After posting about shitty air quality created by neighbors burning wood the other day (AND the way that pollution always seems to be overlooked), I was happy to see this as a headline in the Seattle Times:
"The use of some wood-burning stoves is temporarily banned in Snohomish and Pierce counties amid concerns about unhealthy air.
The Puget Sound Clean Air agency imposed a Stage 1 burn ban in Pierce County on Saturday and another in Snohomish County on Sunday, citing stagnant air and high levels of wood smoke that have created unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups.
'The purpose of a burn ban is to reduce the amount of pollution creating unhealthy air, usually due to excessive wood smoke,' the agency said in a statement.
Those are not counties where I live now (no such burn ban is in effect, or if it is, nobody knows about it or enforces it), but I grew up in King County (sandwiched between Snohomish and Pierce) so I know the culture of those places and the amount of diversity in the cities and towns within them. Maybe I just haven't been paying attention, but for all of the Seattle area's (King County's) reputation as being insufferably liberal and supposedly progressive ... NOT SO MUCH. Very few people give a fuck about clean air, very few people support mass transit, and fuckers in Seattle and the Eastside contribute at least as much waste, groundwater pollution, etc. if not more than other places, and do it without a morsel of guilt or jot of awareness of their hypocrisy (if they actually are hypocritical at all: for real most people just don't give a fuck and don't even really pretend to). So it's actually unusual in my lifetime to see this kind of attention paid to private individuals' contributions to air pollution and an actual attempt at regulation being communicated. In the county where I live our cars do not even have to pass an emissions test, which I am kind of fine with because of what a burden it puts on poor people like us living in a very out-of-the-way place requiring us to travel for jobs and a lot of services, like seeing medical specialists, etc.
Actually, now that I think of it, I vaguely recall my grandpa complaining about such burn bans. So maybe I just haven't been paying attention and/or forgot about this stuff. We rarely watch local news, too, so maybe I'm just missing it.
I should learn more about this "Puget Sound Clearn Air agency". And ... like ... why the fuck isn't King County included in the burn ban? Which counties are covered by this agency anyway (where I live is still on the Puget Sound, so, again ... why are we not included? Or are we and I just don't know about it?
It is not surprising that Darrington and Eatonville are not covered by the ban; it sucks for people living there who have to breathe it in BUT there truly are a lot of poor people in those areas who can most affordably access a relative abundance of wood to burn for heat, so ... yeah. Tough one.