J.T. Korkow — The Big Picture: Help! I can’t breathe! | TSLN.com

J.T. Korkow — The Big Picture: Help! I can’t breathe!

J.T. Korkow
for Tri-State Livestock News

We humans are a funny lot. When we have convictions regarding our beliefs, we will deny, justify, and argue our case before others, sometimes even against overwhelming evidence. In one of my earlier writings, I discussed how special interest groups will "put a spin" on a subject, often times by use of propaganda, which sometimes consists of bogus scientific data derived from one-sided research…meaning if you want a certain outcome, you are going to "fix" how the experiment is performed to get the desired answer. And in the end, you can normally follow a money trail to see who is going to be the greatest beneficiary and quickly realize the motive. Someone will get rich if they are successful in getting others to believe the spin.

Lately, I have had problems with my big truck not wanting to run properly. It is a 2005 model that has all this equipment on the motor that will re-burn the exhaust gases to eliminate smoking and undesired pollution of the air. I learned the new turbocharger has an exhaust gate on it that regulates when and how much of the exhaust gas is allowed through. It is regulated by the electronic computer and various sensors, and when any one of these components fails, the truck automatically shuts down–an undesired occurrence when you are pulling a load and really needing the power to climb a hill. Now if any of you lived or worked in or around one of the big cities back in the late '70s, you know what smog looks like, how it burned your eyes and the back of your throat, and was not healthy to live in. Yes, there was an evident issue with the growing number of automobiles having unrestrained emissions that was creating the bulk of the smog, and needed to be addressed. So regulatory standards were put in place to "clean up" the emissions, and for the most part mutual efforts by the oil refineries and auto manufacturers have succeeded in accomplishing this. Of course, we hardly manufacture anything in this country anymore, so toxic emissions from factories are no longer the big issue. But then the "do gooders" as we will refer to them, decided we need to do more, so now we are plagued with unrealistic emission standards that are putting much of the country into economic distress with further emission controls, Caterpillar, one of the major manufacturers of highly esteemed truck engines recently discontinued manufacturing truck engines because the new standards could not be attained in their plant without great financial input and retooling–so they just quit. Similarly, we witness many of our coal fired electrical generating plants being shut down in this country because of this same over-regulating.

So, where are these "do gooders" when the forests in 20 percent of our nation are ablaze? Where's the concern for smog, smoke, and unclean air? Where is the EPA when not only are the cities covered in a smoky haze, but so are the small towns and countryside. Am I the only one that has suffered from a soar throat and swollen sinuses over the past couple months? Perhaps we need to "put a spin" on an obvious fact that the government agency is operating with double standards here. Perhaps the EPA needs to sit down with the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service to discuss the net effects of a "let it burn" policy. How about effectively managing the forests to eliminate the over-abundance of fuel in the forests that create these uncontrollable fires. Let's re-direct funding into preventative measures like getting the deadfall and undergrowth cleaned up off the forest floors and harvest more of the forest to thin out the concentration, instead of lining the pockets of everyone involved with fire suppression that really aren't interested in suppressing a fire. The Forest Service has one of the largest budgets and boasts of how much they spend on research–for what? Perhaps the agency needs to take a look at replacing their tree hugging managers with some good ole farm boys from the Midwest that understand land stewardship and raising a healthy crop for harvesting! Furthermore, it is not difficult for us laymen out here in the country to see that global warming is really a concern, given the amount of BTUs we are sending up into the atmosphere. It's all carbon emissions with every kind of toxic fume imaginable produced by these wildfires. When we can put scrubbers in place to capture all the smoke from these fires, then I will be satisfied the EPA is doing their job and everyone is treated equally. But for now, it appears the government is in denial of overwhelming evidence produced here in the west. Perhaps it is time to "fire up" the congressional delegation on something of real significance rather than focusing on such nonsense as gay marriages.

"For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion. Its streams shall be turned into pitch, and its dust into brimstone; Its land shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night or day; Its smoke shall ascend forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; No one shall pass through it forever and ever. " Isaiah 34:8-10