Your overall health is directly related to the health of the planet
The obligation of EPA
Are you aware that American kids eat 208 million pounds of raisins each year? That is a lot, I think. The problem with this is that 84% of samples tested this year by EWG, to compile their Dirty Dozen list for 2020, were contaminated.
The tests documented that residues of neonicotinoids were found on these samples. These are bee-killing pesticides and new studies suggest they can harm the development of the nervous systems and the brains of children.
The Center for Disease Control, CDC found that 50% of tested kids between 3 to 5 years old had this bee-killing pesticide and it was detected in 30% of adults. Staggering figures and well above the number that was previously thought. The exposure to neonicotinoids (neonics) is much more expansive than previously estimated.
The EPA is not doing what it should do
According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s own web page, the agency was established in 1970 to “establish quantitative “environmental baselines”–critical for efforts to measure adequately the success or failure of pollution abatement efforts.”
Lately, the EPA has failed in its obligation to care for your health and the health of the environment. They are doing a very poor job and are even siding with the chemical industry most times. This is completely the opposite of what they should do, putting money ahead of human health.
They gave the Agency the capacity to, and I quote;
- Do research on important pollutants irrespective of the media in which they appear, and on the impact of these pollutants on the total environment.
- Both by itself and together with other agencies, the EPA would monitor the condition of the environment—biological as well as physical.
Recently, the EPA has changed a lot of things, from their views and the implementation of their own safety rules to studying the real issues affecting the environment. They (the EPA) were given the mandate and the ability to study pollution independently from industry, and to report relevant findings that are grounded in fact-based research and not financially motivated dogma from company-run labs.
Recently they declared that glyphosate is safe as it does not pose a risk to human health. Completely going against the growing scientific evidence that links glyphosate to a rise in human cancer rates. Right now, 42.000 Americans are suing Monsanto-Bayer because their glyphosate products play a role in developing cancer, but the EPA says pesticides are safe.
The EPA had planned to ban chlorpyrifos, which is a neurotoxic pesticide. The manufacturer had announced plans to stop sales in the U.S. because this chemical is so dangerous. It has been linked to the increase in brain damage in children. The EPA turned around and did not ban it.
117 million Americans rely on the water from rivers and surface waters, but the EPA repealed the drinking water protections. What is happening here? Mother Earth is less protected and people are getting sicker?
The EPA also rolled back the Clean Power Plan. What resulted from this? Up to 4500 more premature deaths and 150.000 more cases of asthma.
A serious book
The following book is a wake-up call to all humans as our survival is in jeopardy. Taking a unique perspective, Planetary Overload forcefully points out the consequences to human health because of the ongoing degradation of Earth’s ecosystems.
This is an alarming and eloquent book and of significant interest to environmentalists, public health professionals, policymakers, and all those who care about people and the earth.
The importance of bees
Let us not forget that we need bees. Honeybees are responsible for 1 in every 3 bites of food. When they are poisoned, they cannot work anymore. Last year beekeepers lost nearly 50% of their hives. Even if there is only a small amount of “neonics” around the bees, it interferes with the navigation system bees have, so they get lost.
Other species like songbirds are affected as well. They do not have the right weight and then cannot migrate as they lack strength, or the migration is delayed. 75% of songbird species are in decline.
We went through the DDT application and with Rachel Carson “Silent Spring” (1962), we were able to overcome corporate greed because we all recognized the value of birds and eliminated this pesticide from use in the U.S. Can’t we learn from our past and find a healthier alternative for pest control?
Now, sadly, the Monarch butterfly is also on the list of creatures in decline. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to not add the Monarch butterfly to the Endangered List. They stay overwinter in Mexico and this year’s count has shown a 53% decline compared to last year.
Roundup is killing them and their habitat. The milkweed plant is the only food source for young monarchs and Roundup kills so many things, it might be easier to find out what it does not kill.
There you see, bees, songbirds, the entire creation of which we form part suffers the consequences of a malicious invention that lines the pockets of the chemical industry. The Trump administration is protecting the pesticide industry profits. That goes at the expense of people, pollinators, and our planet.
Everything is connected
The clock is ticking. Scientists estimated we might have a slim 10 years to avert the worst impact of climate change. How does one do that? To stand a chance, we need to keep 80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. That poses a problem as the Trump administration backs the expansion of pipelines, drilling, and the construction of new wells.
One of those huge environmental disasters waiting to happen is the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The APC will transport fracked gas across rivers and wetlands, and this construction plan might include national forests like the Monongahela and George Washington, as well as running across the Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway. A huge environmental disaster is in the making.
This is an interesting YouTube video that explains the current situation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This place needs to be protected for future generations.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been targeted by oil and gas companies for development. It does pay off to protest and success can be noted. In 2019, hundreds joined Gwich’in Nation Leaders at the annual shareholders’ meetings of big banks and oil companies. It had a positive result.
This spring Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo have committed to not finance drilling in the Arctic Refuge.
The importance of trees
Here comes an unusual but important insight. Deforestation is second only to fossil fuels in causing climate chaos. It exposes humanity to unknown diseases. We now have the coronavirus which has brought the world to its knees.
Rules imposed by governments have put a stop to daily life, with all the consequences included. I am not discussing if these rules were right or wrong; it is something else that caught my attention.
We have lived on planet earth like military tanks, waltzing down whole ecosystems. These ecosystems naturally regulated diseases and protect human health. We have caused a great imbalance.
By stealing vital habitats, the natural barriers between humans and disease-carrying animals are gone. They say ecological disruptions to be responsible for 75% of all new infectious diseases that originate in animals.
There obviously are many more connections, but I think all the above is more than enough to make you think. When Mother Nature gets abused, things go out of balance. Fauna, flora, and humans are all part of the one, we are all connected.
Being responsible for all the gifts we have been given would re-establish harmony on earth. Our health would improve as well as our environment. Only in a few months, while we were staying at home, Mother Earth has shown us recuperation is possible. Let’s treat her with more respect, and everybody and everything will benefit from it.
We have arrived in the year 2021. It is the end of April and this year looks very similar to 2020. Worldwide, there are still strict rules in place. In the meantime, we heard more voices saying things differ greatly from how they appear. Time will tell.
There is a new government in America and it seems some positive changes are on their way. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Laws that protect Mother Nature are important for fauna, flora, and humanity.
I have made a special page for you with some recommendations. It is a mixture of things I like so please have a look at Recommendations. I hope you will find something of your interest.
Source: Newsletters of March and April 2020 from EWG and Friends of the Earth.
Photo Source: Pixabay
Nature holds many wonders, and one of them is butterflies. Have you ever been to a butterfly park? I have visited 2, one in the U.S. and the other one on the Costa del Sol in the south of Spain. You might like to read the following post.