I recently went to the Ag Classic Expo at Seaside Park with my family and was given tickets to the tractor pull by one of The Star's sales agents. Having never been to one of these events, it was quite a thrill for me and my boys, but I couldn't help but wonder how much fuel was being burned up and pollution created for our enjoyment.
One of these so-called "tractors" — they look more like dragsters with farm wheels — distinguished itself by belching out billows of black smoke. Spinning wheels kicked up enormous clouds of dust. The noise made by the souped-up engines must have been heard all over town. The announcer advised us to wear earplugs. If the winds had been blowing toward the stands instead of away, we probably would have been advised to wear breathing masks, as well.
The competitors weren't the only ones burning fuel. Each run required the services of a grader and a roller/compactor to prepare the field for the next contestant.
The following day, an Earth Day event sponsored by Ventura Cool challenged the public to take individual action to reduce carbon emissions. And in the May 2 Star, a front-page article warns, "Lung Association says county's air is getting worse." The pollution contributed by the tractor pull may be relatively small compared to other sources, but every bit counts. I urge The Star to reconsider promoting this event in the future, which is so antithetical to what it has been telling us we need to do.
— Barry Rands, Ventura