Frosty Wooldridge

CONNECTING THE DOTS

More About: Environment

PART 8: WHAT CONSTITUTES OVERPOPULATION IN AMERICA? POISONING OUR GROUND WATER

Part 8: Poisoning our ground water and aquifers
 
 
This continuing series attempts to connect the dots as to overpopulation and carrying capacity.  The United States remains on course to add 100 million people net gain, by 2035—a scant 25 years from now.  Ironically, every environmental predicament we experience today will multiply by a factor of 100 million.
 
Yet, you will not hear a word from the president, Congress or the media.  Ever wonder why?  Answer: population remains the final taboo!  Much like Galileo grappled with the Pope in 1600 with Galileo’s newly discovered facts about the Earth revolving around the sun instead of the ‘proven’ longstanding acceptance of the sun revolving around the Earth—Galileo lost to myth, religion and culture. 
 
Today we address overpopulation in America with the same stigma perpetrated against Galileo.  The Pope still wields enormous power against any mention of overpopulation, birth control or family planning.  Wherever the Pope’s doctrine dominates in third world countries, humanity suffers from overpopulation, misery and suffering.  Haiti comes to mind long before the earthquake!
 
Nonetheless, this series connects the dots as to the accelerating ramifications of added population onto an ecologically staggering planet.
 
In Part 8, let’s examine how our beef cows and dairy farms create billions of tons of fecal waste that drains down into our lakes, streams and rivers.  Additionally, it drains into ground water and our aquifers.  It pollutes the water we drink.
 
Elizabeth Royte, “How America’s breadbasket is poisoning its own water supply”, Grist, said, “The trouble starts with a healthy rain, which washes sediment from farms, especially from row crops like corn, into waterways. Nationwide, farms lose 1.76 billion tons of topsoil each year to wind and water. The sediment can clog intake pipes at water treatment plants, make the water cloudy, and give microbes places to hide from disinfectants.
 
"By the time the Missouri River reaches Kansas City, for instance, its turbidity can be as high as 10,000 NTUs (nephelometric turbidity units). To serve this water to customers, the local utility must use chemicals and mechanical processes to lower turbidity to less than 0.1 NTU. They don't call it the Big Muddy for nothing.”
 
USING CHEMICALS TO CLEAN OUR CHEMICALIZED WATER
 
“When soil runs off the land, it also sends phosphorus and nitrogen fertilizer into ditches and streams,” said Royte, “Six billion pounds end up in the Mississippi and its tributaries each year. In rivers and reservoirs, these nutrients encourage the growth of algae.
 
"When algae die, bacteria feast on them, and they also consume oxygen in the water. The biotic riot sluices down to the Gulf of Mexico, where it has created an oxygen-free "dead zone" that supports no marine life. In the summer of 2007, the zone expanded from 6,000 square miles to 10,000, an area nearly the size of New Jersey.”
 
Royte continued, “But enough about shrimp: those algae are bad news for drinking water, too. Anaerobic conditions release iron and manganese previously bound to a river or reservoir's bottom sediments, which causes the water's taste, odor, and color to quickly go downhill.
 
"To deal with skunked water, plant operators dump in chemicals like potassium permanganate or copper sulfate. Dead algae and bacteria can also combine with chlorine -- the mainstay of water disinfection since the early 20th century -- to form nasty byproducts like trihalomethanes, which have been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer and miscarriage.
 
“The nitrogen itself, which converts to nitrate, is also a potential health threat to humans. In babies, nitrate binds to hemoglobin in blood and hinders its ability to deliver oxygen to the brain. In adults, high nitrate levels have been linked with increased risk of hyperthyroidism, birth defects, and miscarriage. To stay under the federal nitrate limit of 10 parts per billion, the city of Des Moines, Iowa, spent $4.5 million on an ion-exchange process that switches nitrate for chloride.”
 
"We run it fifty to a hundred times a year," Randy Beavers, assistant manager of Des Moines Water Works, says. "It costs us $3,000 a day." At peak runoff, the utility just beats the cutoff, bringing levels from as high as 20 ppb down to a yearly average of 9.9 ppb. Iowa communities that drink from shallow wells, and that lack funds for fancy ion-exchange systems, have a tougher time of it. When nitrate levels spike, they issue "blue baby" alerts: kids, step away from that faucet.”
 
