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The Great Lakes Primer

Cooper, Kathy; Millyard, Kai
Publisher:  Pollution Probe, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1986  
Pages:  60pp   Price:  $6   ISBN:  0-919764-26-6
Resource Type:  Book

An introduction to the environmental problems faced by the Great Lakes.

Abstract:  The Great Lakes contain 95% of North America's supply of fresh water, and 20% of the world's supply of fresh water. Almost 40 million humans -- and countless numbers of the other living things with which we share this planet -- live in the Great Lakes Basin. Pollution of the Great Lakes is therefore an immensely important environmental problem. Pollution Probe's Great Lakes Primer is an excellent introduction to the environmental problems the Lakes face. The Primer briefly surveys the natural and social history of the region, and the types of human activity which go on in the region. Many of these human activities are sources of pollution and ecological stress which, as Pollution Probe says, "are eating tiny, and sometimes great gaping holes in the ecological web of libe that supports us all." Toxics are seen as a great danger, for the health of those now living, and for future generations. The Primer states that even if no new toxics were being added, it might take 600 years to flush out the toxics currently in the Lakes. Even then, they would be flushed into the oceans, not destroyed. "Clearly our actions will shape the futures of our children, grandchildren, and later descendants for a very long time." A chapter on "Civilizing Our Industries" examines major industries and the pollutants they produce, but offers few ideas about how industries actually might be "civilized". But this booklet might well focus the anger and creativity of its readers toward developing action that will lead to change before it is too late.

[Abstract by Ulli Diemer]

Table of Contents

1. The Great Lakes
2. Natural and Social History
3. Lake Erie's Brush With Death
4. Toxics in the Lakes
5. Wildlife in Distress
6. Humans Under Stress
7. Civilizing Our Industries
8. Out of the Mouths of Sewers
9. Runoff
10. Toxic Fallout
11. Attempts at Control
12. Time for Action


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