I’m beginning to wonder if air pollution causes serious brain damage or enacts a sort of coma-like effect that’s making Californians think the air’s just great while simultaneously wheezing from air pollution-related asthma.

 Clicklist: An L.A. forest gets clearcut

Not too long ago, the American Lung Association’s annual State of the Air Report gave L.A. an F. Now, a poll by Public Policy Institute of California found that less than a quarter of Californians see air pollution as a major problem, despite the fact that more than a third of Californians either suffer from, or have immediate family members suffering from, asthma or other respiratory problems:

About half the state, including major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, exceeds the health standard for fine particulates, which are linked to cancer, heart disease and other ailments.
Along with the drop in people’s perception of pollution, we’re seeing a drop in people’s willingness to address enviro-concerns. “Two-thirds of Californians still support the state’s comprehensive global warming law, the first in the nation, but that’s significantly less than the 78% who endorsed it in 2007.”

In response to the poll results, the California League of Conservation Voters released its own statement reminding people that addressing enviro-concerns doesn’t mean hurting the economy: “Over the last 35 years, California’s energy efficiency laws have saved families $56 billion in savings and created 1.5 million jobs with a payroll of $45 billion. A strong economy and slowing climate change are compatible goals.”

In somewhat happier related news: We may soon see new financial incentives from the federal government for making homes energy efficient.

Photo: Ben Amstutz

Air quality, asthma, and apathy
Less than a quarter of Californians see air pollution as a major issue, despite high pollution rates.