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Earth Dr Reese Halter's Blog


Australia's Coalition government lead by Prime Minister Tony Abbott has green-lighted the Carmichael coal mine, which each year will squander, in a highly drought prone region of Queensland, a whopping 3 billion gallons of fresh water from the Great Artesian Basin. Meanwhile, Environment Minister Greg Hunt refuses to address the life-ending noise pollution caused from the coal port development at Abbot Point, which continues to kill the Great Barrier Reef, the largest reef on the globe. Photo credit

Story ran in Huffington Post August 11, 2014

Each year, the lion’s share of mercury poison comes from burning more than 8.3 billion tons of coal to provide energy for electricity grids.

Join Earth Dr Reese Halter from Los Angeles in another segment of SOS as he tells us about our oceans brimming with mercury poisoning.

This work comes on the heels of research earlier this spring that found there’s so much toxic Asian air pollution from burning coal, it’s now changing global weather patterns.

China burns an astounding 69 percent (or over 5.7 billion tons) of all coal consumed on Earth. Mega tons of poisonous mercury vapor and other soot are making storms in the Pacific deeper, stronger, more intense, and causing heavier more damaging rainfall patterns to occur. It’s predicted to get far worse.

When mercury infiltrates our oceans, wetlands and forests it is in the organic form of methyl-mercury. It bio-accumulates in animals and bio-magnifies up the food chain. So, when it reaches apex-predators like tunas, eagles or humans it’s highly concentrated. Methyl-mercury is a horrid neuro-toxin. There is no such thing as a safe level of methyl-mercury.

Mercury is a heavy metal; it irreversibly damages the human brain, kidneys and lungs. It impairs vision, hearing and speech, and permanently disrupts the central nervous system. In fact, mercury poisoning causes acrodynia or Pink disease, Hunter-Russell syndrome and Minamata disease.

Alaskan polar bears, Californian bats, Floridian panthers, Australian seabirds, North Atlantic dolphins, Pacific Blue whales and 175 different kinds of animals from northeastern United States have blood levels full of mercury poisoning.

These animals are vividly showing my colleagues just how polluted our planet has become. What we do to our oceans and animals, we do to ourselves.

It’s time for each of us to lend a helping hand. Together our purchasing power is formidable. Please, purchase only renewable energies or better still: go solar, go off-grid!

Earth Dr Reese Halter is a broadcaster and biologist. His upcoming book is Shepherding the Sea:The Race To Save Our Oceans.

Text © by Dr Reese Halter 2014. All rights reserved.


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