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Letter: Don’t ruin Utah’s fabulous physical wonderland

(Photo courtesy of Sebastian Hock) A winter temperature inversion traps smog over the Salt Lake Valley. A new University of Utah study found that as much as 13 percent of the water vapor in the smog comes from fossil-fuel combustion. The combustion vapor not only rises and falls in concert with daily traffic rush hours and overnight use of home furnaces, but also correlates with rises and falls in combustion-produced carbon dioxide, the major gas causing global warming. Measuring chemical signatures in water vapor from combustion may provide researchers a new way to trace the sources of pollutants and carbon dioxide.

Were it not for the extremely selfish cultural focus of the state of Utah, almost all political subunits throughout the state, and the typical voter, it might be possible to join in the “pioneer” spirit intended by this holiday.

I moved here nearly a half-century ago, from a horrifically burned-out lead-zinc and coal mining region of southeastern Kansas, via four or five majors over a decade in the University of Kansas system, only to encounter this callous indifference of government toward indigenous cultures, archaeological and paleontological wealth, and the prevalence of ways of thinking other than Mormon. What a fabulous physical wonderland — if we can suspend awareness of the impacts of the burgeoning populace. Compounded by the sudden onset of global warming, the Trump/Zinke/Herbert administration effort to put as much as possible of Utah’s hydrocarbon storehouse into the atmosphere may be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

It’s not worth the risk, ye gamblers with our collective fate! Quit cheating on our future, and exercise appropriate restraint!

Ivan Weber, Salt Lake City

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