A Land Imperiled: The Declining Health of the Southern Appalachian Bioregion

A Land Imperiled: The Declining Health of the Southern Appalachian Bioregion

by John Nolt


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781572333260
Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
Publication date: 04/28/2005
Series: Outdoor Tennessee Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 375
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

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 Bioregionix
Introduction: The Value of Health1
5Population and Urbanization155
8Consumption and Waste261
10Future Prospects303
11Models of Sustainability341
Appendix 1Bacteriological Advisories on Waterways in the Bioregion, 2002367
Appendix 2Fish Tissue Advisories on Waterways in the Bioregion, 2002373
Appendix 3Federal and State Listed Threatened and Endangered Species in the Upper Tennessee Drainage375

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