What happened to acid rain?

Does anybody here remember acid rain?

  • sung to the tune of “Vera” by Pink Floyd

I recall that back when I was a junior high or high school student in the 80s, the phrase “acid rain” was everywhere. It was huge. It was going to wipe us all out. It was going to eat the skin right off of our bones and turn our planet into an giant, uninhabitable tomb. Or something like that.

I haven’t heard much about it in recent years. Was the hype misguided? Have other ecological threats such as global warming (I’m still not sure which camp to believe on this one), killer bees (no wait, that scare goes back even further), white supremacy (sorry again…that was an ethnological disaster) and pole shift (for the tin-foil-hatters) take over as more important?

What ever happened to acid rain?

The problem itself was of course reduced by legistalation designed to reduce industrial sulfur emissions but it was terribly overhyped in the 80s by a minority of scientists and a majority of green groups unfortunately. It was identified as the cause of tree deaths, particularly in Bavaria, without any evidential support at all. Later research showed that acid rain was only reposnsible for a tiny proportion of tree deaths. The rest was down to a combination of local non-acid air pollution, fungal infection, harsh winter, drought and poor management. Despite the claims made at the time that acid rain was affecting 1/3 of European forests it was later determined that less than 1% were affected.

Acid rain did cause and still causes problems with some alkaline lake systems and in that respect it was and is a problme, but it was much overstated in the 80s.

It’s still there, it’s still very much a problem. However the current media climate is such that they don’t care (and even more importantly, their political allies don’t care). So they don’t report it.

Many NE US states keep trying to figure out ways to sue IL->OH utilities to stop ruining their state with downwind effects like acid rain.

Why bother doing another report on acid rain when thousands of miles away another creep has murdered his wife? You see, that’s news. (Blyeah.)

Acid rain created a moonscape in the Sudbury, Ontario, area. Here is an article I wrote on it: http://my.tbaytel.net/culpeper/HalloweenintheDeadZone.html