Thursday, June 30, 2005

LA Times: Iraq has an air pollution problem

The people may be free, they may have hope and a future. They may be fighting a battle for their lives and their families, much like this country fought two centuries ago. They may be holding elections and holding back Islamic thugs and Ba'athst goons, but, as the LA Times helpfully points out, they are damaging the environment!!!! (login required...use bugmenot)
A massive generator outside the Ministry of the Environment belches smoke, drips oil and roars above the noise of traffic, glaring testimony to the low priority given to protecting air quality in the warravaged Iraqi capital.

Gas flare-offs from oil fields, smoldering fires along sabotaged pipelines, groaning generators on every street corner have spread a gray haze over much of Iraq, aggravating respiratory problems and threatening caustic inversions as people brace for the dreaded heat of summer when temperatures climb past the 120-degree mark.


Adding to the noxious cloud hovering over Baghdad is the swelling fleet of aging vehicles and their emissions. More than 1 million cars have been imported in the last two years, many of them older models that fail to meet current licensing standards in Europe.

These horrors are obviously the fault of the President of the United States. If he hadn't ordered the invasion, Saddam would surely have cleaned up these problems. He would have let only approved Ba'athists have cars, he would have kept the sale of generators to a minimum so that he would be able to keep whole regions in check by cutting off electricity, and he certainly wouldn't have let his cronies blow up oil wells and gas lines!

Oh, and this is a picture of the al Dura power plant. The request for routine maintenance was considered tantamount to disloyalty, punishable by loss of your job, the rape of your daughter, or the loss of your life. So now engineers face bombs and terrorists trying to fix thirty years of Saddam's neglect and his manifest concern for the environment. Here is a picture of one of the turbines. Note the broken and cut vanes.

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