Re: Environmental Issues

Bill Hamilton (
Fri, 7 Jun 1996 12:50:42 -0400

Henry Erbes wrote:

>On the initial reflector message, acid rain was also included. That
> acid rain is a result of fossil fuel combustion seems well documented.
> And there was/ is damage to fragile ecosystems, such as Lakes in the
> Adorondacks. Recently EPA has reported that the current adverse
> effects, overall, are currently not as bad as they were estimated at
> first. Better research, more data, better emission controls???

Several years ago the late Warren Brookes, a columnist for the Detroit News
and the Wall Street Journal, wrote a couple of columns on acid rain. He
was claiming that studies of sediment in the lakes and/or forest soils (I
don't remember the details now) indicated that in prehistoric times the
Adirondack lakes had a significantly lower pH than htey have now. I
believe the suspected reason was that human activities such as logging and
building had reduced the amount of decaying material on the forest floor,
which had reduced the inflow of acidic water into the lakes. (It's been a
number of years since I read this, and it's not my field. If there is
interest, I'll see if I can find the articles in my files.)

Anyway, my vague, poorly formulated question is: Is there anything to this?
If there is, it would allow us to discuss the issue of acidic lakes in the
Adirondacks in tersm of what is desirable now, rather than in terms of
rhetoric about "returning them to their natural state."

Bill Hamilton | Chassis & Vehicle Systems
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