When our fore-people came to the continent of America many years ago, they saw mile after mile of beautiful environs with an abundance of wildlife. As the small settlements grew, many areas became large corporate-owned stretches of farmland (monocultures). Some small businesses became large industrial complexes. As artificial cover appeared (pavement, concrete, etc.), the wildlife disappeared. The land, the air and the water became polluted.
Therefore, it is upon this statement that I drew my scientific conclusions based on my research and on site observation since 1975. My entire study from the very beginning is a result of the death of my mother due to cancer on Mother’s Day in May 1975.
The physics of flowing water is synonymous with the physics of flowing air. The proof holds true with the physics of salutation and the physics of ripple formation in response to wind and water current action upon the earth. Therefore, we can conclude that point-source and nonpoint-source pollution is evident with air and water when I speak of them as transport mechanisms. I categorize the contamination of the biosphere (all living beings) into three parts: the origin of pollution, the transport of pollution, and the deposition of pollution (all in the form of free floating/suspended dry or wet particulates or precipitates).
Following the stage of Primary Differentiation approximately 100 or 150 million years ago, when Pangea (one continent) was no longer as a result of outgassing from the earth’s interior and seafloor spreading, the earth at the end of this process became one quarter land surface and three quarters water. Of the one quarter land surface, we have developed one-third of that via cutting away natural cover.
As we continue into the future with the further development of land, there is something I would like to point out in regard to our sustenance in unity with the biosphere in the stressed state. We are losing life in the oceans at an alarming rate via toxic dumping and runoff from the developed land.
Years ago, I began seeing changes in forest and lake biosystems, especially with emergent plant communities in Eutrophic lakes. I saw unusual changes in bud development of deciduous hardwoods in the mountains as spring unfolds. And in some conifers, I saw a dieback of the terminal stem. After secondary branch apical dominance, I saw a second dieback. And then I saw a dieback of the top third of the same trees.
In continuum, unless there is a change in the present trend in which the developed land is contaminating the undeveloped land by physical processes fore-mentioned, “Biological Check Mechanism” (Keegan 1982) Cancer, childhood cancer and congenital defects will continue to rise unabated as dictated by Natural Law. In other words, “Natural Law will exact what is necessary to maintain the balance of life.” (Circle of Native American Elders)
Unless there is a continuous concerted effort to put forth by the political and influential people of the Adirondack Mountains, the country of Canada, Albany, Long Island and Washington, D.C. in regard to chemicals and their compounds, especially lead, mercury, dioxin, and other substances in orographic, cyclonic and frontal precipitation and often referred to and sometimes mistaken as only acid rain, the deterioration of biotics of is imminent, including the hazards to human health.
Such degradation/debilitation of biotics is a major contributing factor to the high incidence and manifestation of many diseases due to chemical changes via the infiltration of biotic cellular barriers. The vehicle by which this accumulative and nonaccumulative biotic contamination is presently accomplished is primarily through our water resources and that which is consumed by our food chain and by us. (published in 1979)
Every time the land is made bare by covering, strip-mining, toxic dumping, improper land use and forest management, wind and water erosion of the land surfaces prevail. Suspended particulates waked by moving objects across the land surfaces, wind shear, vehicle and stack pollution are major contributors to drought and downpour weather situations across the land. There are too many suspended particulates for completed condensation in precipitation of the hydrological cycle. Again, droughts and heavy rains are a result.
Droughts accompanied with severe cold in winter contribute to more intense ice jams in Adirondack rivers (physical function glaciation) during winter and spring. Furthermore, these situations that are a result of particulate rise which add to naturally suspended particulates in our atmosphere hasten the eutrophication of a dammed rivers and hasten the eutrophication of lakes by heavy rain and resultant erosion of soil surfaces into these eutrophic and other bodies of water. Mud and debris slides occur along cirques and other steep gradients more often. In winter, the lack of precipitation over long periods of time in which human made and caused suspension of particulates contribute, there is a greater degree a progressive decline in snowfall that is collectively costing eastern ski area operators multi-millions.
Please realize that every time there is a hurricane, tornado, flood or other catastrophic weather phenomenon that occurs in our country, the impact on natural cover is unprecedented since many building structures have to be replaced. The water is fouled and the water table permanently contaminated.
It is the hope of many, including myself, that the directional philosophical movement that we pass through in time will be a movement in a direction toward a process of change for our children and future generations. But it is my intention in principle to raise the consciousness of human kind of the imminence of biosphere contamination at a slow rate.
“The faces of our future generations look up from the earth, having not gone through conception, biogenesis, life, gestation and birth. God bless the rain that rinses their faces that now calls mother the earth; so that they will be born into the world without biological defect or later carcinogenic from pesticides and herbicides (2-4-D) or their bio-contamination.” (Circle of Native American Elders)
In order to know where we are going, we must first know where we have been. There is a need for some changes statewide in history, and science education. Unless things change, future generations will pay dearly for our greed and ignorance.
Ronald Edwin Keegan is a retired high school teacher of the arts and sciences, teaching in places such as the Peru Central School, and lives in the town of Wilmington