Tuesday, May 29, 2007

L.A.-like Louisville

Whenever I think of Los Angeles, I think of smog. That’s a primary reason I wouldn’t want to live in California. A close second reason is the San Andreas Fault. That’s two strikes against L.A.: if one doesn’t die from not being able to breath due to smog, one could die when the west coast falls into the Pacific Ocean. (Yeah, I know that’s not probable, but it sounds good).

So rather than Los Angeles I live in Louisville:

Photo of smoggy Louisville that appeared in the Louisville Courier-Journal in 1997

Louisville has been under an air pollution warning for most of the past three week. Folks who have breathing problems—such as me—are told to remain indoors. Because Louisville is the in Ohio River Valley, stagnant air just seems to hover over us for ever. And besides the smog, the air also contains allergens, which have also been high, that affect many people. Sunday I talked with a woman whose daughter is affected by asthma caused primarily by various allergies. She told me that her daughter has not been outside to play for weeks.

It isn't just Louisville that has the pollution problem. During the eleven or so years I lived in a town on the Ohio River in southern Indiana the problem was worse. The walls of the valley were steeper there and the pollution seemed to hang around much longer and was definitely stronger. Even worse, across the Ohio River in Kentucky was a paper mill. If you have never smelled the pollution caused by making paper, you cannot imagine how appalling it is. As I would drive back to the parsonage from a visit away from the town, the smell would overcome me and I would begin to gag. The scary thing is that after an hour or two back home I wouldn’t notice the smell.

So maybe Louisville isn't better than L.A. so far as the air is concerned. But what about that fault?

To my west is the New Madrid Fault: to my east are the faults associated with the Lexington/Kentucky River fault system. Back in 1987, on the day that I returned to the region from my years in seminary, I was great by... an earthquake.

So I must be honest. It doesn't really matter where one lives so far as environmental problems and potential nautural disasters are concerned. They seem to be everywhere! So, why worry? It's all part of life. What I believe does matter is the joy of living wherever one is.

Life wouldn't be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present. ~ W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965) Of Human Bondage', 1915


  1. S. Jersey isn't TOO bad in regards to those things...but then again we are literally surrounded by nuclear power plants. Fun times!

  2. I didn't realize that Louisville had that kind of problem, I've only been there a couple of times and that was years ago (1963). Our area has been getting some of the smoke from the fires in South Georgia - weird. ec

  3. I love Alfred E. Newman! And I like that quote. I hope your air clears up soon!

  4. Right on, Nick! The joy of living is what it's all about.

    I whine when I drive into the city and see the smog hanging around the skyscrapers. We don't have much smog in eastern Montana, but then we also don't have much of anything else either. In Denver it seems there is always something to do and I am starting to like that.

  5. 'Life wouldn't be worth living if I worried over the future as well as the present.'---Thanks Nick. I'll take that!

  6. Hi Nick ~~ Sorry about all that smog
    in your area. I live in a city in the country and we do not have smog here
    for which I am thankful. Loved the quote about not worrying about the future as well as the present.
    Sorry you disagree with Women having only one flaw. We probably have more.
    Your ex saying we have none is very strange, BUT she did mind Alex, so be kind!! Take care, my friend, Regards, Merle.

  7. Well, you certainly don't want to be in NY then! When it's over 90 degrees and humid-----run, duck, hide under an a/c unit!!! But, New York has the biggest fault line in the US----so I hear. It hasn't gone off yet, just tremors, however, when it does, NYC is NOT prepared for this. Their buildings are not built like they are in CA.

    Anyway, I have asthma, and the smog does affect my breathing, my energy as well as my overall health. It's weird, you think, "summer", and think, happy times outside...but for me, I think about the majority of times inside my apartment in the a/c, wishing I was tolerant to it all.

  8. I've lived on both the New Madrid (northeast Arkansas) and the San Andreas (San Francisco). The New Madrid caused the Mississippi to run backwards and may be more dangerous than the San Andreas.

    We had one earthquake when I lived in Jonesboro, AR. Nobody but me knew what it was and they wouldn't believe me until the news issued a special report. It was probably around 5 on the scale. Certainly enough to break dishes and knock things over.

    And we don't usually have tornados.

    Or hurricanes.

    We do have smog.

  9. absolutely is futile to wory over what we cannot control..let us enjoy what we have instead..

  10. I visited somewhere that had a paper making plant once. the smell made me feel really sick.

  11. There are times when I consider escaping all of it and moving to a desert island

  12. Nick, stay clear of LA. Jake has a friend there and entire neighborhoods have disappeared into the ocean over time. Not to mention the traffic is really bad. Lots of people.
    You can come to Ohio though. We're not doing too badly with the allergens right now. We did earlier in the spring but, it's good now. Hot, but good.

  13. I don't remember what the smog was like there when I lived there. But I do remember some really hot summer days with no hint of breeze.

  14. I hate smog because, well, I like to breathe. :o)

    It was smoky in my town for a few eeks because of some fire fighters and I got really sick. I hated not being able to go outside during my favorite time of year.

  15. Wha ... ?

    I don't see any pictures of the beautiful kitty cat!!!!!!

  16. I suppose you need rain, too, just like most of the U.S. does.