Friday, June 24, 2011

Gloomy Thoughts on a Rainy Day ...

Over the past year I have accumulated a lot of Facebook friends who care about the environment and worry about the state of the world. Every day there seems to be more evidence indicating toxic chemicals are bad for the environment or additional research showing climate change is very real. Why don’t our legislators do something about these important matters?

Take yesterday’s article from Scientific American: Scientists Warn Chemicals May Be Altering Breast Development. Or, last week, 60 Minutes, Australia, apparently different programming from 60 Minutes, USA, brought a clear warning entitled, The Toxic Truth. Why doesn’t 60 Minutes, USA, report on this topic, too?

Yesterday a friend shared the five-page essay by Al Gore that will soon appear in Rolling Stone, entitled Climate of Denial. This piece came only days after Chris Hedges’ article The Sky Really Is Falling and a warning from scientists about the disastrous state of the oceans, worse than anyone had previously thought. The message in this Huffington Post article was echoed yesterday by CBS News: Mass Extinction Threat “Significant” in Oceans.

Locally, attempts to protect drinking water seem to fall on deaf ears. Of course, there’s the Cape Cod struggle against NStar, but I also follow the hydro-fracking controversy in Pennsylvania and New York, amazed to realize that word has gone out to legislators to support natural gas drilling, even if it pollutes groundwater.

A Green Room guest this week told me about Padukah, Kenntucky, where the aquifer was contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE) and technetium-99 (Tc-99). She said the town was able to drill 800 feet down and find a second aquifer. Now, relate that to Cape Cod’s situation. There is no second aquifer here. We have a sole-source aquifer. If NStar is allowed to proceed with its plan to apply up to five herbicides under the power lines, our water will be contaminated with traces of these toxic chemicals. Glyphosate exposure may create birth defects in the unborn child: it does in lab animals.

Did you know toxic chemicals are also disrupting reproduction? Denmark reports sperm counts down 50%. Certain endocrine disruptors mimic estrogen. You have, no doubt, read about the feminization of frogs. I believe the same thing is happening to humans ...

Facebook postings in the Middle East led to revolution. Sometimes I wonder if that is where this country is heading. I wish we could clone Senators Frank Lautenberg and Bernie Sanders, who are obviously not swayed by lobbyists.

I also read a blog called Attainable Sustainable, where writer Kris Bordessa recommends one small change a day, reviving the art of sustainability. I think we should all apply this approach. But, I’m no longer sure all our little changes will save us, based on what Al Gore says, if legislators continue to put the wishes of corporate funders first.

Any ideas on what it will take to turn this dismal situation around?