Guest Blog by Luke Wilson, Jasmine Woods, and Jaqueline Stogner
The recent drought and influx of people in SC has caused the state-owned utility company, Santee Cooper, to propose the construction of two 660-megawatt coal-fired power plants in Florence County in order to keep up with SC’s growing electricity demand. Coal burning plants emit carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas and contributor to global warming, nitrogen oxide, a component in smog, sulfur dioxides, a contributor to acid rain, and mercury, a highly toxic metal when converted to methyl mercury. These proposed plants would annually produce over 8 million tons of CO2 and discharge 300 pounds of mercury into the Great Pee Dee River as a byproduct of burning coal. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has already issued a high mercury level advisory for the consumption of many fatty fish caught in the Great Pee Dee, and adding another coal plant would only exacerbate the problem.Filed under energy, environment, geology, water pollution | Tags: climate change, coal, contamination, drought, energy, environment, environmental management, geology, health, pollution, resources, sustainability, water pollution | Comment (1)
A documentary on PBS shows in details how the rising water levels as a result of climate change will affect regions around the world that live close to the coasts. Check it out.Filed under environment, geological hazards, global warming, health, sustainability, water resources | Tags: climate change, earth, environment, habitat, health, hurricanes, storms, water resources | Comment (0)
Triclosan, the active ingredient in most anti-bacterial soaps, is being detected in human breast milk and urine. It is not clear how serious this problem is, but it could be problematic. Over 75% of all liquid soaps used in the US contain this potentially harmful chemical. Link.Filed under chemicals, environment, health, marine life, water pollution | Tags: chemicals, contamination, environment, health, marine life, pollution | Comments (6)
One of the biggest sinks of atmospheric CO2 is the oceans. If these levels increase in the atmosphere, the dissolved CO2 levels in the oceans also increase significantly. When dissolved CO2 levels increases, acid levels in the oceans increase as well. What does this mean to us? Here’s what Oceana has to say:
ocean acidification, reduces the ability of marine animals such as corals, crabs, lobsters, clams and oysters to create calcium carbonate skeletons and shells, which will likely reduce their survival rates, and their ability to mature and reproduce. Such a decline and widespread death of coral reefs will cost society billions of dollars annually in lost fishing and tourism revenue and will jeopardize the coastal protection services that coral reefs otherwise provide.
Here’s another link about this issue. Link.Filed under environment, global warming, marine life, sustainability, water pollution | Tags: climate change, economics, environment, habitat, health, oceans, sustainability, water | Comment (0)
Recent surveys (link, link) are reporting that low levels of pharmaceutical chemicals (antibiotics, hormones, anti-depressants, etc.), active ingredients in personal care products (hand-wash soap, etc.), fire retardant chemicals (coatings on clothes, mattresses, sofas, carpets, etc.) are present in drinking water even after they have been treated. We don’t know yet as to what would happen with prolonged exposure to these chemicals. In Charleston area, it’s already been reported that excessive concentrations of some of these chemicals were found in marine mammals, such as dolphins (link). What does this mean to you?Filed under chemicals, environment, health, sustainability, water pollution | Tags: chemicals, contamination, health, pollution, water | Comments (9)