The Great Lakes Are Attacking Us Now

Can you really blame them?

By Charles P. Pierce

Original post on Esquire.com

Oct 4, 2017

While the Secretary of the Interior is jetting around on our dime, and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency is slow-dancing with his longtime steadies in the extraction industries, the environment is apparently going into business for itself. From the NYT:

While not all algae blooms are toxic, they can produce a type of cyanobacteria called microcystis. These bacteria in turn, can produce neurotoxins and hepatotoxins, such as microcystin and cyanopeptolin that can cause serious liver damage under certain conditions. Dangerous levels of cyanobacteria caused Toledo, Ohio, to shut down the drinking water supply of a half-million residents for three days in 2014. In total, almost 3 million people get drinking water from the central basin of Lake Erie. Officials have been testing the intake points in the lake where towns draw water and report that the current toxin levels are low.

I will make the Toby Ziegler Wager—all the money in my pockets against all the money in yours—that nobody of any influence in this administration is aware in the least of this situation, much less how it’s caused, much less all of the contributing factors, much less what in the hell to do about it. I am willing to give them the benefit if the doubt as to whether anyone of influence in this administration knows of the existence of Lake Erie, but that is because I am a fair man that way.

The blooms are expected to grow more harmful as global warming changes rainfall patterns. According to local experts, storms have become more intense in the region, carrying more nutrients from the farmland into the lake.

Another study from the Carnegie Institution for Science shows that extensive algae blooms will continue to grow throughout the continental United States and around the globe, especially in Southeast Asia.

The mayor of Toledo, Paula Hicks-Hudson, wrote a letter to President Trump on Sept. 26, calling on the federal government to declare Lake Erie impaired, which would allow for the lake’s nutrient loads to be regulated under the Clean Water Act.

“There is something very wrong with our country when our rivers and lakes turn green,” Ms. Hicks-Hudson wrote in her letter. “As I look out my office at a green river, I can tell you one thing: The status quo is not working.”

The amount of things of which this government chooses consciously to remain ignorant about has to be something like a record by now, but its total disregard for anything resembling an environmental policy is going to be its longest lasting and most destructive legacy, and we know that already, and they haven’t been in office for a year yet. Well, that and Neil Gorsuch, who’s kind of an algae bloom on the Supreme Court.

Submitted by J. Gavron

Turn Brookhaven Blue in 2017. Vote ZELDIN OUT 2018.

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Air Pollution, climate change, Congress, Courts, Environment, EPA, GOP, New York Times, Politics, science, Trump, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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