Mountaintop Coal Mining Could Decimate Fish Populations
Three days ago, a Wake Forest professor of biology went to the US Senate, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, to give them all the disturbing news: we’re poisoning our fresh water fish stocks with destructive mountaintop removal coal mining. In a study of 78 stream samples in areas near mountaintop removal mining sites, Professor Dennis Lemly and his team found that 73 contained toxic levels of selenium.
Toxic levels of selenium, a chemical element, cause gruesome birth defects – twisted spines and deformed heads – in fish populations. “Once in the aquatic environment, waterborne selenium can enter the food chain and reach levels that are toxic to fish and wildlife,” Lemly told officials.
And not just to fish and wildlife, but to we humans, as well. In looking at West Virginia’s Mud River Reservoir, Lemly found that more than half of young fish born near the mountaintop removal site had defects and were passing their through-the-roof selenium levels on to the humans who catch and consume them. A little bit of selenium is good for us, even necessary, but the levels being found in these fish are high enough to cause reproductive failure and birth defects even in humans.
So add selenium to the list of reasons to hate on mountaintop removal coal mining – which is blowing the tops of twice as many mountains today than it did 8 years ago, and which has covered up and filled in 1,000 miles of fresh water streams in Appalachia during just the past two decades.
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It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
Our attention is more than just a resource. It is an experience.
'We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.' Those were the words of the American biologist E O Wilson at the turn of the century. Fastforward to the smartphone era, and it's easy to believe that our mental lives are now more fragmentary and scattered than ever. The 'attention economy' is a phrase that's often used to make sense of what's going on: it puts our attention as a limited resource at the centre of the informational ecosystem, with our various alerts and notifications locked in a constant battle to capture it.
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