Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why Think About Planet Earth Way Before Earth Day?

After an unseasonably cold week, milder temperatures show up in the forecast, and Dyer Pond will become even more appealing to our B&B guests. Sven and I still walk there when it’s cold at the ocean. Did you know the weatherman predicts snow for Friday? No doubt, the snow will contain more of the radiation that rode the winds across the northern hemisphere from Japan last week as rain. Oops! Sorry for that gloomy thought. I find myself thinking a lot about the modern world these days and the consequences for humanity of nuclear disaster, toxic chemicals in food and water, and other not-so-cheerful topics.

Did you know “most people use around 10 personal care products every day, with an average of 126 different ingredients,” most often not good for us? Environmental Working Group further emailed yesterday, “We'd like to believe that the government is policing the safety of all of the concoctions we put on our bodies, but it's not. Instead, these unregulated products pose uncertain dangers for our health and our environment.”

Strange. That’s exactly what I was thinking.

I don’t understand why our government doesn’t advocate for an environment free of toxins. Why can’t Michelle Obama take the obesity/diabetes issue a step further by mentioning recent research that indicates exposure to endocrine disruptive chemicals in the womb may play a role in the epidemic?

When I was a child, Smokey the Bear taught America not to litter. Over the past fifty years, consumerism has taken hold and corporations rule. Poor Smokey has been completely muzzled.

The more I read, the more upset I become.

New permits for oil rigs were handed out last week to potential polluters although the issue with BP's well has not been fixed. GMOs are not the answer, no matter what Monsanto may claim, and GMO seeds are spreading on the wind, endangering organic crops. (Check out the opinions of non-corporate specialists here.) The chemical industry defends BPA, a known endocrine disruptor, and will fight hard to defeat any effort at revision of the Toxic Chemicals Act, soon before Congress. Plastics end up in the stomachs of sea turtles, as well as in the fish we eat.

To make matters worse, most media outlets are owned by corporations, and in-depth reporting on the environment does not get much airtime.

But the Internet remains free and allows us to stay informed. We can read blogs like AttainableSustainable and make the necessary changes in our own lives, one day at a time. Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families offers Top Tips for Keeping Toxic Chemicals at Bay. Writer Jennifer Margulis tackles the subject of "pretty poisons" at Mothering Outside the Lines.

There was an article in the New York Times yesterday about food dyes. Chris Wragge asked this morning on CBS's The Early Show,"What is artificial food dye doing to your kids?"

Dare we hope regulation is on the way, that public opinion will force change?

If I am posting about this topic, it's because I know many of you are thinking along the same lines. Yesterday Irene emailed: “Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant. License runs out in 2012. NRC considering renewal through 2032. Check out Wikipedia. Now is the time. We should protest and insist that it be closed. There is no evacuation route on the Cape that would safeguard residents against nuclear fallout.”

It’s true. No valid evacuation route exists. As another blog reader commented on my post about closing Pilgrim nuclear plant, “What’s the plan? Swim east?”

In Wellfleet, Harriet, posted similar thoughts to Cape Cool Blog.

I was a member of the protest generation but did not protest the Vietnam war because I used to believe in the United States government. Then I moved to a foreign country and found myself obliged to defend American policies. Now I’m older and wiser. I have grandchildren, and I’m ready to protest.

Do you feel the same way? Are you ready to join the protest lines?