Oh no! Seattle is in violation of the Clean Air Act.

Cough… can’t… breathe. Must… tax… grocery bags… Save… Captain Planet…

The cheap and easy


The Smoggiest Skies You've Ever Seen...

Oh no! Seattle is in violation of the Clean Air Act.

Cough… can’t… breathe. Must… tax… grocery bags… Save… Captain Planet…

The cheap and easy joke is to blame all of you evil, white, liberal environmentalists living in the Emerald City for churning out tons of soot, CO2 and ozone from your polluting hybrids and bio-fuel running buses.

But then it had to rain and go and scrub all that nasty pollution out of the sky.

Just like it always has done in Seattle. For the past 150 years. Just like it will always do in Seattle. Until poles shift or the ocean currents change.

Both daily newspapers in the city credulously reprinted the press release sent out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warning of the dire emergency. A monitor in Enumclaw measured ozone levels of 77 parts per billion, which is over the completely arbitrary number of 75 parts per billion now mandated. But it is below the earlier arbitrary number of 84 parts per billion which was the old standard.

So maybe it’s those damn rednecks living out in Enumscratch who are the ones responsible after all.

Since the Puget Sound region failed to meet the arbitrary pollution standards mandated by the feds, the Governor in 2009 will have to hop in a jet and fly back to D.C. in order to implement studies, blue ribbon commissions and regulations which won’t do anything to solve pollution problems. But it will keep the state eligible for federal highway dollars. Which makes sense... in order to reduce pollution... somehow.

Maybe that means next year Dino Rossi will have to explain to some federal bureaucrats that there’s something in Washington called regular precipitation while further elaborating on a document called the Tenth Amendment.

Circle of Life: For those of you new to the Northwest, or who still don’t understand how the environment works here, Seattle sits in a temperate region which, due to its unique geography, ocean and wind currents, experiences regular rain (and sometimes) snowfall.

One of the many side-effects of this frequent precipitation is that particulates suspended in the lower atmosphere get washed back to Earth before they accumulate in enough quantity to harm humans, black bears, cougars, Sasquatch, deer, Goldfinches and itinerate street corner musicians.

However, there are two times a year when this phenomenon doesn’t occur. In the winter time, usually January or February, when there is cold, stagnant air and in August or September when there is hot, stagnant air.

During those two months locals get to take the precaution of outlawing outdoor burning preventing the use of woodstoves or fireplaces (unless it is your sole source of heat).

Curiously that sounds like the same lesson we have learned from Harry Wappler for the past four decades.

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