The Pickering Post
Tuesday, 11th December 2018

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Viv Forbes

Viv has a degree in Applied Science Geology and is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy


The environmental debate today is so corrupted by politics and propaganda that facts are too often distorted, and exaggeration of risk is commonplace.

The vicious war on hydro-carbon fuels is a good example where certain substances are labelled “poison” or “pollution” when associated with coal utilisation, but blithely ignored in other areas.

For example, climate alarmists have labelled carbon dioxide produced by carbon fuels as a “pollutant” and the US Supreme Court even declared it to be so. But that ignores the simple truth that 100 times more carbon dioxide exists in the lungs of every animal on earth than in the air; it is an ingredient in beer, bread and champagne; it is essential nutrition for all plant life on earth; and this plant life supports all animal life - hardly a pollutant.

Mercury Scares.

With their “CO2 pollution” propaganda failing, alarmists are now accusing coal of filling the air with mercury “poison”, which sounds really scary. Their aim now is to use supposed mercury dangers to force the closure of more coal-fired power stations. This is just another aspect of the war on carbon fuels - they want to kill coal by fair means or foul.

However if tiny traces of mercury are so dangerous, why do millions of people allow dentists to put silver amalgam (with 50% mercury) in their teeth? And why does the EPA ignore all the mercury waste that dentists flush down their sinks every day?

And why does the US FDA allow mercury compounds to be used in flu vaccines? And the people attacking the minute amount of mercury in coal are the same people promoting dangerous mercury-laden compact fluorescent lights.

Traces of mercury occur widely in rocks and minerals and it gets taken up in minute amounts by plants, water and animals living near those sources. When those plants form coal, tiny traces of mercury may be there too. In rare places the mercury content of rocks is so high that dangerous quantities may get into nearby plants and sea life. In other places, bushfires release more mercury to the atmosphere than coal-fired power stations. Mercury has been circulating in the biosphere for far longer than man has been burning coal. Whether it is poison or harmless depends on the dose.

Some Real Mercury Risks.

Humans have long used mercury and its compounds, sometimes at far greater risk than today. The term “mad as a hatter” arose over 100 years ago from symptoms suffered by felt hat makers handling mercuric nitrate while making felt hats from animal fur.

Ladies once used cinnabar, a bright red natural ore of mercury, as a cosmetic and mercuro-chrome was once widely-used to combat infection and scarring in wounds.


Perhaps the worst recent mercury incident occurred 50 years ago at Minamata Bay in Japan which was contaminated by mercury in waste from a plastics factory. Local residents were badly affected after eating contaminated shellfish from the bay.

Another incident in New Zealand, initially blamed on run-off from an old gold mine, involved mercury contamination of coastal fish. Then it was remembered that there was a fish of that type in the museum that had been caught before gold was discovered. This fish also had mercury. It was then found that the rock/soil near the sea contained higher than normal mercury and this was probably the source for the mercury in the fish.

More recently, many light-houses turned on a bath of mercury and there are millions of mercury-filled thermometers and electrical switches still in use.

Nothing in Life is Free of Risk

Every activity in life involves risks. Every person must balance those risks and rewards sensibly.

So, let us take care with mercury, but let’s not lose track of where our biggest risks occur. Every human faces risks every day just staying alive. But emissions from modern pollution-controlled power stations using washed coal are not one of our major health hazards, especially where Australian coals are being used because their content of mercury is so extremely low. For many people in the world, lack of electricity, starvation, drought, floods and death from exposure pose far greater dangers than the imagined risk from miniscule traces of mercury occurring naturally in all plant and animal material, including coal.

For those worried about possible over-consumption of mercury, another trace metal, selenium, provides natural protection. Today, the real health problem is more often a deficiency of selenium in the diet.


Having worked in the coal industry and having lived nearby a coal fired power station for much of my life, I consider myself a living example that mercury associated with coal is not a poison. I am now a healthy octogenarian!

years ago the Shark (flake) was thrown around as killing us with high content of mercury - much more dangerous "stuff" out there now to kill us - but alarmists have to be so to earn their wages - because they couldn't get a job anywhere else.

Why not put these bloody alarmists in a rocket - hydrocarbon powered - and send them to Mercury. Then they would realise what real global warming is all about

Bit`s ,If the masses are fleeing? that would be due to civil frictions that are n`t enabling harmony.If so ,and where that occurs that means if pop is displaced then aid is being funneled to the wrong places and for the wrong reasons is n`t it?

