Cherokees called the magnificent mountain range in eastern Tennessee "land ofthe blue mist," which European settlers later changed to "Smoky Mountains."Today, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of SouthernAppalachia's leading tourist attractions. But that fabled blue mist isn't so blue orhealthy any longer. Particularly in the summer months, the "smoke" of the Smokies isa haze of sulfate particles and other pollutants released by coal-burning power plants, amixture more likely to create dangerous ozone levels for visiting tourists than the invigorating "mountain air" so many come to seek.It is a story common throughout Southern Appalachia, one of America's most beautiful,biologically diverse, and fragile bioregions. A Land Imperiled is a symptom-by-symptomlook at the myriad of ecological issues threatening the health of the southernhigh country. Sections on air, water, plants and animals, food, energy, waste, transportation,and population and urbanization make this the most comprehensive environmentalstudy of Southern Appalachia to date a much-needed wake-up call for anyone concernedabout the region's natural legacy.But it is not just the future we have to worry about, the author asserts; pollution,development, and other forms of degradation are already affecting our quality of life. Theexcessively high ozone levels plaguing the Smokies have been connected to a host of respiratory problems, including chronic bronchitis and asthma. Once-crystal streams aregreen and sluggish with runoff from agricultural wastes. Over half of the South's naturalforests are gone, and a mere 2 percent of the remaining forests have protected status.The environment of Southern Appalachia is a collection of complex, interrelatedsystems that needs care and protection to function in full health. A Land Imperiled notonly illustrates the many ways in which the health of this bioregion is being affected,but also provides examples of how the damage can be reversed to sustain ourselves andthis natural treasure.
About the Author
John Nolt, a professor of philosophy at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is the author of several books, including Down to Earth: Toward a Philosophy of Nonviolent Living.
Table of Contents
|Preface: The Southern Appalachian Bioregion||ix|
|Introduction: The Value of Health||1|
|5||Population and Urbanization||155|
|8||Consumption and Waste||261|
|11||Models of Sustainability||341|
|Appendix 1||Bacteriological Advisories on Waterways in the Bioregion, 2002||367|
|Appendix 2||Fish Tissue Advisories on Waterways in the Bioregion, 2002||373|
|Appendix 3||Federal and State Listed Threatened and Endangered Species in the Upper Tennessee Drainage||375|