Environment: Storm over a Deadly Downpour

Acid rain is shaping up as the ecological issue of the '80s

When Ronald Reagan visited Ottawa last year, the welcome was anything but neighborly. Several hundred Canadians waved placards, symbolically hoisted weathered umbrellas and shouted, "Acid rain, go home!" The President good-naturedly brushed off the demonstration, telling Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, "It made me feel right at home." The shouting has momentarily died down, but simmering anger over acid rain continues to pollute relations between the U.S. and Canada.

A uniquely modern, postindustrial blight, acid rain is as widespread as the winds that disperse it. In the northeast U.S. and in...

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