Sunday, March 01, 2009

Banning Mercury

The Obama Administration is working on a treaty to cut mercury pollution.

The Obama administration has reversed years of U.S. policy by calling for a treaty to cut mercury pollution, which it described as the world's gravest chemical problem.

Some 6,000 tons of mercury enter the environment each year, about a third generated by power stations and coal fires. Much settles into the oceans where it enters the food chain and is concentrated in predatory fish like tuna.

Children and fetuses are particularly vulnerable to poisoning by the toxic metal, which can cause birth defects, brain damage and peeling skin.

Daniel Reifsnyder, the deputy assistant secretary of state for environment and sustainable development, told a global gathering of environmental ministers in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday that the United States wants negotiations on limiting mercury to begin this year and conclude within three.
Ah. Another attack on coal fired electrical generation. And no plans to ramp up a replacement for their base load generating capacity.
Mercury is also widely used in chemical production and small-scale mining.
And an attack on the chemical industry to boot. Although I must say that keeping it from small scale miners might be a good idea.
While substitutes exist for almost all industrial processes that require mercury, more than 50 percent of mercury emissions come from coal-fueled power plants, complicating efforts to regulate it in countries that rely on coal for power.

A U.S.-drafted proposal obtained by The Associated Press would form a negotiating committee in conjunction with the U.N. environment program to help countries reduce their mercury use, clean up contaminated sites and find environmentally sound ways to store mercury. The European Union has already banned mercury exports starting in 2011. The U.S. has a similar ban that will be effective 2013, legislation that was sponsored by Obama when he was a U.S. senator.
If mercury exports are baned where will we get the mercury needed for CFL light bulbs? How will we be able to import those bulbs? If we want to produce those bulbs in the US where will the mercury come from?

And what does the Obama administration intend to do about volcanoes?
Natural sources such as volcanoes are responsible for approximately half of atmospheric mercury emissions.
And that is not even the best of it. Integrated circuits are dependent on gold wires to connect the chips to the package they are housed in. And mercury is critical to the extraction of gold from the ore.
The three largest point sources for mercury emissions in the U.S. are the three largest gold mines.
You know it appears that Mr. Obama and his cohorts are flying blind. Instead of doing research on replacements for mercury in various industrial processes they are just going to ban it and hope for the best.

I particularly like this view of the situation by Marcus Aurelius: "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

Cross Posted at Classical Values

4 comments:

foutsc said...

"And what does the Obama administration intend to do about volcanoes?"

Great question. I think this falls into the same category as making the seas recede, etc.

The Great Stimulator has already claimed to usurp the powers of Poseidon, now he will assume Vulcan's powers as well.

Neil said...

A simple plan: Ban everything, and then issue "exceptions" to those who have the right connections or pay off the right politicians. A power grab, pure and simple. Welcome to crony capitalism.

Most companies don't have the right connections, so this will represent an enormous new tax on business. I'm looking to take out a massive short position on the market in about April, once it becomes clear that this, indeed, is our future.

Neil said...

Shoot, meant to say "once it becomes clear to everyone that this, indeed, is our future.

It's already clear to me.

rumcrook said...

fucking worthless self aggrandizing pompous arrogant sociopathic player acting as the president instead of being the president, intent on pillaging the system like the greatest scam artist ponzi scheming mobster ever to come down the pike blaming it on the last guy .

and those are his good points.....