I am writing in response to the Sept. 3 letter, "Reducing acid rain benefits everyone." The author forgot to mention that sulfur is a nutrient. I presume that this is his principle target. Although there are other chemicals that contribute to acid rain, sulfur oxides are the principal ones.
I visited a farmer in Wisconsin a few years back. After the paper mills cut sulfur emissions, his soil became sulfur depleted. The state agriculture department analyzed the soil and recommended that he add sulfur to improve the crops.
As are many environmental situations, this is a paradox. Our bodies contain a large amount of sulfur, which is evidenced by the sulfurous odors when our bodies decompose. Sulfur is an element necessary for good health. Eggs contain sulfur to promote growth for the chicks.
The presence of sulfur in fossil fuel relates back to when it was formed from vegetation and sulfur was a nutrient in the growth. All organic matter contains sulfur and so all fossil fuels contain sulfur.
The writer lists many harmful effects of acid rain, but reducing acid rain does not benefit everyone. Where is the correct balance?
I. ARTHUR HOEKSTRA