Earth gaining ground in 2012 elections

South Dakota blogger Doug Wiken recalled the Far Side cartoon that rained egg beaters on a confused shaman.

The environmental community has been raining data on voters still confounded by GOP presidential candidates mouthing the jobs v. earth paradigm.

Wyoming's workplace death rate is in the news after more revelations of obscuring dangerous site conditions from OSHA, one more federal agency reviled by red states.

Sackett v. EPA is in the Supreme Court spotlight in a test of the authority of the agency to regulate wetland protection.

Wyoming might be the poster child for a red state ravaged by earth haters in the name of profit.

South Dakota's embattled Rep. Kristi Noem has opened a can of worms by bringing sunlight to the dust generated by agriculture in a state where the levels of toxicity in soils is off the charts in most watersheds.

Even the conservative Billings Gazette editorial board gulped then praised the new EPA emissions rules:
How big a problem is mercury pollution? It’s a bigger concern in New England where wind patterns tend to carry emissions from other states. But even in Montana, dozens of lakes have such high levels of mercury that people are advised to avoid or limit consumption of fish caught in them. Mercury is particularly bad for children and women of childbearing age because of the damage it does to a developing fetus and to a child’s growing brain.
DoI Secretary Salazar announces a moratorium on new uranium mining in most Grand Canyon watersheds.

Take a bow, Earth.


Anonymous said...

Interesting read Larry. Two points, first one from the WSJ.

"How do America's coal-burning power plants fit into the picture? They emit an estimated 41-48 tons of mercury per year. But U.S. forest fires emit at least 44 tons per year; cremation of human remains discharges 26 tons; Chinese power plants eject 400 tons; and volcanoes, subsea vents, geysers and other sources spew out 9,000-10,000 additional tons per year.

All these emissions enter the global atmospheric system and become part of the U.S. air mass. Since our power plants account for less than 0.5% of all the mercury in the air we breathe, eliminating every milligram of it will do nothing about the other 99.5% in our atmosphere.

In the face of these minuscule risks, the EPA nevertheless demands that utility companies spend billions every year retrofitting coal-fired power plants that produce half of all U.S. electricity. [Wall Street Journal, 5/25/11]"

The second I played with the EPA map in all the watersheds in SE MT/ NE WY. After reviewing all the water quality data I was astonished to find no Mercury anywhere.

Now you've made the statement that Coalstrip is depositing Mercury in SD lakes. So are you saying that the coal plume flies over hundreds on miles of our state to land solely and specifically on a few reservoirs?


larry kurtz said...

Thanks for coming by, Swede.

Looks like I neglected to add a link to this post.

The reservations end up being the populations most at risk.

You are right that until China reduces its emissions we will all pay.

larry kurtz said...

While mercury is likely the most toxic of the emissions, there are many more.

NRDC in the news.

Antibiotics in watersheds are killing fungi essential to remediating metals in soils.

larry kurtz said...

More on emissions from power plants.