Archive by Author | brannona0017

Quicksilver

You come home from work one day and you see your son playing in the yard. You walk up to greet him and see a broken thermometer in his hands. He has mercury on his hands. This is one of a parent’s worst nightmares. Mercury or “quicksilver” is the 80th element on the periodic table. It is the only metal that stays at a liquid at room temperature. It is also very deadly if ingested. If a large amount of it is inserted in the body mercury will cause nervous system shutdown and death. In smaller amounts it can cause mercury poisoning. You will be surprised to find out what one of the most common ways to ingest mercury is. Eating fish is one of the most common ways!

I read an article that said that it was more dangerous to let your child eat tuna fish every night than to let them play with the mercury from a thermometer. The reason for this is that many fish have high mercury levels. Mercury is a naturally occurring metal that come from old rocks. The main way that it gets into the water is from coal plants. What happens is that mercury is inside of the coal and when the coal is burned of the mercury is released into the air in gas form. Then the mercury rains down in rain. Then a little tiny microbe takes in a little of it. then a fish comes and eats a bunch of microbes, then a bigger fish eats the little fish. This goes on until a person eats a fish. When a person eats a fish the impacts can be bad. The FDA has put a limit on the fish a pregnant woman can eat because  if they eat to many their baby can get sick.

To rap this all up there is a solution. There is a mechanism that can reduce the mercury levels at a coal plant but very few coal plants have installed them. This is just another example of people showing no regard for the world and feeling the repercussions which in this case is mercury in our water, our fish, and our bodies.

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manbearpig

This is a quote from an old woman in the movie  everything’s cool  “I belive this is all part of Jesus’s plan.” I belive that this mindset and mindsets like this are a big problem in America.  Now lets get a little of topic as I tell a story.

September 11 2001 is one of the most infamous days in american history. Thousands of Americans were murdered and many others were injured. During the madness of that day, aboard United Airlines flight 93 sat Todd Beamer. The plane had been taken over by hijackers. Todd was on the phone with his wife when she told him what the terrorist were probably going to use the plane as a weapon to inflict damage on America. Todd knew what he had to do. He planned the re-take the cabin. To initiate it he said the famous line “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll!” In that moment he was not waiting for the government to come and save him, he was not waiting for a divine intervention, and he most certainty was not waiting for the terrorists. He was taking his life and the lives of thousands of american’s into his own hands. Mr. Beamer took over the cockpit with the rest of the passengers. The plane later crashed – America lost a role modle and a hero that day, but his legend lives on.

The point of this story is very simple: if Americans keep waiting for someone else to do it for them, it will never get done. Now lets bounce back to the origional topic with another story.

I was in the car with my dad listening to Erik Erikson on the radio. He was talking about the presidential debate. He said “Who the democrats saw on that stage was not Mitt Romney ; it was manbearpig” When he says manbearpig he is using manbearpig (A character from south park) as an analogy to someone that you don’t know. I think Americans are waiting on anybody to help them.

That day in school I had talked to our chaplain Reverend McCormick. A great point that was made in the conversation was that people are not taking things into their own hands. I think of myself as a very religious person  so don’t get me wrong when I say this. People are waiting on God to do something. People think that they can just pray for 5 minuts and go to church and they will be saved and their life will be a cake walk. Herein lies the dilemma of a good number of religious people. They (Including me) think that they can pray and not do something and they will be fine. People need to take things into there own hands. Praying is great but at a certain point people need to act on the prayers they make.

Another group of people that americans are waiting on is the boys on capitol hill. people in the green movement are waiting for a bill to be passed that will cut down on carbon. People who support gay rights are waiting for a law to pass. What people need to realize is that a bill starts with the people. If there is Action amongst the people there will be action on the hill.

What are we waiting on? God, The Government, or the all elusive manbearpig. whatever it is that we are waiting on the waiting needs to stop. Angry letters and filed complaints are’t going to get us anywhere we need to act, now!! When thiscountry can do a little less talking and a little more rolling we will se results, and this global warming problem and many other problems  will be solved.

