Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We are the gas hogs, my friend

Bet the Chamber of Commerce won’t put this ranking on its Website or propaganda brochures: Men’s Health magazine has ranked Charlotte a “fossil fool,” meaning its number-crunching found residents are among the worst gas hogs in the nation.

Our peers? Not Seattle or Portland or Austin, places economic developer types here like to throw out as comparables.
No, siree, we’re down there with dinosaurs such as the Motor City, Houston and – are you ready for this – Smog Haven USA: Los Angeles.
OK. So Men’s Health is also the dispenser of advice about how to rev your woman’s engine (we started to attach the link but the article made us blush.) How serious should we take its bashing for having overactive odometers and penchant for petroleum?
Take it this way: We are the gas hogs, my friend (with apologies from the Queen City to the rock group Queen). Apparently we love it. And at $4 a gallon, that’s nothing to brag about.
What will it take to change our ways?


MeckDeck said...

First thing this AM I looked in vain for the data set which Men's Health used to measure CLT's ozone level.

In any event, some perspective is in order. As I explained almost two months ago:

"To recap the Queen City's recent ozone history, think big shifts. The late 1990s and early 2000s saw a spike in local ozone levels. Then 2003 intensified a downward trend mostly driven by the weather. August 2004 was the coolest August in 115 years. Not surprisingly, that situation produced just a single Code Red reading at a single Charlotte metro-area ozone monitor.

That trend peaked two years later with the absence of any Code Red readings at any of the eight zone monitoring stations in the metro area. In fact, 2006 was a banner low-ozone year across the state – over 4,800 Code Green readings that year and not a single Code Red flag anywhere in the state.

Focusing on Charlotte and looking at N.C. Division of Air Quality numbers from 2002 thru 2006, we saw a total of 24 Code Red readings from county ozone monitors. The total number of Code Green readings? 5,199. Remember, this is just for the supposed "high ozone" season. Ozone is even lower the rest of the year.

In other words, Code Red readings for that period were less than one-half of 1 percent of the number of Code Green readings.

But last year's drought and stagnant weather patterns that trap ozone over the city meant that 2007 again saw Code Red days, even a couple of the dreaded Code Purples, which signify especially bad air. However, that marks the end of meaningful year-to-year comparisons of alert levels because several weeks ago the Environmental Protection Agency tightened ozone standards."

Yet the other day Bruce Henderson attempted just such a year-to-year comparison without reference to the change in the standard.

Why do you think that is?


Jeff said...

Why don't people live closer to the inner city?

High taxes.
Less space.
High crime.
Poor schools.
Dysfunctional government.
Authoritarian government.

Fix those (i.e., abandon the leftist principles that cause most of them) and you have a chance of reclaiming some of us who have weighed our options.