Friday, October 27, 2006

The Local Beat: Please Don't Eat The Fish

Since the local rag cannot seem to quite connect the dots, perhaps Chaos and faithful readers can help out a bit. Kindly recall that Chaos has mentioned not so long ago the phenomenon of 19 new coal-fired electricity plants being built in the great state of Texas and the resulting effects of air pollution (well, to be fair, the many chemical plants and oil refineries, not to mention the vast numbers of giant SUVs and pickup trucks, may have something to do with it also). Today, our local scandal sheet mentions in passing that you might not want to eat some of the fish caught at a nearby lake--mercury levels are too high, you see. The article takes some pains to point out that "mercury is a naturally occurring element that gets into the water from the weathering of rocks (oh), and (wait, here it comes) also from burning fossil fuels and some industrial discharges" (really?!? that wouldn't be coal, would it?). Gosh darn those weathering rocks! Well, anyway, coal-fired plants are such a bad idea anyway (you know, global warming and all that) that a few mercury-laden fish is really not such a big deal. Or is it? Just another reason not to permanently reside in Texas, unless you like the idea of birth defects, infertility (hey, wait a minute, that might not be so bad), MS, breast cancer, fibromyalgia, damage to liver, kidneys, heart, etc.

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