Thursday, September 30, 2010

Weeping beside Great Pond ...

Sven and I like to walk beyond Dyer Pond to Great Pond, and pause there on a small deserted beach at the end of the path, deep in the National Seashore. The peacefulness hangs heavy on my spirit. The reeds are picture-perfect and bend in the breeze. I move forward, camera in hand, to snap a photo or two. But my gaze is drawn to the rippling water, and I find myself unable to concentrate on photography. I cannot help but wonder what a highly sophisticated water analysis would reveal? Everyone knows acid rain has fallen across New England for years, causing the National Seashore to put up a sign, warning about mercury in fish. Not that I intend to go fishing or eat any fish from this pond. I contemplate the broad expanse of water, fluid, liquid, teeming with life, but also toxic, no doubt. The idea is so discordant that it causes me to give an involuntary shudder. Invisible toxins are the worst kind. And, they are everywhere.

I have come to the conclusion that the organizations that should be protecting us don’t give a damn. Oh, I know. That statement sounds overly dramatic. But how else to explain the EPA's convoluted response to the BP oil spill and reliance on a toxic dispersant to make the oil sink to the bottom of the Gulf, or the Obama Administration’s current stance on hydro-fracking in Pennsylvania, as reported on HuffPost? (A general from the Army Corps of Engineers, who represents the Federal government, intends to green-light the grandfathered test wells. For those of you who are not familiar with hydro-fracking, the gas companies inject toxic chemicals into the ground to obtain the natural gas that is trapped in the shale.) Read a blog post by Virginia, a citizen protester who has drawn the wrath of Homeland Security by speaking out on the right to uncontaminated water, and weep.

There was an article yesterday in the Telegraph about how endocrine disruptors are gender-bending chemicals, ie. they feminize boys. Read Why Boys are Turning into Girls and weep.

The President's Cancer Panel's annual report warns, 'Our science looks at a substance-by-substance exposure and doesn’t take into account the multitude of exposures we experience in daily life. If we did, it might change our risk paradigm. The potential risks associated with extremely low-level exposure may be underestimated or missed entirely.'" Reflect on the fact that President Obama has not yet embraced this report and weep.

The reform of our toxic chemical laws is urgent. Let Congress know how you feel today. Don't wait for a loved one to get cancer or have a child born with hyperplasia before becoming active on this issue. Toxic chemicals in the environment cause disease and disrupt normal development of the human body. Small children and pregnant women are the most vulnerable.

Update: on Tuesday, Sarasota County, Florida, adopted the Precautionary Principle, already in place in Canada and the EU. Do you think Barnstable County, and every other county in the United States, should follow suit? Do you intend to hide your head in the sand, ostrich-like, the way I did for years, or have recent events motivated you to join me in fighting for (future) grandchildren and putting a stop to this synthetic chemical madness?