As an environmental sustainability major at the University of Utah, I may contemplate the quality of our air and water more than average Joe. However, we all breathe the polluted air. The pollution affects all people in Utah, making it something that we all should start worrying about. The air we breathe here in Utah is ranked among the lowest in the country.
Last year the inversion got so bad a few times, my Salt Lake neighborhood looked like a ghost town zombie apocalypse. The inversion had reached ground level and the air was so polluted that it was grey like fog. The eerie air kept most people indoors for those few red air days, leaving the streets empty and quiet. Signs on the freeways read “carpool tomorrow for better air.”
Once, driving southbound on I-15 around 2:00 a.m., the inversion, the dirty air disguised as fog, had gotten so bad some cars were going as slowly as 20 miles an hour because of the lack of visibility on the road. The air on the freeway was so thick you couldn’t see cars further than a quarter of a mile away from you.
Clean air is important to people across Utah because it affects our livelihoods and the livelihoods of future generations who may also want to live in this beautiful state we call home. Let’s implement clean air acts and clean air habits that benefit us all!
Claire Baer is a 21-year-old student at the University of Utah studying environmental sustainability. b. 1996