AuthorTopic: And Now, The Farm Pollution Gets You  (Read 746 times)

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And Now, The Farm Pollution Gets You
« on: August 03, 2014, 07:12:34 AM »
From the pen of Popular Libertarian blogger  Karl Denninger

And Now, The Farm Pollution Gets You

I have written several times over the years about our insane policies with regard to so-called "pollution", which utterly ignore and in fact propagate some of the worst pollution of our water supplies ever invented.

I am specifically referring to farming interests using fertilizers and not being held responsible for that which escapes their lands and winds up in public waterways.  This is responsible for the Gulf of Mexico "dead zone", as algae blooms are "fed" by said fertilizers and then die off, with their decay creating a hypoxic condition in the water column that essentially prohibits animal life (think FISH folks!) in that region.

This is an outrageous act of pollution undertaken for the specific purpose of profit, and yet it is nearly completely unregulated.  If you or I spill so much as a teaspoon of fuel into the water when refilling our boat we can be fined hundreds or thousands of dollars, yet these farming interests release tons of phosphorus and nitrogen into the water -- plant food, which then stokes algae growth.

In Lake Erie this has over the years led to problems with algae blooms going back decades.  Now it has led to one where one of the species of algae involved (and the natural bacteria that come with it) produces a toxic byproduct and that has gotten into the water supply.

Unlike a biological contaminant you can't boil the water to get rid of it, because it isn't alive, and in fact boiling the water might result in its concentration rising instead of falling.  The particular "bad guy" here is microsystin, a family of amino acids that are toxic to the liver.

The molecule is large enough that reverse-osmotic filtering should get rid of it without incident, and chlorination may be sufficient as well (by oxidizing it), but then you have to get rid of the chlorine after treatment.  As a result there are solutions that work for individual use, but in a large-scale water supply environment it's far more difficult.  Common filtration, I note, does not remove all of these toxins -- it will block the bacteria that contain them but if you kill the bacteria then the toxin will be released and ironically becomes much harder to get out of the water.

Some day we might actually start demanding that the large-scale dumping of huge amounts of fertilizer on lands stop, and start assessing the cost of getting this crap out of the water back against the big factory farm interests. 

Yeah, right.  :icon_study:
« Last Edit: August 03, 2014, 07:14:28 AM by Golden Oxen »


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