Saturday, December 23, 2006

Time Is Running Out: Environmental Threats Proliferate

1) Save Alaska's Bristol Bay
The Greatest Wild Salmon Fishery on Earth Is Threatened by Poisonous Open-Pit Mining!
Alaska's Bristol Bay supports the largest sockeye salmon population in the world and is rich in wildlife including moose, brown bear and caribou. The surrounding wild lands are beautiful and pristine, which is what makes this area so uncommonly vital to wildlife and a thriving fishing and tourism economy.
But Bristol Bay is threatened by plans for the largest open-pit gold and copper mine in North America, Pebble Mine, to be situated in the Bay's backcountry headwaters. To make matters worse, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning to revoke existing protections on another 3.6 million acres of public lands in this watershed, thereby making them available for commercial hard rock mining. This type of mining uses cyanide, sulfuric acid, and other toxic chemicals, poisons that are fatal to juvenile salmon and trout. The development and ensuing toxic waste could be devastating to wildlife and the local fishing and tourism economy. Tell the BLM to abandon plans to open millions of acres in the Bristol Bay Watershed to mining!
Dingell stands as a testament to the improbability of anything getting done on the environmental front in Congress under the existing power arrangements. Read this interview: he seems the very soul of non-committal reasonableness, until you remember he has steadfastly refused for the past 15 years to try to get the US auto industry to grow into the requirements of the fuel-strapped 21st Century. (Courtesy of Grist).
By analyzing the isotopes of the carbon and oxygen atoms making up atmospheric CO2, in a process similar to carbon dating, scientists can and have detected a human "fingerprint." What they have found via the isotope signatures can be thought of as "old" carbon, which could only come from fossil fuel deposits, combined with "young" oxygen, as is found in the air all around us. So present day combustion of fossilized hydrocarbon deposits (natural gas, coal, and oil) is definitely the source of the CO2 currently accumulating -- just as common sense tells us.
For more of the nitty gritty technicalities straight from the climate scientists, including links to the actual research that established this, visit RealClimate's article on how we know the CO2 is ours.
Of all the pillars holding up the theory of anthropogenic global warming, the human genesis of increased CO2 is one of the most unassailable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's so sad to see this beauty wrecked by a bunch of a- hole miners. No doubt a bunch of diesel pick-up truck driving, exhaust spewing jerk offs. I mean what kind of person would drive a big, spewing, fuel sucking, energy wasting, nusiance to everything green. I hate these idiots who drive these things. Bunch of honky red necks. Go green you bunch of shmucks. Gore in 08