Sunday, November 22, 2009

Environmental Debate

I'm too old to get in this debate, but old enough to report one observation: we had lots of tar balls on our (THE?)Beaches before the tanker ballast pumping ban. This observation goes back to 1948 or so.

Environmentally, things are both better and worse. Raw sewage and fish-cleaning offal flowed into the bay where the downtown marina is now, and industrial waste from the paper mill was staggering - both are much better now. Presently worse are the "non-point-source" effects of population growth, developing the shorelines, wetlands and sand dunes - these are basically irreversible without consensus on how development proceeds. Development aggravates the "Tragedy of the Commons", each one alone can show no (or too little to ban) harm, but the aggregate impact is the "death by a thousand cuts". Our waters are still biologically viable but others, like the St. Johns and Apalachicola rivers, are already threatened. The political response is to propose new categories of waters like "boatable/splashable". Where is the bottom line? - "viewable", "filterable", or even "burnable" like the Cleveland river that launched the clean water movement in 1969?

No upstream flows affect Bay County much - if it becomes foul, we have only ourselves accountable.

in reference to: Environmentalists: Look at Texas to see what's coming | texas, see, aransas - News - The News Herald (view on Google Sidewiki)

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