An Appalachian Tragedy: Air Pollution and Tree Death in the Eastern Forests of North America

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Harvard Ayers, Jenny Hager, Charles E. Little
Sierra Club Books, 1998 - Nature - 216 pages
Weakened by decades of air pollution that have brought acid rain, deadly smog, and excess nitrogen, and by cell-destroying ultraviolet rays from a thinning ozone layer, the magnificent Appalachian forests are no longer able to fight off the bugs, blights, and bad weather that afflict forests everywhere. Instead, in these mountains, the trees are dying in unprecedented numbers - with death and decline affecting virtually all species in every part of the range. Yet relatively few people are aware of this ecological calamity in the making, due in large part to the efforts of the forest products industry, and their advocates in government, to downplay the crisis by manipulating statistics and confusing the issue. An Appalachian Tragedy sets the record straight. Drawing on the talents of an authoritative and distinguished group of writers, including an award-winning historian, a top acid-rain scientist, and an eminent environmental journalist, this book documents the damage that has already been done and warns of the fearful consequences for the future. Complex issues connected with tree mortality in the mountains, including threats to wildlife and to the cultural survival of the human communities of the Appalachians, are eloquently explored here.

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Contents

Foreword by Harvard Ayers
1
Essay by T H Watkins
41
Essay by Philip Shabecoff
185
Copyright

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