Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

July 20, 2007

Pollution in China and Elsewhere

Filed under: environment — codesmithy @ 9:17 am

The guardian has some amazing photos of pollution in China. The gray haze from as seen from space from the burning of coal just amazed me. The human perspective of the situation is present in other pictures.

As for the environments closer to home, the Oversight Committee is holding a hearing to investigate the response to trailers that FEMA provided to hurricane Katrina victims in which there were dangerous levels of formaldehyde. After they tested one trailer on the insistence of a 4 month pregnant woman and found formaldehyde levels 75 times that of the maximum work place exposure recommended by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FEMA took a deliberate see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil approach to the situation. The guidelines they did develop for further testing were deliberately trying to mask the problem, in which they tried to do everything they could think of to artificially lower the measured formaldehyde level, including leaving windows open, ventilation fans running, and AC units operating 24 hours a day. FEMA received numerous complaints about formaldehyde levels, including at least two that involved the death of occupants.

As a final note, BP is planning to dump more toxins into Lake Michigan. Although, one of the more outrageous things that I remember in high-school was that Grand Rapids sewage system used to overflow into the Grand River when there was a heavy rain. Initially, it didn’t happen too often, but over time, it seemed to be happening more often. This made people down the river rather upset, since the Grand River not only flows into Lake Michigan, but also into a series of bayous whose flow isn’t necessarily as rapid. Grand Rapids got sick of the bad publicity, so instead of fixing the problem, they just stopped issuing public statements letting people know that the sewage system had overflowed; their stance became: just assume the river has sewage in it.

The movement for environmental sustainability is about more than just climate change.


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