Pine forest wildfires major mercury source; Johnson endorses Paul

Montana's Don Pogreba is a Helena debate teacher who hosts one of the best political discussions in the state at his blog, Intelligent Discontent. He routinely roasts Representative Rehberg, rounding recently on the roles of the petrochemical and extractive industries on the Senate race.

I took my perspective on mercury emissions from the Colstrip generating plant and those effects on South Dakota lakes.

An anonymous commenter directed my attention to the volume of mercury released by wildfires in Canadian (and US) boreal forests where years of fire suppression have contributed to unhealthy pine overburden. Science Daily has several pieces on the wildfire/mercury connection. Here is a snip from one:
In pursuit of riches and energy over the last 5,000 years, humans have released into the environment 385,000 tons of mercury, the source of numerous health concerns, according to a new study that challenges the idea that releases of the metal are on the decline. The report appears in ACS' journal Environmental Science and Technology.
Former Vice President Al Gore tweeted his dismay with skeptics of climate change directing our attention to a report in Media Matters that identifies the root of the GOP's culture of denial.

Helena National Forest, recently identified as collapsed, is releasing massive amounts of methane as that biomass breaks down.

If human activity has released all those tons of mercury, would it not follow that we have also released proportional amounts of carbon?

A trip through the Trib revealed a series by environmental reporter, Jeremy Fugleberg, on Wyoming's groundwater pollution from fracking.

The Hill reports that Libertarian Gary Johnson has endorsed Rep. Ron Paul for the GOP presidential nomination.

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