Monday, December 20, 2010

More from LEO, the home town org opposing a coal ash landfill

Ginger Gambaro posts an update after the recent public hearing in Franklin County. As usual among political office holders, power to the peevish.

My post landed on

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Testimony surrounding a landfill for coal ash in Labadie, MO

Yesterday evening 4 Sierra Club members from St. Louis and I drove to Union, MO. to attend the hearing held about proposed zoning requirements in the County related to a request by Ameren Missouri (formerly "UE"). The Corporation wishes to establish a 400 acre site in the floodplain of the Missouri River as a place to build a landfill for coal ash waste from the power plant in Labadie, Missouri. They have already purchased the land. Meanwhile, the Federal EPA has been examining whether coal ash (or "flyash") will be listed in the future as a hazardous material. Persons testifying were from Franklin County for the most part, with Labadie Environmental Organization in the lead of opposing such a plan. Members of Sierra Club also oppose it, especially the fact of planning it to be in the flood plain.

Some of us question why anyone would have considered such a plan as feasible. Residents of St. Louis County and City registered their opposition to such a threat to drinking water provided by the Missouri River all along the course of the River. A local physician, Dr. Friedman,  testified to the existence of heavy metals in coal ash, and strongly advised that if contamination occurred it could cause multiple disorders in adults and developmental disorders in children or fetuses.

Presiding County Commissioner John E. Griesheimer seemed to believe that the whole matter is a simple one that concerns only the County itself, although all testimony was courteously received. The weight of the testimonials suggested that residents of the two counties agreed that the concerns about the coal ash itself outweighed any common zoning matter.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reading the news, fighting the blues. . . .

Some days and times I feel discouraged by the events in the world. Who cannot, while we still wage wars, and produce environmental changes that imperil other species besides humans? Somewhere I heard that our human population will be around 10 billion by the end of the current century. That is certainly supposition, considering that we will in the interim face our own survival threats. In many places people already do. We consider ourselves blessed in the United States, somewhat overly optimistically, as though we can continue the same mistakes indefinitely without cruel consequences to our children's children. We are taking little responsibility for our errors. And the whole world sees those errors as American. We plant denial rather than objective reasoning in our media through the prevalent advertising campaigns of large business.

Despite all the knowledge we have accumulated we continue to exceed ourselves in numbers while simultaneously waging long wars, disrupting the balance of nature by recklessly using resources. The wars are aimed at obtaining access to resources. To say they are defensive is a universally understood lie. Corporate raids on other continents are seen by local peoples as outright robbery, with environmental consequences in Nigeria, Mexico, South and Central America, plus elsewhere, that serve our consumerist culture.

Sometimes I have to just laugh outright about political ideas that are so naive and sometimes backwards, being voiced by leadership inside D.C.

Plant bioengineering, which is extremely expensive, is being seen as quite successful by some people in political positions. Meanwhile, in reality, the use of genetically modified (GM) seeds has been resisted in Europe while it "seems" extremely popular among growers in the USA. As to all the ins and outs of why this is so, let's just boil it down to money versus common sense. Monsanto, an International Corporation based in St. Louis, has been The major producer of GM seeds. How many citizens here even know this story?? Among the most vilified of corporations on earth by environmental and justice activists, Monsanto is rich enough to fight any opposition to the use of their seeds in court, including in Canada.

Just from a purely personal perspective I have found that eating corn based foods that are produced, processed and packaged in the USA is hazardous to my digestive processes. Some sort of corn is widely distributed in all sorts of prepared and packaged foods. Blue corn I do tolerate, but not yellow. This is only my own minor evidence that it doesn't suit me well, of course. But scientists do recognized that bio-engineered plants are not being investigated adequately for adverse affects to human consumers. No, I never watched the movie KING CORN, but I think I get the picture.

We have a stunning lot of money available to research certain areas of human life, including food production, commercial and manufacturing products like computers, machinery, electronic gadgets, and the sciences. How much time and success, on the other hand, do we devote to social investigation, conflict resolution, conflict intervention and diplomacy that have proven positive outcomes? Are we simply a genetically impaired species that cannot make any sense out of ourselves and how we relate? Why exactly does a world leader not envision his or her own country boundaries as friendly territory with a neighbor rather than as a challenge to be overwhelmed by dominance?

Isn't it obvious, when you are watching old episodes of Star Trek, that the science of a live future is human communication?

Maybe I am just naive, even in old age.