Friday, June 24, 2005

Get Up on the Down Stroke

Today is an ozone action day in Knoxville. The air quality forecast anticipates levels of ozone and particulant matter that will be unhealthy for sensitive groups (those with chronic heart and lung diseases in particular).

University of Tennessee seems to be blissfully unaware of this, as evidenced by the number of lawnmowers and weed-whackers currently in operation around campus. I can hear the whine of a weed-eater from the computer lab where I'm currently accessing the Internet.

I would like to see state government play a more proactive role in setting the standard for dealing with ozone action days. Rather than simply recommending that people conserve energy and not use two-stroke engine machines (like weed-eaters and lawnmowers) that increase unhealthy levels of pollutants, they should follow that advice. On ozone action days, state and local governmental entities should participate in public efforts to conserve energy AND refrain from engaging in polluting activities (like lawnwork)-- particularly when those entities are located in nonattainment zones.

I know I'm going to see a leafblower before this day is finished. Gr.