Quick Hits: Assault on Mount Mitchell, Pig Poop, and Climate Change in the South

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Assault on Mount Mitchell Celebrates 44th Year

Registration is now open for the 2019 Assaults on Mount Mitchell and Marion, the Southeast’s premier cycling experience. The one-day 102.7-mile course climbs more than 10,000 vertical feet from downtown Spartanburg, S.C. to the summit of Mt. Mitchell in N.C., the highest peak east of the Mississippi. The Assault on Marion is a shorter, 74.2-mile ride from downtown Spartanburg, SC to the Tom Johnson Campground in Marion, N.C. The event draws cyclists from around the U.S. and the world and is set for May 20, 2019.


Climate Change Will Bring More Wildfires and Drought to the Southeast

A scientific report by 13 federal agencies was released last week predicts that if major steps to curb global warming are not taken, there will be devastating effects to the country’s economy, health, and environment including crop failures in the Midwest, fire seasons in the Southeast, disrupted supply chains and plummeting agricultural yields. The report warns that climate change could cut up to a tenth of the gross domestic product by 2100, more than double the losses of the Great Recession. The scientific findings are in direct contrast to the Trump administration’s agenda of environmental deregulation. Trump has vowed to pull the United States from the Paris Agreement, under which nearly every country in the world vowed to cut carbon emissions.


Hog Waste Poses Health Problems for North Carolina

Roughly 3,300 permitted hog waste lagoons exist across the state of North Carolina 20 years after state officials entered into an agreement with Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, to find effective alternatives to open-air lagoons. Despite millions in research, the state has not come up with a viable alternative to lagoons and the Smithfield agreement expires in 2025. Hog waste lagoons are built to withstand 24-hours of rain but studies show climate change is producing wetter hurricanes and more intense rainfall. When the lagoons fail, ammonia and nitrates can seep into rivers causing algae blooms that kill aquatic life. Residents that live near hog farms complain of the nuisance and smell and have filed 26 nuisance lawsuits against Smithfield. There are 10 million people in North Carolina and 9 million hogs, which produce an average of 11 pounds of waste each day.







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