(Originally published in the The Telegram on August 30, 2010)
Fred Winsor, Chairman of Atlantic Canada Chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada.
I write in response to the recent discussion regarding the toxic emissions coming from the Holyrood generating station and efforts by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador in conjunction with Nalcor to make the right long-term decision for electricity generation in eastern Newfoundland.
While we are concerned about the heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury coming out of the stacks at the Holyrood station, we are equally concerned about the 1.2 million tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions being produced annually at that generating station.
The most recent, peer-reviewed scientific research on the health of oceans, reveals that the ocean absorbs approximately 50 per cent of these GHGs. The result is an increase in ocean temperature and ocean acidification.
According to a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), ocean acidification occurs because carbon dioxide changes when it is absorbed by seawater. It is very similar to the process of carbonating water for soda pop: the ocean soaks up about 50 per cent of the CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels. In the ocean the CO2 is converted to a slightly acidic substance called carbonic acid (H2CO3). More >>