Saturday, June 26, 2010

Toxic Headaches & One Bright New Light

People know butterflies are fragile. Sometimes I wonder if they realize human life is, too?

Day 69 of the toxic oil spill in the Gulf ...

If I didn't have a B&B to run, I think I would spend all my time trying to alert the general public to the danger posed by toxic chemicals. I see myself in a rowboat with my grandchildren, desperately rowing, unable to reach the shore with the storm-of-the-century on the way: that is how I feel at each revelation of yet another threat to our environment. The wind picks up, the seas become choppy; the boat shivers and begins to slide backwards. We must turn that current around …

Yesterday Mandy Robinson, at Prudential Cape Shores, forwarded an email from a well-meaning man who hopes to spray Cape Cod properties for ticks. I read about the insecticide, approved 4/19/2010 by the EPA, and learned it’s toxic to bees and should not be used near bodies of water. Hey! We need to use a little sense here. Mandy emailed that she agrees: “I deleted the email and have no intention of sending it to our homeowners. I too have had Lyme Disease but am firmly against spraying. As you say it is another onslaught on the environment.”

Without exploring how insanely stupid it is to use a product that kills bees, let’s just concentrate on the issue of what is appropriate for Cape Cod, with its sandy soil. What we spray on trees, grass, bushes, rosebushes, etc. filters down into the water that we share through a system of private wells. I, for one, do not want toxic chemicals in my drinking water. As Congressman Delahunt stated in his March 30, 2010 letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Cape Cod is a unique environment. Communities with a single source aquifer need “special consideration.”

So, if indeed this product was registered with the EPA, the place to start is writing the EPA. Can Astro Insecticide (Permethrin) be looked at more closely? Remember colony collapse? We need our bees. They are our pollinators.

Then I open a tweet from the Environmental Working Group and learn toxins have been found in whale bones, so many toxins – and heavy metals in particular – that the scientists are stunned. To quote, "These contaminants, I think, are threatening the human food supply. They certainly are threatening the whales and the other animals that live in the ocean," said biologist Roger Payne, founder and president of Ocean Alliance. Threatening our human food supply. Whoa! Strong words.

And, of course, there’s my pet peeve, all the toxic chemicals in our bodies. On this front, I’m happy to report the release of Stefan Jarl's documentary Submission, which was shown at the United Nations two months ago to high praise. Remember the title and tell your friends.

I am doing my best to find out what has been done to get this Swedish movie distributed in the United States. According to Professor Ake Bergman, “it has been a hit so far, even though the film is describing the dark side of chemicals. The film will be shown in Geneva for UNEP employees a week from now.” And, the director himself responded, “Yes, the United Nations is taking it around the world, screening it at seminars for scientists, researchers and so on, but of course I want the film to ‘speak’ directly to an audience. I know that a documentary like this very seldom reaches theaters - but it ought to, since the UN describes it as ‘the best film of the century.’”

Read more of Stefan Jarl’s description of Submission at The Canary Report. And, please watch the trailer.

(Readers, anyone have suggestions on how to help Mr. Jarl get his film shown in the USA? He is sending me the DVD, and guests this summer will be able to watch it here at Chez Sven.)

Thursday night my grandson was born in Los Angeles. Welcome to the world, darling baby! From now on, let’s all work together. We must create meaningful laws that stop this mindless pollution. It is no longer the business of someone else. Get involved. We all need to transform ourselves into a citizens’ army. You with me?