Spillage

Almost a year ago, a great tragedy hit the Gulf. A deep water oil rig had a malfunction, and it resulted in 4.4 million barrels of oil being leaked into the ocean. Some people predicted that it could throw off the Gulf ecosystem. Others predicted it would travel a far north as North Carolina.

We got very lucky. Our first bit of luck was that unlike the Exxon Valdez spill most of the oil stayed on the bottom of the ocean, preventing terrible affects on marshes. National Geographic states “Due to the spill’s deepwater origin and some fortuitous calm weather, most Gulf Coast beaches and wetlands escaped the kind of catastrophic oiling that many had feared.” Our second bit of luck is that the Gulf Loop Current was not strong enough to take the Crude oil around the tip of Florida.

Although we got lucky we did not stay damage free. One of the worst, if not the worst, effects of the oil spill was the damage to the local economy. When the oil spilled, tourists were scared to go to beaches on the gulf, scared to stay in the gulf, and scared of seafood from the gulf. Tourism and seafood are the Gulf’s two biggest businesses. “In a region still reeling from Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf oil spill was a heavy blow that left fishers stranded ashore for months and hotel rooms and restaurants empty.” says National Geographic. Even now, almost a year after the spill, some stores will not buy crab or shrimp from any of the states affected by the spill.

So how does all this relate to global warming?

This all relates to global warming for one reason. That one reason is the economy. When this man made-disaster hit, thousands were put out of a job or had to relocate. What would happen if a disaster such as this where to occur,fueled by global warming were to occur. Even in a disaster that was contained very well, the affected areas will lose an estimated 1.2 billion dollars in revenue. If this is a small scale event what happens when it goes world wide.This is a sign that if we do not take care of the environment it will come back and bite us in the butt. So what does America want to do, start taking care of the environment, or get bit?

Heres a poll to show me what you think about the affect of global warming on the economy.

High waters

One of my grandma’s good friends who lives in an area bordering the Mississippi River has a saying. It goes like this, “I lost so much land to the Mississippi I must own half of Louisiana!”  What she is  saying is that so much of her land bordering the river is washed down the Mississippi that she must own some of Louisiana.  In some parts of the country, this is a serious problem.  When thousands of pounds of dirt are eroded off the river coastline, it poses a serious problem. So what happens when the Mississippi gets angry?

Last year torrential downpours raised the  Mississippi to astounding levels. People where evacuated from their homes, farmers lost thousands of acres of land, and the city of Baton Rouge barely avoided catastrophe. Contrary to how it may appear from my previous paragraph, the Mississippi River  is vital to America.  Fifty cities rely on it every day for water.  It is also immensely important to the shipping industry. So what happens when it dries up?

The Mississippi draws its water from a glacier fed lake named Lake Itasca. So now you probably think so what?  Well here’s what.  In the movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore showed a graph that shows that in the next 100 years all of the ice at the north pole could melt. In that ice is glaciers, and do you know what feeds the Mississippi River? A glacier! If all the glaciers melt what will happen to the river?

I think that first the river will have a surge of water and possibly flood. Then it would dry up. This would cripple our country.  Forty cities depend on it for water, so millions will go thirsty.  Also it will be a huge hit to the the shipping industry if we don’t do something.

Because of the negative effects that global warming poses to the Mississippi, we need to look more seriously at global warming. We need to spread the facts and educate people. We need to make stricter laws. The first part of solving a problem is knowing  you have one. I heard a politician on the radio say that he was going to make the hard decisions and say no instead of yes.  Our leaders need to realize that we have a problem and make the hard decision -the right decision. But just like the frog in the water, we are going to need someone or something to come pull us out.  So who is it going be?  Is is going to be our politicians that save us from global warming, or are we going to  have to face the effects of millions of gallons of rushing water?