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Out of Our Minds
Monday, April 24, 2006 11:38 PM
Today's Blood Boiling Battle
Kevin Salwen on Environment & Sustainability

Need some mindless lawmaking to get your dander up? Read the piece from the New York Times about the polluting home accessory -- the lawn mower.  State regulators in California note that the 2006 lawn mower engines contribute 93 times more smog-forming emissions than 2006 cars. 

There is a fairly easy solution at hand: A catalytic converter like the one now put on cars (and blocked by Detroit automakers in the 1970s before the companies caught on that they couldn't fight this anti-pollution stuff forever).  But the effort by the EPA and California regulators is being fought hard by Briggs + Stratton, the largest mower-engine maker, and by Missouri Republican Sen. Kit Bond (the company has 2 plants in his state). 

Their two main arguments hold little water: that converters generate heat that can trigger fires (the same argument used baselessly in the '70s for cars) and the old "jobs will go to China."  It always befuddles me when companies use short-term thinking as their strategy. Shame on them.

1 comment

Janet Auty-Carlisle - 4/25/2006 2:06:54 PM
You know what befuddles me? The thought behind the need to have weed free, lovely green lawns maintained as though they were outdoor carpets. The house I am moving from now, which we lived in for 19 years, had a lot of lawn. We got tired of fighting bugs, weeds and other critters. So, we naturalized the yard. Put in a Japanes courtyard, used pebbles, benches, water features, added naturalized plants that would self sow, planted vegetable, herb and flower gardens and got rid of most of the lawn. What used to take over an hour to cut, now takes 10 minutes. The yard is beautiful, many neighbours comment on it, and it is so easily managed. We got to enjoy it much more once we stopped fighting the need to "keep it green and weedless." Our new house is a smaller yard and we will be using one of those old fashioned mowers with no motor whatsoever....OMG.....Hope my new neighbours don't mind. Living la vida fearless, Jan


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