ABC to apologise to Chris Kenny publicly on air at 9pm tonight just before that revolting racist show with Chris Lilley. Chasers have to shut up and no tweets this time. Some compensation and all legal fees paid. On Bolt's site. Probably have it then to try to lure people to watch that Jonah What's his name show by putting it then.

the biggest threat to mankind is over population... it's already happening with exoduses of people from Africa, asia and the middle east heading to western countries....

the article about global warming was actually printed in an American news paer in the 1930s .The global elite been planning this for a long time .Along with sustainable development and water allowances killing of the farms in developed countries to get us to buy polluted foodstuffs from third world countries to make massive profits .There has also been fluoride or rat poison damaging the childrens immune system and causing cancer in young children in USA There are court cases on these being won in USA against illegal medication of drinking water ,some states have banned it altogether .

Thank you Viv, I more than strongly agree.

Thank you Viv, I more than strongly agree.

Ain't climate change just the most beautiful creation of the Left. Just like the "religion" of Scientology, the religion of climate "science", created by black box software modelling, can neither be proven or disproven. Unlike with Scientology however, uncomfortable facts, like there has been no global warming occurring over the past 15 years must be truly annoying for the scientists, bureacrats and politicians flying around the world in CO2 spewing jets to have their snouts well and truly in the 6 star troughs paid for by you and me.

They seem to have nothing but trouble with this VIP Jet. Give the bloody thing to the QANTAS blokes to look after and tell the damn RAAF blokes to stay away from it!

The environmentalist rat bags have no answers to how we can turn on the wind, make the sun shine in any location on earth for 24 hours,. North and South Poles come close. My question is what is their answer to our energy needs replacement when fossil fuel stop meeting our needs or run out. Please stop bull shitting the world and come up with real energy replacement that does not drive the human race into the dark ages

c.inerama. Obumma is trying to pull the same stunt in America. as done by little Johny. It proves one point - the politicians fear us than a foreign invader....They have no reason for them to be afraid of us, do they? After all, don't they always look after OUR interests ??

MERCUROCHROME - I still have a bottle in the Tardus.
Along with my bottle of "SLOANES LINNAMENT.

Gee you ask excellent Questions Mr Forbes*.Yes you do Sir*.

Even blind Freddy knows to be careful with Murcury, let's protect our Queen and country.

Homeland Security are not only switching to copper, Obumma is arming them with hollow point (copper coated)bullets to be used against their own people. are banned under the Geneva Convention

STLBroker • 6 months ago
I live in Herculaneum and have a foster daughter that attends high school right next to the plant. I feel for the folks that will be put out of work because of the plant closing but I am glad there will be less lead in the air, water and soil of my community. Doe Run has had to replace the top soil of several homes close to the plant on more than one occasion. My home, which is as about as far away from the plant as possible while still being in Herculaneum has mostly sand, clay and rock for soil as they had to remove most of the top soil when they built the neighborhood due to lead levels. There are much cleaner ways to smelter lead and Doe Run has the technology. However, it came down to them being more willing to risk the health of nearby residents than to spend the necessary money to make the needed upgrades. So this had nothing to do with gun control. This had everything to do with Doe Run's bottom line. This issue has been going on for years....even when there were pro gun Presidents in office. So no conspiracy here

As it turns out there are no bullet manufacturers that buy lead from this plant that is closing. All bullets made come from recycled car batteries. How can any serious person running for public office skip such an obvious fact?
From Sierra Bullets:
"The main question asked is “Will this shut down your supply of lead?” The answer to that is no. First, Sierra buys lead from several different vendors to maintain constant supply. Second, this facility only smelts primary lead or lead ore. This is lead ore that has just been brought out of the earth. Sierra uses no primary lead at all and never has, so we use nothing directly from this facility. The lead we buy from Doe Run comes from their recycling facility in Boss, MO that is about 90 miles away from the smelter that is closing.
The facility we buy from is still going strong and delivering to us as scheduled. The lead from this facility is from recycled lead, mostly coming from car batteries. This is a continuing “in and out” cycle for them and the smelter closing will not affect this facility".

All imported new lead that comes in to the US is produced in Mexico by American run companies. Not from China. And BTW, the US military is phasing out lead core bullets and switching to copper.