Friday, August 13

The Seattle Times: Skeptic scorns mercury risk from coal-fired power plants

The Seattle Times: Local News: Skeptic scorns mercury risk from coal-fired power plants

Some more false science from another of Bush's false scientists. For those that think success is more important than integrity, this is the article for you. You have to admire Willie Soon, and for more than just becoming a scientist with a name more properly bestowed upon a pig farmer, but for abandoning the most basic tenets of science: Objectivity and Proof - And all with a straight face. How does he sleep at night after attempting to lull the American people into a false sense of security that might kill their beautiful child-to-be or elderly members of their family? To borrow a phrase from McBain of the Simpson's, "How do I sleep at night? On top of a pile of money with many beautiful women." Oh.....yeah I guess that could get you thru the night.

Skeptic scorns mercury risk from coal-fired power plants

By Ian Ith
Seattle Times staff reporter

Recent concerns about toxic mercury spewing from coal-fired power plants have been overblown by environmentalists in an effort to attack the energy industry, a Harvard University scientist told a convention of conservative state lawmakers in Seattle yesterday.

Willie Soon, a physicist also known for asserting that global warming is a myth, told his audience at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center that proposals to crack down on mercury emissions in the United States are based on erroneous science and might harm people's health by scaring them away from eating fish.

"No babies are being poisoned," Soon told about four dozen members of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group of state legislators and conservative policy experts meeting this week to share ideas and political strategies. About 2,000 members are in town this week. Interior Secretary Gale Norton is scheduled to speak today.

"I'm a scientist, and I don't approve of the popular headlines on mercury," Soon said. "They're trying to create the notion that mercury can only come from a power plant. Mercury has been here from time immemorial."
This is laughable. Soon is accusing environmentalists of a geological smear campaign. I can see it now: Environmentalist as far as the eye can see passing out pamphlets that inform the reader, "Mercury is a dangerous poison created in the unique confines of Coal power plants. Without Coal power plants there would be no mercury!" What a crock of steaming...The naturally occurring mercury in the earth is fine where it is and believe me environmentalist are all for the earth. It's the mercury that comes from the coal burning power plants, however, that is a threat to all Americans today and now. That's the mercury they care about. And that's the mercury they are talking about. BTW I must also take issue with his use of the most excellent word immemorial. It's too good for him. Mercury hasn't been digging itself out of mountains and jumping into the part of the earth that directly affects humans...topsoil, lakes, rivers...Energy Corporations like the ones who purchased his principles had to dig it up and burn it w/o precautions or protections. It would be so easy for men that did not care so little.

Soon contends that less than 1 percent of the world's mercury comes from American power plants, with the vast majority coming from natural sources such as volcanic eruptions, supernovas in space and forest fires.

But Soon has drawn fire recently because his studies on global warming have been partially funded by the petroleum industry. And the group he represented yesterday, the conservative Center for Science and Public Policy, is a wing of the Virginia-based Frontiers of Freedom, which in 2002 received nearly one-third of its $700,000 budget from ExxonMobil, according to The New York Times.

Yesterday, local environmentalists fired back.

"If you pay enough money, you can get anyone to say anything," said Robert Pregulman, executive director of Washington Public Interest Research Group, a nonprofit environmental group.

"It is very clear this organization, and this guy in particular, have an ax to grind about any sort of regulation. To say it's not a problem is shortsighted, it's disingenuous and it's flat-out wrong."

Soon, who was joined at the podium by John Wootten, a retired vice president of Peabody Energy of St. Louis, one of the world's largest private coal producers, took direct aim at recent proposals by the Environmental Protection Agency to curb mercury emissions from U.S. power plants by up to 70 percent.

How dare he? There is no end to which this man and his dark-hearted friends will stoop for profit. No pain they will not inflict...No injury long as is inflicted on another.

Airborne mercury settles in water, where it turns into a toxic form that is stored in fish and passed on when people eat them, the EPA says.
The problem, Soon contended, is that the EPA's proposal doesn't look at the global picture.

Meaning they disagree with his faith-based belief that all is well and all is well and all manner of things are well.

Foreign countries, especially China, are pumping out more and more mercury from coal-fired power plants. So even if the U.S. plants completely stopped emitting mercury, it would be trivial to the overall world mercury situation, while financially harming the power industry, Soon said. "We're really talking about something that is very minute compared to what is already out there," Soon said.

This is the same argument against global warming badly repackaged. They say volcanoes produce more CO2 in a year than all the burned fossil fuels in a year. As though doubling the amount of CO2 every year had no effect whatsoever! Now they say China is producing so much mercury, it makes our contribution to illness and death negligible. Damn Commies! As though the coal burned in China accumulated in the US every bit as much as it does over thousands upon thousands of miles away in the Far East. So not only has mercury learned to extract itself from coal and spread itself throughout the part of the environment that affects the health of human beings, it has now also learned to teleport. That's one smart metal. Makes human intelligence seem superfluous. We're gettin beat by the inanimate. Soon does, however, mention the true reason he espouses such junk science and health-endangering conclusions: Putting limits on the amount of mercury polluting the environment is "financially harming the power industry." Actually it's a small inconvenience. But nothing that shrinks the bottom line of the most greed-corrupted sector of human profit is permissible. Rather poison than lose profits. BTW the US consumed 1.06 million short tons (2001E) Big Bad Red China consumed 1.31 million short tons (2000E) Does that sound like they are polluting the world with mercury disproportionately to the US? I think not.

