The New York Times warns of “America’s toxic disasters-in-waiting”. And it’s not clickbait, of course. It’s a sober look at “vast open-air pools of toxic water, from hazardous mining byproducts to diluted pig waste” just waiting to devastate your community. And if you’re wondering why they’re making a huge fuss about “the risks of these seldom-seen pools” given that they’re “seldom-seen” and thus presumably not surging toward people or lurking lethally in basements, well, you don’t have to wonder. It’s all climate change, all the time.
The story talks about how “a giant wastewater pond at a former phosphate mining site south of Tampa, Fla., teetered on the brink of catastrophic failure for a while this week”. In the end there was no catastrophe, though National Geographic managed to warn that the successful mitigation efforts left “scientists and state officials… fearful that nutrients in the wastewater could lead to harmful algal blooms and disrupt the bay’s marine ecosystem.” But never mind the perils of nutrients in water. Think about water and how we’re all going to die because of climate change.
See, the Times’ “Climate Fwd.” predictably tells us, “For decades, tailings — in this case, a noxious slurry containing traces of radium along with arsenic, lead, and other elements — were placed in the pond and left to evaporate. Recently, though, heavy rainfall, one of the hallmarks of climate change, has outpaced evaporation.”
Apparently the US Southeast never used to have as much heavy rainfall. Except that it did. Heavy rainfall events in that region are no more common today than they were forty years ago, or a hundred and forty years ago. If we might again quote Jordan Peterson, a.k.a. Red Skull these days, “You don’t lie to people; you don’t lie to yourself because it warps you – it warps the structure of reality itself & you don’t want to do that because it’ll kick back & take you out”. For instance you don’t say there’s been an increase in heavy rainfall due to climate change if there hasn’t. Not only will it make people focus on the wrong solutions to the wrong problem, it will eventually discredit you.
Besides, surely giant pools of toxic waste with doubtful containment systems are bad enough without Greta Thunberg splashing about in them.