Me As the Pseudo Environmentalist

essrocmontage.jpgOn the flight down(?) to Montréal the other day, it was a sharp and clear early morning so I kept the camera with me in the cabin in hope of catching a few neat snaps from above. There were about 10-15 of the 300 or so I shot that were worth actually keeping. Those of you that know me of course realize that I will keep them all as I am a pack rat, both digital and materially. However, of the ones that were worth keeping, a few of the marginal ones were of something that both caught my eye and on processing scared me. Halfway through the journey I was keeping my eyes out the window and there was this orangey-brown ribbon on the landscape. It caught my eye and on further examination it was not ‘on’ the landscape, but was instead floating above. It was a stream of exhaust from a source that eventually hove into view. I say eventually as the plume was about 10-12 km right across Prince Edward County. I had no idea what was there or might have been creating the massive amount of pollution.

As it was so clear, the source is actually very obvious and when I turned to Google Maps I was quickly able to identify the source as the Essroc Cement Plant near Picton, Ontario. A little more investigation turned up a report by the Clean Air Alliance that indicates that this plant is the second largest creator of air-borne Nitrogen Oxides and the ninth-largest overall emitter of air pollutants and respiratory toxins. How appropriate to discover such a place, with such a visible presence from the air, on or about the Tory announcement of their ‘new’ environmental policy. Will I see a noticeable reduction in this plants output? I certainly doubt it, but would love to be proven wrong.
I have uploaded a set of higher-res photos to a flickr set ‘Ribbon of Death‘.
In case you are tuning in the geo-referenced portion of this blog entry, I have pinpointed it at the location of these photos, and not geo-referenced to where I am writing this as I normally do.

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