“The situation is bound to get worse. In 2007, farmers planted 90 million acres of corn, 15 million more than the previous year. More corn means more water contaminants,” said Royte. 
 
“What we're dealing with is a symptom of what's happened in agriculture over the last forty years," Chris Jones, lab supervisor at Des Moines Water Works, says. "We have these new hybrid varieties, which are designed to use a lot of nitrogen, and we plant fencerow to fencerow." Without some upstream changes, plant officials say, the denitrification plant may soon be maxed out. The frustration of local utilities is palpable: while the federal government pours millions into agricultural subsidies, encouraging massive planting, state and local governments are stuck cleaning up the resulting mess.”
 
COWS, COWS, COWS AND MANURE
 
“In the last 20 years the Midwest has seen an explosion in the number of feedlots that keep high numbers of cattle, hogs, and poultry in close confinement,” said Royte.  “ Nationwide, these animals generate roughly 500 million tons of manure a year. Farmers hold this waste in "lagoons" until they can spread it on nearby fields. But rains wash manure off fields into streams, lagoons breach, and those built before the late '90s aren't required to have liners. In short: Shit seeps. And often: the Iowa Department of Natural Resources documented 329 manure spills between 1992 and 2002. Overall, according to the EPA, hog, chicken, and cattle waste has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17.”
 
Thus, Senator Kerry’s quote sobers when you learn the ‘why’ of it.
To think that we continue on course to add 100 million people within 25 years to create ever greater ground water contamination!
 
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“Imagine a country which employs the principles of personal responsibility,  freedom and accountability for future generations. Everything you do-counts!  If you do nothing, that counts likewise. When you read sobering information, do you want to give up or fall apart? Or, do you want to engage like Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, George and Martha Washington, John and Abigail Adams,  Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Dr. Martin Luther King, Oprah, Barbara Jordan, John Muir and other Americans. You represent a Jefferson, Oprah and/or Dr. King of the 21st century.  Consider it your honor and privilege to become a part of the solutions.  Engage the present to change the future! Become an agent of the change you wish to see.”  FW
 
In a five minute astoundingly simple yet brilliant video, “Immigration, Poverty, and Gum Balls”, Roy Beck, director of www.numbersusa.ORG, graphically illustrates the impact of overpopulation.  Take five minutes to see for yourself:
 
 
“Immigration by the numbers—off the chart” by Roy Beck
 
This 10 minute demonstration shows Americans the results of unending mass immigration on the quality of life and sustainability for future generations: in a word “Mind boggling!”  www.NumbersUSA.org
 
 
If any of us, no matter what our race, creed or color might be, refuse to engage our U.S. Congress as we have not for 30 years as to the population/immigration equation-our children will find themselves living in a terribly degraded America where the American Dream will be described by the history books as a 'fleeting fantasy' from the era of 1950 to 2010.
 
These are several of the top organizations where you can take collective action to change the course of American history as well as in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Take collective action at:
 
This is the best website to start:  www.numbersusa.com ; watch Roy Beck’s “Immigration by the Numbers” at 14 minutes. Bi-partisan and very effective. Become a faxer of pre-written letters to your reps to make positive  change.
 
 
Must see DVD: "Blind Spot" www.snagfilms.com/films/title/blind_spot/ , This movie illustrates America's future without oil, water and other resources to keep this civilization functioning. It's a brilliant educational movie! www.blindspotdoc.com
 
Must see: Rapid Population Decline, seven minute video by Dr. Jack Alpert-
 
Must see and funny: www.growthbusters.org ; www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXSTrW_dARc
Dave Gardner's Polar Bear in Bedroom:
 
growthbusters.org/2010/03/save-the-polar-bear-in-your-bedroom ; Dave Gardner, President, Citizen-Powered Media ; Producing the Documentary, GROWTH BUSTERS; presents Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity, Join the cause at www.growthbusters.org ;760 Wycliffe Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80906 USA; +1 719-576-5565
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents - from the Arctic to the South Pole - as well as six times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents "The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it" to civic clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com He is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies available: 1 888 280 7715

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