algae blooms

The Media Fails To Report Why Toledo’s Water Is Contaminated

Would You Drink This?
Would You Drink This?

The water is finally safe to drink, says the mayor of Toledo, Ohio, although some skepticism still remains.  “Residents of Toledo, its suburbs and small areas of southeastern Michigan began lining up for water Saturday after news of the contamination surfaced,”reported USA Today.  Most media outlets have failed to mention what caused the exuberant toxic, algal blooms. They are reporting the effect, not the cause.

This is not merely a result of Mother Nature randomly throwing a fit and creating a mess of Cyanobacterial blooms.  The amount of phosphorus going into the lake has risen every year since the mid-1990s, and toxic algal blooms will increase as more toxic runoff from fertilizer changes the ecosystem.  Unless the runoff from big farming is curtailed, this problem will continue to grow.  Imagine if an area as large as Chicago or NYC suffers from contamination like this Lake Erie mess. The NOAA Great Lakes Center For Excellence says, 

The increased presence of nutrients such as phosphorous is largely due to poor farming practices such as high use of fertilizers and presence of livestock near water supplies, as well as effluent and run-off from towns and cities near waterways…Pesticides and other chemicals may affect the natural grazers which would otherwise control algal growth and their presence increases the risk of blooms.

The view from above: Algae Blooms Gone Wild
The view from above: Algae Blooms Gone Wild

Naturally, Republicans will ignore the harsh reality that the lack of regulations on disposal of waste from industrialized farming caused the crisis.  They will deny that climate change could also be bringing more intense spring rains, which would wash more agricultural runoff into Lake Erie.  Remember the West Virginia crisis? Somehow, Speaker Boehner blamed President Obama for not enforcing those pesky EPA regulations. In 2012, the St. Louis Beacon touched on the reality of the EPA vs. the GOP:

The GOP-controlled U.S. House – in particular, the Energy and Commerce Committee – has taken aim at EPA regulations. In the first year after Republicans gained a House majority in 2010, about 160 votes were held against various environmental protections, including more than 80 votes on amendments or bills targeting the EPA.

True, environmental groups and water researchers have urged community leaders to cut down on the amount of fertilizer runoff into the shallowest of the Great Lakes.  But legislators in these Republican-controlled states have stopped short of mandating the restrictions leveled upon farmers.  As per usual, they know they are turning a blind eye to man-made pollution but will happily tell you it’s Mother Nature just acting crazy.  These folks push the fallacy that it’s impossible for man to destroy our planet.  What do you expect from idiotic evolution deniers?

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