They’re dropping like flies. Flies who have inhaled a little too much air-borne methyl-mercury, maybe? Regardless, Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. can be added to the list of utilities choosing to shut down all or parts of major coal-fired power plants in the last year. A similar announcement was made by Consumers Energy in December 2011, who cited a decrease in demand and a surplus of available energy from the Midwest grid.
BC Cobb Generating Plant | consumersenergy.com
Four of the six FirstEnergy plants are located along the Lake Erie shoreline, and their closing is heralded by various environmental groups in the region as good news for the troubled Lake.
A campaign launched in December by the Evangelical Environmental Network links the pro-life message with the environmental movement in a series of television ads that aired in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Tennessee, Washington DC, and Ohio. The group has been working with a Pediatrician from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine to educate the public on the potential effects of mercury poisoning on unborn children.
Dr. Philip Landrigan is quoted in a Living on Earth blog post on the topic: “We now know approximately one in every six babies in this country is born with a mercury level that is high enough to cause some erosion of IQ and other brain abnormalities.”
Mercury disrupts important neurological processes and is especially dangerous to unborn children, infants, and women of childbearing age. Forms of the element are released in vapors from coal-fired power plants and eventually find their way into the aquatic environment, where trace amounts are biomagnified in fish then consumed by people.
Here’s the ad that aired in Pennsylvania; you can view the rest on the Evangelical Environmental Network’s website.
What do you think, is the combination of these movements greater than the sum of their parts? Or should environmentalists stick to targeting the coal industry?