Waiting for smog deaths

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Fog diverts early morning flights from SLC airport" (Tribune, Jan. 19):

London's fog used to be such a romantic thing, immortalized by Fred Astaire when he sang George and Ira Gershwin's "A Foggy Day (In London Town)." In reality, it was nasty, unhealthy soot from coal-burning fireplaces and power plants.

In 1952, an inversion settled over London "town," creating the Great Smog of '52, or Big Smoke, killing 12,000 souls and spurring clean-air acts.

So it is irksome that spokespeople for the Salt Lake City International Airport and the National Weather Service talk about how an inversion-caused "dense fog" closed the airport.

The word "fog" sounds so natural, and this harmful air is not that. Please call it what it is: human-caused and human-killing smog that's dense enough to keep planes from landing.

A few delayed planes won't cause our politicians to act, but must we wait for 12,000 people to die?

Ben Rogers

Salt Lake City