May 1st, 2007


There's a whole lot of interesting local news today...

First of all, our smoking ban went into effect at midnight. Even when I was still a smoker, I was all for this. The thing is, if restaurants, bars, clubs, and other related establishments had actually voluntarily disallowed smoking inside in even significant quantities (*), I'd have felt differently. But they didn't, and someone needed to kick them in the ass for this, so it happened. Ah well.

In other lung-related news, Pittsburgh is now second most polluted in the nation, behind LA. Well, that's a damper on our recently reminted stamp of "Most Liveable City". Apparently they didn't assess vital living things like breathing in their assessments. But what's the culprit here, I had to wonder, it's not like we're big enough to be generating that much traffic related smog, and our steel mills are mostly gone... oh, here it is:

Higher soot levels in the East, the report said, are linked to an increase in electricity generation by heavily polluting, coal-fired power plants.

Well, so much for those billboards proclaiming the GREEN CLEAN ENERGY of coal plants. No, really, I call bullshit on your claims there, and apparently so does our air quality.

(*) I mean "significant" in the scientific sense: not a majority, but enough to be somewhat common. Since the ban has been threatened, there have been a few establishments to go smoke-free in anticipation of the ban, but I consider that still part of the "kick in the ass".
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