Okay, I'll grant you that according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, burning coal is a leading cause of smog, acid rain, global warming, and our toxic air. In an average year, a typical coal plant generates:
- 3,700,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary human cause of global warming--as much carbon dioxide as cutting down 161 million trees.
- 10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2), which causes acid rain that damages forests, lakes, and buildings, and forms small airborne particles that can penetrate deep into lungs.
- 500 tons of small airborne particles, which can cause chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma, and premature death, as well as haze obstructing visibility.
- 10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), as much as would be emitted by half a million late-model cars. NOx leads to formation of ozone (smog) which inflames the lungs, burning through lung tissue making people more susceptible to respiratory illness.
- 720 tons of carbon monoxide (CO), which causes headaches and place additional stress on people with heart disease.
- 220 tons of hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds (VOC), which form ozone.
- 170 pounds of mercury, where just 1/70th of a teaspoon deposited on a 25-acre lake can make the fish unsafe to eat.
- 225 pounds of arsenic, which will cause cancer in one out of 100 people who drink water containing 50 parts per billion.
- 114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium, other toxic heavy metals, and trace amounts of uranium.
|Peace negotiations with a coal seam|
Robert Semple reports in the September 20th edition of the Washington Post that Russell Train, a lifelong Republican and one of the country’s foremost conservationists of the last half-century, died this week at the age of 92. He served Richard Nixon as the first chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and later as administrator of the fledgling Environmental Protection Agency – helping shape landmark statutes like the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. His death serves as a reminder of the G.O.P.’s historic tradition of environmental stewardship, a tradition stretching as far back as Teddy Roosevelt, which the party has now repudiated.
|Coal ash sludge flood at Kingston plant in TN|
|Purple Mountains Majesty|
Mountain top removal coal mining -- there ain't any majesty to it