Friday, January 30, 2015

Bald Eagles in Monroe Michigan

I mention the DTE plant in my lectures every semester.  The first semester I taught geology where I work now, one of my students who worked for Conrail told that the railroad delivered 150 boxcars of coal every day to the plant.  I later had students who worked for DTE and they all confirmed the statistic.  That's something that amazes my students, just as it amazed me when I first heard it.

The downside of all that coal burning is that the Monroe DTE plant is one of the top producers of carbon dioxide in the U.S. That's the bad news.  The good news is that all the waste heat produced by the plant incidentally serves a useful purpose for the environment, or at least for a heroic species that humans care about.  WXYZ has the story in Bald eagles from around North America gather in Monroe.

I can now add this to my story about the Monroe DTE plant.  I'm sure my students will enjoy it.

ETA: There is also a nuclear plant, Fermi 2, across the river from the coal plant.  I'm sure it contributes to the warm water.  As for stories that I tell about it, I mention that it's the same design as the plants in Fukushima. My students don't find that reassuring.

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