Atmospheric scientists have discovered there is so much toxic Asian air pollution from burning fossil fuels that it's now changing global weather patterns.
Are you concerned about the immense pollution being belched into our atmosphere? How are smelting iron ore and baking limestone affecting the air that we breathe? Join Earth Dr Reese Halter in this segment of SOS and discover how fossil fuels are killing people and our planet.
China burns an astounding 69 percent of all coal consumed on Earth. Mega tons of poisonous mercury vapor and other soot are making storms in the Pacific deeper, stronger, more intense, and causing heavier more damaging rainfall patterns to occur. It's predicted to get far worse.
Blue whales are the largest creature to ever live on Earth. With a heart weighing 990 pounds or the size of a Volkswagen Beetle they pump 14,080 pounds of blood, providing strength to enormous tails rivaling 500 horsepower outboard motor's, these 125-ton giants cruise at 26 knots for two hours and race at 37 knots for ten minute intervals. Photo credit: dna2life.com
Already, Pacific blue whales are showing marine scientists that the oceans are laced with deadly methylmercury from mercury vapor, a byproduct of burning coal, from coal-fired electricity plants.
The last great coal rush and the business of killing the Earth is stripping Borneo's exquisite rainforests and leaving heartbreaking pictures of homeless orangutans, rhinos, elephants and the few remaining tigers. Conservation biologists will tell you, "When habitat is ransacked and critters become homeless, they die!"
The race to deforest Borneo for palm oil and coal is leaving so many animals like this orangutan homeless. It is, in fact, up to each of us to make the correct consumer choices. Scrutinize all labels, refuse to purchase any products containing palm oil. Together our purchasing power is indeed formidable. Timber-mining Borneo's rainforests and their conversion to vast monoculture palm oil plantations is expediently killing our planet. Photo credit: ngm.com
The Great Barrier Reef is the crown jewel of our oceans. It took 600,000 years to form. It's about 1,375 miles long or roughly the size of Italy and it's visible from outer-space. There are 3,000 individual reefs with 600 islands providing unique habitat for 600 types of corals. It's home to over 1,600 species of fish, 133 species of sharks and rays, and 30 species of whales and dolphins.
The coral reefs along Australia's Great Barrier Reef are breathtaking. I encourage you to take your family and experience the reef, your children will fall in love with its beauty, and they will urge you to protect it. Photo credit: noaa.gov
In order to ramp up Queensland's coal production to feed the insatiable Chinese and Indian energy markets, it will have to go from a whopping 240 million metric tons annually to a monstrous 770 million metric tons each year, within the coming decade. An extraordinarily beautiful and complex natural wonder will be devastated so we can heat up the planet, further destroying most forms of life.
In December of 2013 Shanghai's concentration of tiny toxic PM 2.5 particles was 602.5 micrograms per cubic meter, an extremely hazardous level that shattered all previous records for poisonous air pollution. By the way, that compares to the World Heath Organization's acceptable safety standard of air quality of 25 micrograms per cubic meter. Photo credit: theguardian.com
Chinese citizens are choking to death from coal pollution. Our coral reefs are rapidly dying from acidification due to burning coal. Our forests around the globe are dying from the unintended consequences of incessantly burning more heat-trapping fossil fuels.
Over 30 billion mature trees are dead across the entire Western North American continent as temperatures have soared from burning more coal, oil and gas. Photo credit: albuquerquejournal.com.
How much longer can lawmakers turn a blind eye to the 24/7/365 plunder of nature; the unraveling of its glorious and exotic tapestry of life? Without coral reefs teaming with life and forests coursing with sparkling clean water and salubrious air -- there is no 'open loop' economy, whatsoever. The human race is out of business.
It's clearly time for our world to embraces a 'closed loop' economy, whereby countries, companies and consumers are rewarded for reducing waste and pollution, and safeguarding our environment.
The unintended and unimaginable consequences of burning more and more coal are life-threatening. My colleagues in climatology, marine and conservation biology are now very concerned.
Support The Vortex Project and together let's join forces and stop petroleum-based plastics from suffocating our oceans.
Rise of the Eco-Warriors shows young people working together to save Borneo's rainforests including the endearing orangutans. I give two thumbs up to this must-see, extraordinary documentary. Photo credit: EcoWarriorsRise.com.
Please support conservation in Borneo by watching Rise of the Eco-Warriors - it's coming this fall to the United States.
Earth Dr Reese Halter is a broadcaster, biologist, educator and author of the upcoming book Shepherding the Sea: The Race to Save Our Oceans.