Clean the Air? – Buy a Mexican Car and Plant a Tree
I’ve been making regular trips to Baja Mexico, mostly to the outskirts of Tijuana, Tecate and Rosarito Beach for over 15 years and one thing that strikes me over and over again is the number of old cars busses and trucks that spew tons of smog. Add to this the thousands of small trash fires and the daily brush fires pumping tons of smoke into the air every day.
I don’t blame the impoverished Mexicans for this as they have little choice. What I’d like to see is our government to do more to help them out. Sure, your first reaction is to say no, our taxes are paid to help our citizens but sadly, our government is already spending billions trying to clean our air and water. Unfortunately, those measures are having a diminishing return on our investment. So much that California has taken to regulating cow burbs and farts as areas they think need more regulating. These far reaching regulations are more a soap-box to keep Climate Change in the headlines complete with a chest pounding politician endorsing these idiotic and marginal measures.
If they really gave a damn about Global Climate Change they would take a long hard look to the South. Since I’m not a scientist and did not actually calculate what the hard impact would be, but it does not take a degree in environmental science to see that Tijuana alone, having a population over 1.3 million (about the same as San Diego), drive tens of thousands cars, trucks and busses that are pre-1980 era. Some of these cars are so old and poorly maintained and keep in mind that a single older-model car produces more pollutants per mile than 200 post 2000 model cars. This would account for the constant haze (smog) that hovers over Tijuana except on those days where it is blow into the USA.
My idea is two-fold:
First, we develop a program where they can sell any running pre 1990 model automobile for a flat $1,500 USD and then setup (in Mexico) a scrap and shred facility and let them sell it for recycling.
Second, they have very few trees in Baja. I’d love to see a program that would provide a free tree to everyone, every year for the next 10 years.
Sure it would cost money but instead of spending huge money here for what amounts to a very marginal improvement in our air and water, we could spend half of it and make a huge difference.