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.Ah. Another attack on coal fired electrical generation. And no plans to ramp up a replacement for their base load generating capacity.
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.
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.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?
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.
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