Ozone Update. Or not

This will strike many as irresponsible, I suppose, but it seems part & parcel of our new modern condition, Weathernoia. I’ve been reading all day about the OZONE ALERT, and I’m surprised the sirens didn’t go off. The advisory “means that conditions are nearing the stage” – nearing, mind you, but not there yet – “in which air quality is ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups.’” These include “the elderly, children, and people with respiratory or cardiovascular illnesses.”

Fine. But what do we mean by “children,” exactly? Two years old? Ten? Around 9:30 AM ago I passed some youths practicing on a park field, and enough raw glee pouried off that group to light the old Grain Belt sign for a month. I imagine they quit eventually, once the noontime levels neared the danger stage. Except that it hasn’t so far. Right now the level is 64, right in the middle of the moderate range.

Or is it? You can monitor the AQI here, at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency site. Unfortunately, it’s been running about two hours behind, all day. The page says it’s supposed to be updated hourly. If it’s such important information – and I’m sure it is for some, as well as those who regard Demon Ozone as some equal-opportunity horror, like frostbite – then you’d think they would update the page to reflect the state of peril.

As for the request not to use lawn mowers until this time of trial has passed: I’d love to hear a kid use that excuse. Dad, I can’t mow. The AQI is trending into the triple digits. Kids are welcome to try that excuse. Kids should not be surprised when Dad buys a push mower.

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