Republican attack on the environment

Coal Ash Wednesday: Illness and death have plagued TVA cleanup workers

Compounding the catastrophe with more irresponsible behavior:

The TVA paid for as many as 900 people to contain and remove the pollution, some working 12-hour shifts for months at a time. The sludge dried into a fine dust that sparkled like glitter and sometimes whirled into clouds so thick, drivers could barely see past the hoods of their trucks.

In Associated Press interviews, workers said they were healthy before breathing the ash, but have since suffered unusual symptoms. They recalled joking darkly about "coal ash flu" before suffering strange lesions and seeing their skin flake off like fish scales. At least 40 co-workers have died, they said, some gruesomely, collapsing and coughing up blood. "We cleaned it up in a little over five years, and it would've took 25 years to do it the right way," said Doug Bledsoe, who drove trucks there and now has brain and lung cancer.

Let's say it again for those in the back rows: "Heavy metals persist." Mercury, Arsenic, Lead, are all heavy metals that survive the coal-burning process, often in the form of fly-ash, which is such a fine particulate that it remains airborne longer than other residuals, and more easily penetrates the soft tissues (and even bloodstream). That fly-ash also contains radioactive isotopes, which are probably responsible for many of the cancers. It's not just nasty, it's deadly, and the civil court system in Tennessee is allowing even more of these folks to die because of the "phases" they have to go through to get relief:

Lawsuit challenges Trump's erosion of Endangered Species Act

Somebody has to say, "Enough is enough.":

Earthjustice filed the lawsuit on behalf of Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Parks Conservation Association, WildEarth Guardians and the Humane Society of the United States.

For more than 40 years, the Endangered Species Act has been a successful conservation law that protects imperiled species and their habitats. In the years since it was enacted, 99 percent of listed species including the bald eagle, Florida manatee and the gray wolf have been spared from extinction, according to the release.

I'm actually surprised it took him this long to target endangered species. In the mind of Trump, animals that need protection are "weak," and probably should be allowed to go extinct. I'm sure there are a lot of humans that fit into that category as well, at least in the mind of the Narcissist-In-Chief. Here are some of the main complaints detailed in the suit:

Connecting the dots between climate change and flooding

floodflorance2.jpg

It's all about the evaporation:

“We are in part responsible for what’s going on in the context of fossil fuel combustion emissions that are leading to global warming. The ocean is a huge reservoir that is absorbing heat and seeing more evaporation. With more evaporation comes more rainfall.”

I've lost count of how many times I've had this conversation with people over the last year or two. But it's really a relatively simple concept/formula. Heat leads to evaporation leads to precipitation. Yes, silt and debris form choke points in our streams/rivers, and the water has to go somewhere. Yes, poor landscaping and over-development cause stormwater runoff. But the main driver of flooding is increased water vapor in the air. So the next time you're trying to explain to the dubious how climate change is causing this, don't waste time with stuff like "changing weather patterns" or other obscure references, just remember that formula above.

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