Thursday, March 25, 2010

“Consumed by Herbicides”

Location: Great Pond. How pristine the air, how pure the environment. W-hat? Come again? Pure the environment? Says who? Wellfleet’s kettle ponds may not have pesticide residue in them yet, but mercury, from acid rain, makes any fishies swimming about inappropriate for human consumption, according to the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Yesterday I was at Town Hall, reading Annual Reports from the 1980s. Why, you may ask? The town of Mashpee passed a Board of Health regulation against herbicidal spraying in easements and under power lines in 1982. I was hoping perhaps Wellfleet had done the same. I found no evidence of such precognition, but the purity of water was definitely of greater concern in those days. In fact, our town’s folk seemed a lot more aware of environmental risk and kept issuing statements to that effect.

I ran into an old friend at Town Hall, former chair of an important committee and now one of the main opponents of the wind turbine project. He was in a rush and apologized. “Can’t talk," he said. "I am consumed by windmills.”

I laughed and replied, “I understand. I’m consumed by herbicides.”

Yesterday I found an update on the bee situation, and it's not good news. Read the piece here. Pesticides could be killing our pollinators. At the end, the reporter tells a tale about a new pesticide, created by Bayer Crop Science in 2006, supposedly not harmful to honeybees and approved by the EPA until the Natural Resources Defense Council had the sense to bring a lawsuit. The pesticide is no longer available. Note, its purpose was “to disrupt the mating patterns of insects that threaten citrus, lettuce and grapes.” Now, how crazy is that? Seems to me science needs to get back to helping the common man, rather than the corporate farmer ...

Have you heard about colony collapse? Were you aware our pollinators have become endangered over the past ten years? Are you worried about this situation?