[GWSG] Bird loss; price of oil; drowning septic tanks; in FL; diet frees land

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Tue Feb 1 09:48:49 EST 2022

1. In the last 50 years our country has lost a fourth of its birds. They deserve our grief, and our action. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/28/birds-are-remarkable-and-beautiful-animals-and-theyre-disappearing-from-our-world

2. The full price of oil cannot be found in the financial section. A 2018 study put the cost at around 6 trillion dollars. That does not include the lives lost in wars to acquire or protect our supplies. A Michigan farmer says in a brief video why he is offering land for a wind turbine. https://climatecrocks.com/2022/01/28/the-price-of-oil/

3. As the ocean rises, ground water levels in coastal areas rise even higher. Septic tanks cease to filter their contents adequately before they release them. Miami-Dade has begun to uninstall the 9000 worst ones, and to deal with all 120,000 in use in the county, but the expenses are daunting. Homeowners will have to pay thousands, and the county will need to find billions. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article257744528.html

A 2019 article explains the problem more fully. (Our knowledge of the problem, and public discussion of the need for action, goes back decades.) https://phys.org/news/2019-01-billion-problem-miami-dade-septic-tanks.html

4. Miami-Dade is not alone in its septic problems. Florida has 2,600,000 septic tanks. All those in coastal areas need to be neutralized before they poison the rising waters. And then there are the brownfields (old industrial areas), superfund sites, and old gas stations with rotten gasoline waiting in decaying tanks. If the state is to have a future as anything but a toxic wasteland we must go under much more gracefully. In my area of Northeast Florida we are still developing commercial and public buildings on waterfronts only a few years from inundation. We have already squandered any chance of leisurely action. We have gained an advantage, though, As most of the coastal communities must be relocated, we need not replace the septic tanks. New sewer lines may be run in the sustainable communities we should be building in current airports and shopping centers, whose infrastructure will give us a head start.  (The locate function on the link is for Miami-Dade only. Google for locations in other areas.)  https://www.miamiwaterkeeper.org/am_i_on_septic

5. An article in Nature Food observes that if we followed a planetary health diet we would not only avoid the carbon released in raising and feeding animals, we would also get the benefit of the land we could return to the wild as a carbon sink. The effect is to roughly double the emissions impact of a switch to the planetary health diet, which allows small amounts of meat, or a straight vegan diet, which would be better yet. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-59941016

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