In “Air Quality Awareness Week 2014: Why ‘getting on board’ is so apropos,” I made reference to the idea of the importance of air regulation.
What I had written specifically in this regard is this:
“Fundamentally speaking, a person would expect that subsequent to enacting air pollution regulations, laws, rules or legislation – take your pick – improvement in the quality of the air would follow. That would seem to me to be a reasonable assumption.
“But, enactment of such laws alone is not always adequate. There must also be compliance. In order to ensure compliance, enforcement of said laws, etc. goes without saying, or one would think it would. And, as we all know, in this regard, a regime on this order is only as strong as its weakest link.
“So, in looking at the full spectrum of conditions or ingredients in this mix, there is some element to this equation that is either sorely lacking or completely absent – one or the other.”
That element, either “sorely lacking or completely absent,” what is it? The one I have in mind may surprise you. Here’s a hint: involved is more than just awareness of bad air.
It’s one thing that air pollution has reached the proportions it has; not knowing what to do – or lacking the will (even when properly outfitted to tackle the problem) – to clean it up is yet another.
As it relates, in the recent The Modesto Bee opinion piece: “Our View: Central Valley has the greatest need for using ‘cap and trade’ billions,” written by the Bee editorial board, reference was made to a color-coded California Environmental Protection Agency CalEnviroScreen map of Golden State communities impacted most by – air, soil, water – pollution. It came as little shock the state’s mid-section – the Central San Joaquin Valley – was ground zero. Regarding which the Bee Board insisted: “By any measure, however, it was clear that the region’s longstanding problems are shortening millions of lives.”
Which is why other approaches and strategies to dealing with the air pollution crisis should be made part of the prescriptive plan to assist in removing contaminants from air.
One such strategy is incentivization. And as it applies, farther on into the same op-ed, the Bee Board astutely observed that of the $2,500 rebates offered by the state San Joaquin Valley-based car owners received but a mere two percent. In an area so wracked by air pollution, one would think there’d be more Valley motorists wanting in on the action. That more are not is sad commentary indeed. Apparently, outside the Valley, the success rate in state in this regard is higher.
All of which brings me back to my original point and that has to do with what the best means is to mitigate pollution in the air – by providing incentives or enacting laws requiring compliance and then seeing to it constituents comply through the work of law enforcement.
What’s your view?
Image above: NASA
– Alan Kandel