Wednesday, April 28, 2010

When Earth Day Lingers: Have Some Dirt!

Let there be light. Let there be solar light. May someone come soon and figure out why my solar lights, installed at the cottage, don't work! ... Earth Day has been on my mind, and perhaps it has been on your mind, too?

The images on the PBS special last weekend made me extremely sad because there was so much hope for the environment in the 1970s. Where has it all gone? How have we become so complacent? Why does humanity drag its feet over an important issue like climate change?

For Earth Day, CNN’s Don Lemon interviewed Sting and his wife Trudi. It’s amazing these two have not given up. For 20 years or more, saving the rain forest has been their main effort on behalf of the environment. I guess most people only have the energy to fight one issue. While I care about deforestation and climate change, my focus is on banning pesticides here on Cape Cod. Wellfleetians are beginning to identify me with this interest.

On Sunday, Naomi, at the library, sent the following email: “A former town resident just told me that in the 80s there was a law (?) bylaw (?) – some sort of motion – passed in Wellfleet that prohibited utilities from spraying. She isn't sure if it was just a one-year sort of legislation, but she's certain that it was in the 1980s and that Dawn Rickman should have record of it. Even if it were just for a year, the fact that it was passed would establish a precedent.”

And, at a cocktail party last week, Fire Chief Dan Silverman volunteered that he remembered the town had acted against DDT in the 1970s.

So, yesterday I went and asked the town clerk (Dawn) and spent a half hour at town hall, reading Annual Reports. I was amazed at the extent of the concern over herbicides, expressed by a committee in 1976. There were several pages about which herbicide was used where. The outlook was strikingly different from today. How successfully the chemical lobbies have been at making us believe herbicides are safe, taking the American people for a ride!

Over the weekend Sven and I watched a documentary that I will buy for the B&B to share with guests: Dirt, the Movie. It was uplifting and to be shared with loved ones. Earth Day should be celebrated every day, not just April 22, don’t you think? Make sure you watch Dirt and pass it on. That’s one good way to fight giant companies like Monsanto: spread knowledge of what humanity needs to do to save the earth …