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Acid Rain Update

Acid Rain Update

by Nicholas Von Robison

Originally published in American Lutherie #7, 1986

See also,
“Acid Rain” by Nicholas Von Robison and Perry Thomas
“World Forest Outlook” by Nicholas Von Robison and Perry Thomas

In GALQ 12 #1, Perry Thomas and I co-wrote an article on how the increasing acidification of rain and snow was causing serious trouble for world forests, especially high altitude ones that have little immunity to changes in the ecosystem. For the last 6 years, hundreds of studies by independent researchers have found the problem to be caused by emissions from coal fired industrial and energy plants. Yet despite the data and intense pressure from environmental groups, sport fishing organizations, and the Canadian government, the White House has refused to admit that a problem existed. President Reagan has privately stated that soot from Mount St. Helens and forest fires were the cause. When the National Academy of Sciences report recommended cutting sulfur dioxide emissions from coal fired plants, their acid rain study funding was abruptly stopped.

On Capitol Hill, attempts to arrive at a solution have been thwarted by regional politics. States in the Mid-West, whose factories are considered the primary source for acid deposition in the Northeast, have refused to foot the bill for poisoned lakes and forests 1000 miles to the east and north. Western states opposed efforts to make the West help pay for smokestack scrubbers in the Midwest.

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