No one likes smog.
From 1974-76 while serving in the USAF Medical Corps I was stationed at March Air Force Base in Riverside, California. California smog was at its peak and the Los Angeles basin wherein Riverside resides was Smog Central.
Riverside is essentially the eastern extent of the Los Angeles basin. Therefore, the breezes off of the ocean pushed LA smog onto Riverside where the San Gabriel mountains along the northern border, and the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains to the east essentially trapped the smog which accumulated and accumulated and accumulated… over Riverside.
Mount San Gorgonio is the highest peak in Southern California (top image below) and stands at 11,503 feet. It is snow-capped for most of the year. Very near to it is its spectacular but lower neighbor, San Jacinto Peak. Although not as high as Mount San Gorgonio, San Jacinto Peak has the highest escarpment in the United States and is a majestic mountain (bottom image below).
Here’s the reason for the geography lesson (and thanks for your indulgence as I prattled on). I swear on my sainted mother’s grave that the following statements are true. My apartment was a mere 35 miles from Mount San Gorgonio and 50 miles from San Jacinto Peak. From July through September 1974 I NEVER SAW EITHER MOUNTAIN. (Around September the Santa Ana winds blow the smog back to LA and the air in Riverside clears.) It was impossible to see these massive mountains because the smog was so dense. Even more dramatic was that the “brown air” on most days made it impossible to recognize the colors of traffic signals! You simply knew that the “red light” was at the top and the “green light” was on the bottom, BUT THE COLORS WERE NOT RECOGNIZABLE.
While one can easily argue that the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) went completely off the rails when it decided to list CO2 as a “pollutant,” back in its early years it worked diligently to “clear the air.”
And succeed it did. Vehicle emissions today are only 3% of what their predecessors emitted. Too bad the EPA decided to focus all of its efforts on CO2 as a “pollutant” when, in fact, it actually is the staff of life.