Wednesday, July 16, 2003

It's back. . . .

From the CS Monitor: "As L.A. Expands, a Familiar Adversary Returns: Smog," by Daniel B. Wood.
A spate of hazy pollution this year culminated in the city announcing a Stage 1 smog alert last week. True, the designation lasted only 3 hours. But it was the first such alert - which brings with it an official caution about outdoor activities ranging from running to rollerblading - since 1998.

Officials are playing down the episode because of a rare confluence of extended hot weather and high-pressure systems, which cause air inversions, trapping ozone gases at lower altitudes. But independent experts say the moment has long been coming when population growth, industry expansion, and greater SUV use would overtake the area's hard-won gains of the 1990s.
It's strange to me that I've been in California long enough (nine years in June) that I remember the "old days," when the air quality score was posted on a movable sign in the lobby of the office building where I worked (to which I walked from home, I might add).

Now I can't even take the bus to work at my new office location anymore because of route changes.

And the article is not kidding about it being hot!—the humid kind of hot we're not supposed to have to endure in So Cal. Although if I don't have to worry about trying to keep a decent, non-sweaty appearance and if I don't have to study in it, I don't mind the heat so much. Even if it is more difficult to get to sleep at night. . . .

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