It's official! Forbes magazine has reported that Atlanta is now rated as the number one polluted city in the United States.
I knew those hard working folks in the Atlanta Regional Council (ARC) could get it done.
We also certainly want to congratulate those politicians who are making sure the monster called greater Atlanta gets fed on a regular basis with every scrap of resource they can drag up from where ever they can get it.
After all they are the economic engine of Georgia, or so they say.
Throw in the recently revealed fact that the Savannah River is now in the notably unfortunate position of fourth in the nation for polluted rivers and the picture is almost complete.
I say almost because we just need to build a couple of more coal fired power plants, the same kind a lot of other states are now rejecting out of hand, and put a daily dose of a few hundred more pounds of mercury into the waters of the other four major rivers in our state.
Maybe we can become home to the top five most polluted rivers in the US.
Just as a side note, when you dump mercury into the black water rivers, such as we have in Georgia, an unusual chemical transformation occurs.
We end up with a product called methyl mercury in the water. It is deadly. It is my understanding that children seem to suffer first and the most. The symptoms of mercury poisoning are slow coming so the polluters have years to get in and get out.
The EPA has stated that the Ogeechee already has twice the amount of mercury in it that is acceptable by their standards and we are preparing to put more of it in. So much for Governor Perdue’s "go fish" program. Didn’t inhale; just say no, go fish and clean coal are four word groups with no substance.
The folks in Washington County, Sandersville, have been sold a bill of goods about the coal plant to be built there reviving their economy and helping with their unemployment. The fact of the matter is that such a plant is high technical, fully automated and will hire probably less than a hundred people who will all be highly technical and specially trained and most probably imported from somewhere else. It's called selling your soul to the devil. The power generated is not for Washington County. It is for, once again, the greater Atlanta area! More fuel for the beast. Washington County just gets the dirt and the pollution.
Greater Atlanta has 58 super fund sites and 277 operations releasing toxic chemicals into the environment. We are inundated with 21st century carpetbaggers and a few home grown ones too. Atlanta needs more water, more fuel, more raw materials, more of everything and more roads to haul it all over. The rest of the State can just wait.
Don't you think for one minute that what happens in the Piedmont and right on up to the top of the mountains of Georgia does not affect the rest of us down here. You walk on the beach and the sand squeaks because it has quartz in it, quartz from the mountains of Georgia, brought here by those rivers. So get out your gas masks and hip waders and gloves. We are going to grow this state faster than anything in recorded history or die trying. Or die trying? You mean like from methyl mercury poisoning?
There needs to be a very measurable change of attitude about a lot of things where our political leadership is concerned.
It’s as if the state has become a giant multi-staged piñata and all the legislators have sticks autographed by Sonny Perdue.
Roy Hubbard is a Richmond Hill resident, a retired Green Beret and is active in environmental causes.