Soon said mercury levels in yellowfin tuna, for example, have not increased since 1971, according to one study, suggesting that mercury is a constant in the environment.

Do you know why Soon doesn't tell you the name of the study or who conducted it? Because he doesn't want you to know that Francois Morel, PHD, a professor of geochemistry at Princeton and an author of the study, studied the ocean fish species yellowfin tuna and only yellowfin tuna. He then speculates that this could mean that the mercury in yellowfin tuna and other ocean fish may not be, "coming from pollution, but from natural sources. He suggests these could be hydrothermal vents and deep ocean sediments, but cannot pinpoint specific sources." This is what Dr. Morel, whose study was cited by Soon as proving coal burning does not pollute the environment had to say about fresh-water fish: "Lake fish are also a different situation, Morel says, since scientists have established a strong link between pollution and mercury levels in lakes." If Soon respected Morel enough to base his belief in coal, in part, on his study, wouldn't he re-think the endeavor when he found out Morel believes lake-fish are being contaminated by mercury produced by pollution? No. And the reason is simple: Soon believes and tries to prove what he's paid to. Some scientist. What about his reasoning? Even a simpleton should recognize that mercury produced from burning coal is likely to rain down into the lakes, rivers, and soil close to where it was produced. Hence the Mercury produced by burning coal in China is likely to affect the lakes, rivers, fish, marine life, and land animals that depend on them in China. The mercury produced in America's coal burning power plants is likely to affect our land, animals,waters, and people. And isn't it maybe possible that since the ocean is the largest single feature of the earth that it might do a better job of diffusing mercury throughout it the the lakes and rivers that pale in size by comparison? It's apples and oranges for heavens sake. Soon says that, "mercury is a constant in the environment." Everything in the environment is a constant in the environment. All that means is that mercury is present. What Soon insinuates, and the unwary hear, is that the clear and present danger of high mercury levels in our environment is always there. Totally normal. And nothing to fear. And that is a bald-faced lie for which he should, and most likely one day will, beg for forgiveness. His lies are dangerous. Shouting, "Fire!" in a crowded theatre only affects a hundred people, whereas his sickening deceit affects the lives of hundreds of millions.

Wootten, the coal-industry representative, said mercury emissions have been decreasing from U.S. plants using current technology, and requiring new, unproven and expensive mercury-removal devices would drive up electricity prices and prohibit plants from being built.

How have mercury emissions been decreasing if the technology is current? The technology hasn't changed yet the mercury has decreased? This guy wouldn't last a day as a salesman. I'm not buyin. He expects you and me to believe mercury emissions are falling using yesterdays technology. What an insult. The guy just doesn't want to buy new equipment and he doesn't care who it hurts. Curse words are too good for him.

Environmental groups counter that even if U.S. emissions provide a small slice of the mercury load, it still amounts to tons of mercury in the air, and "it only takes a teaspoon of mercury to contaminate a lake," Pregulman said. "To say that mercury emissions have no effect on human health is ridiculous."

Lord, if this is the best the guys that get paid to think about this stuff can do, it's no wonder Rich-Wing America is so easily able to direct the thoughts of average Americans.

For its part, the EPA maintains that mercury is proven to have damaging effects on fetuses. And it points out that its proposal would be the first time mercury emissions have been regulated.

For all the world as though the Bush Administration hadn't allowed more harm to come to the environment on its watch than any other administration in modern times.

"It's a potent neurotoxin," said Bill Dunbar, the EPA's spokesman in Seattle. "It's done damage to people over many centuries. It's certainly the position of the agency that it's a harmful metal."

Theres these guys called the EPA that exist and are paid to protect the public(you and me) from being poisoned by another group of guys that are scandalous bastards who prefer their lavish lifestyle to morals, integrity, and the health of your family and friends. Which are you going to believe?

If you believe the energy industry and their bought and paid for cronies, then maybe the stupidity tax idea applies to you and you deserve some neurotoxin poisoning. I just wish your ignorance didn't affect the health of those of us who care about the health of those we love. Stop helping the enemies of the common man. We can't all afford to buy everything from Whole Foods and wherever else the rich buy their no hormone-having, no mercury containing, no genetically engineered food the rest of us are forced to buy because we have no other options. I have to say to the other common men out there that agree with Soon and his agenda: "You don't know who your friends are."

Still though...stupidity, gullability, and ignorance aren't hanging offences, even though they are often the tree from which innocent people are daily hanged.


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