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.
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
No, depression is not just a type of 'affluenza' – poor people in conflict zones are more likely candidates
- Often seen as typical of rich societies, depression is actually more prevalent in poor, conflict-ridden countries
- More than one in five Afghans is clinically depressed – a sad world record
- But are North Koreans really the world's 'fourth least depressed' people?
America isn't immune to attempts to remove books from libraries and schools, here are ten frequent targets and why you ought to go check them out.
- Even in America, books are frequently challenged and removed from schools and public libraries.
- Every year, the American Library Association puts on Banned Books Week to draw attention to this fact.
- Some of the books they include on their list of most frequently challenged are some of the greatest, most beloved, and entertaining books there are.
- Oumuamua, a quarter-mile long asteroid tumbling through space, is Hawaiian for "scout", or "the first of many".
- It was given this name because it came from another solar system.
- Some claimed 'Oumuamua was an alien technology, but there's no actual evidence for that.
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