super polluting school buses were operating in POOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS where mainly minorities lived! The schools in nice areas got the new, clean running buses while the poor areas got the buses that billowed black cancer causing smoke in the inner city neighborhoods that not even the environmental elites seem to care about. (except for voting time, then they're their best friends) One study found that due to corroded exhaust pipes, many of those older buses leak a high amount of toxic lead and other cancer causing pollution into the cabins where mostly minority kids were literally being gassed to death to and from school. Sickening, right? The California ARB said "that's just the way it is. Nothing we can do." You see, the nice rich areas paid more taxes, and they got the new buses, and the budgets in the poor areas got stuck with the old gas chamber buses. I wonder how any of those kids in those gas chamber school buses are able to concentrate in class or do good on tests given the fact they are being poisoned daily. This is a scandal you'll never read about in any newspaper because it doesn't fit the narrative that liberal California cares about the poor and the environment.
So how exactly does ozone clean the air? When man made pollution or smoke from fires or volcanoes accumulate in our lower atmosphere, in the presence of sunlight, the suns UV rays split the o2 into o1. The o1 hops a ride on o2 to make o3. The extra atom of oxygen then hops off in the presence of any pollution and goes into attack mode, breaking down the hydrogen bonds and basically breaking down pollution. The more pollution in the air, the more ozone. Instead of listing the different cancer causing made pollutants in the air, and drawing attention to the tax paying industries at fault, they decided it would be prudent to simply measure the amount of ozone in the air and call it "ozone smog." However, Ozone is natures response to pollution, not pollution!
Mountain air has about 1 ppm of naturally occurring ozone. While it's not good for the forest to have elevated ozone levels up high, do you know what health studies find? People who live in higher altitudes are healthier and have a faster metabolism (easier to stay thin) Why? The elevated ozone! Ozone, void of pollution, has been proven in many studies to promote good health. Another study found that commercial office buildings that introduced .05ppm of ozone into the air registered much fewer sick days. Why? Even that small amount of ozone keeps the HVAC system from harboring health robbing molds and bacteria that make people sick. I blogged last year about the studies that found that schools that shock the air with ozone at night have smarter, healthier kids. Why don't all schools do this? The fake news mantra that ozone is toxic, ozone is smog.
The solutions to air pollution are there. We need to pass laws that require ALL VEHICLES to have smog equipment and we need to fund programs that make that equipment super cheap, then offer it to the vehicle owners at cost. That however will never happen. The trucking and transportation industry yields way too much power. So I guess we're stuck with the "ozone smog" mantra moving forward and live with the subsequent health robbing air pollution that chokes our lungs in mostly all major cities, especially during summer months. At least now you know better than believe the fake news that ozone is smog.
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