There is no single topic that stirs up my senses more than air, except for possibly the part that has to do with its cleanup. That’s the part we humans have much control over; and that right there inspires innovation and enthusiasm to go with that innovative spirit or drive.
There is a great deal of inventiveness floating around. A fitting example that, as a matter of fact, I only a few days ago learned about, is the effort in the San Francisco Bay Area with the name Just Transit San Francisco. It consists of a challenge that involves participation from community members soliciting such to think up viable ways to improve transportation in the City by the Bay, a byproduct of this, of course, is cleaner air.
The organization is offering awards in the amounts of $125,000; $50,000; and $25,000 respectively for the top three best ideas submitted. The following would be my own idea, but how dope would it be to record progress as it develops, say on film or on video to be publicly released later after the awards are presented to be in the form of a T.V. documentary or special feature for future airing on a local access cable network or public television channel – but two examples right there?
Brainstorming a bit more, perhaps the day the awards are presented, this could be proclaimed through city proclamation as “Just Transit San Francisco Day.” As it is, San Francisco is already a very forward-thinking, environmentally-conscious metro region. Imagine if similar efforts were duplicated elsewhere. Think of the implications! It is an excellent way to get community involvement.
That being a tough act to follow no question, even so, there are other credible approaches to air cleaning, such as, foregoing the use of drive-through/drive-up-window services at commercial establishments that have them. If patrons/customers collectively agreed to not use these provisions, for instance, on days when pollution in the air is unhealthy, or worse, how awesome would that be?! What if said business owners took it upon themselves to display signs which read: “Use Front Entrance Only; Drive-up Window Closed,” at times when air conditions warranted such actions? Wouldn’t that be great?! Even though I haven’t seen this done, anywhere yet, what a message that would send.
In San Luis Obispo, California, there must be a city ordinance in force that forbids drive-up services at local businesses there because, frankly, these just don’t exist in this town. One would be hard-pressed to find just one. Good for SLO.
Sort of along the lines of the above, not completely unrelated, I just read where a biomass operation nearby the California town of Delano located in the south San Joaquin Valley is under the threat of shutting down. It appears, compared to solar and natural-gas-fueled power generation for electricity, the plant is just no longer competitive. If the facility does shut down, this will obviously impact some area growers and potential others in terms of their disposing of agricultural wood and other waste material this way.
This would then put those who have come to rely on the plant for their waste-handling needs in a somewhat difficult position, prompting them to find suitable, alternative means of disposal, in ways that are maybe less environmentally friendly.
One air-friendlier substitute could be a process known as “gasification,” a new technology in the works, according to an Oct. 24, 2015 Bakersfield Californian news story.
Obviously, some areas are better equipped at dealing with bad-air issues than others. No matter. Everyone, regardless, can be an active participant in the air-cleanup effort in their area. Those that are shows their concern and demonstrates that they care enough to want to do something about it in that they are committed to making a positive difference and choosing to lead by example.
Lower image above: Ashley Felton
– Alan Kandel