Cold wind blowing from the East

With the moon so full right now, its hard to be anything but peaceful and calm.  Everything is still and quiet at the Delta outpost.  No coyotes howling.  Even the hound is quiet.  Maybe because of the cold wind from the East.  That usually means a storm is coming.

Yesterday, the cold weather up North was driving the geese and ducks down the Delta flyway.  Great to hear them calling to each other as they pass over in Vs.  Not so great to hear the cannon fire which erupts every morning as the city boys try to get a mallard or pinhead.

That popping in the distance is something you can put up with, if it’s a long way away.  Kinda like Chinese pollution.  Everyone knows they have made their country into a polluted nightmare where people can barely breathe the air or drink the water.  But now they are coming here.  Having cut down all their own forests, the Chinese want to come into Arkansas and put up a pulp mill.november-2015-full-moon

Do you know what a pulp mill is?  Pulp mills take all the growth from a forest.  Nothing is left to hold the soil.  Want to see really scalped land which then erodes away to desert?  That’s what happens when pulp mills come in.

Pulp mills are large industrial facilities that convert timber, wood chips or other wood products into wood pulp that is then used to produce paper, cardboard or other products. The manufacturing process uses a substantial amount of water and  produces large quantities of wastewater. Most use chlorine to bleach the wood pulp to produce white paper.

Because of the use of chlorine or chlorine dioxide in the pulping and bleaching processes everything removed from the pulp by the bleach is chlorinated.   Some of these chlorinated organic substances are toxic; they include dioxins, chlorinated phenols, and many other chemicals. In addition, the wastewater contains non-chlorinated organics, nutrients (phosphorous and nitrogen-containing compounds) and metals such as manganese. Wastewaters are also high in biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total suspended solids.

In laboratory tests, mill effluent causes reproductive impairment in zooplankton, invertebrates (both these are food for fish), and shellfish, and genetic damage and immune system reactions in fish. Go to this site, for a recent review of the research.

Air emissions often contain highly malodorous compounds such as hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, dimethyl sulfide, and dimethyl disulfide. Other typical air emissions include particulate matter, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Steam- and electricity-generating units associated with the pulp mill using coal or fuel oil typically emit fly ash, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides.

Arkansas not a hot bed of environmentalism, especially South Arkansas.  But come on!  Do you really want a pulp mill here?

Governor Asa Hutchinson likes ducks and duck country.  He seems to be an outdoorsman of sorts.  You can see him at Mac’s Prairie Wings and the Duck Festival in Stuttgart.

So why is he touting this Chinese company coming in to pollute Arkansas?  This pulp plant has been in the works for a long time.  Asa’s predecessor, Gov. Mike Beebe announced the possibility on a trip to China in 2012.

Even if you just forget about the environmental impact, a new pulp mill makes no economic sense.  Down in Camden, Arkansas, sits an abandoned pulp mill.  International Paper closed it down because the there was too much supply of pulp and not enough demand.  They refused to sell the plant to anyone else because they wanted to take it out of production to reduce supply when prices are low.  At least the people in Camden can breathe now.  Try doing that near the paper plant South of Pine Bluff.

So despite the horrible environmental effects and the lack of a market, the state of Arkansas is giving a Chinese company all sorts of incentives to come in.  Wonderfully ironic that a conservative Governor is using socialism to help a communist country’s industry come here.


I can’t believe Governor Hutchinson has really thought this one through.  Then again, politicians seldom do that, do they?  They have to show they can create jobs.  This effort might create a few jobs in the plant, more for trucks hauling logs on already deteriorating roads, and even more for the hospitals to take care of folks with respiratory problems and other diseases from pulp mill pollution.

I challenge you to go to China and not come down with some lung ailment.  Everyone who goes there these days gets sick.

Now we are paying them to bring their pollution here.

I’m glad Meadowcreek and the Delta outpost are both far from the new pulp mill.  Pulp mills like to chew up pine forests, so they’ll stay in South Arkansas.

And since its going to happen whether I want it to or not, I’m not going to worry about it any more.  I’m just going to enjoy this beautiful full moon and give thanks for God’s creation.  And trust that greedy people will not destroy it.




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