Category Archives: mercury poisoning

Study: Mercury can hurt Adirondack Common Loons

This is actually a long-existing problem, but you wouldn’t figure that out from the headline over this newspaper article. Makes me recall the night I lay in a bunk at the Adirondack Loj and heard a loon’s yodeling song from nearby Heart Lake. I think that was in the summer of 1987.

RFK Jr. on coal: It corrupts and posions

“Anybody who touches coal gets poisoned by it,” said Robert F. Kennedy Jr., president of the environmental advocacy group Waterkeeper Alliance. “You don’t just get sick. It poisons democracy, it poisons communities, it poisons values.” He’s right. So why do we keep doing it? Duh?

Mercury’s harmful reach has grown, study finds

And the Northeast, being downwind from the coal-fired power plants that emit the toxin, bears the brunt of the damage, that’s now being detected in the region’s songbirds, as the study described in this piece illustrates.

Springtime for toxics

Toxics; as in mercury emitted by coal-fired power plants. The EPA has taken action to finally stop the pollution, but the pro-pollution Republicans are pissed off now, as NY Times columnist Paul Krugman explains. People who care – and I mean really care – about the future have got to ensure that one of these polluter-friendly Republicans is NOT elected (or is “selected?”) president in 2012.

Toward healthier air

That’s the headline the NY Times gave this article about the Obama administration’s (finally!) action to approve new emissions standards for mercury and others from coal-fired power plants and such. Of course, the best thing for Americans and the world-at-large would be to shut down all coal-burners.

Common loon’s call stirs good memories

Here is my latest newspaper column, in which I recount a pleasing wildlife experience of a week ago and another such moment experienced from our yard at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, N.Y., in the late 80s.

Long-delayed rules for cleaner air

Anyone who, over the years, has followed the decimation of North Country lakes by fallouts of mercury and acid rain should read and appreciate this editorial on the Obama administration’s just-announced Clean Air Act rules. The Common Loons of northern New England and the Adirondacks would appreciate it.

EPA proposes tugh rules on coal-fired power plants

Only carbon dioxide is not among the emissions targeted by the new proposal. Read about Administrator Lisa Jackson’s decision here. Greenhouse gases? What greenhouse gases?

Research study: Mercury found in every fish tested

This is yet another reason to stop burning coal, a fossil fuel, to make electricity (which a lot of people continue to waste, by the way). Read this NY Times snippet for more info. I remember the day my boss, then a full colonel and commander of the USAF fighter wing at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, shamed unit commanders into turning outside lights off during the day. How did he do this? By showing photographs at a wing staff meeting that showed those lights burning during daylight hours.

To learn more about how mercury, a heavy metal, gets into our atmosphere, NOAA has a nice tutorial here.

Bush is all for poisoning wilderness

The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) last week vowed to vigorously oppose the Bush administration’s efforts to reinstate a federal regulation that would expose state-designated wilderness ecosystems in the Adirondack Park to the ravages of mercury contamination.

In February, a federal appeals court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) conflicted with the clear language of the federal Clean Air Act, which requires power plants to install the best technology available to reduce mercury emissions. Now, the administration is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse that decision.

The Bush squad – industry-friendly to the hilt – is trying its damndest to force through all types of anti-fish and wildlife regulations before the Obama team takes over in late January.

Read more about this mercury debacle here.