Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day: Eat Fish- Vote Democrat!!

So today is a Blog Action Day for the Environment, and moonbat feels moved to talk about her own humble beginnings as an environmentalist. For many years as a child, I had always believed that the lake behind my house was a natural phenomenon, designed there to house fish and frogs. At some point I had to expand my mind to the idea that bulldozers and men had created a five acre pit, where legend had it that a pick-up truck got stuck in, and was abandoned to the waters. Leeches lived there, and a childhood project to transfer cattails to increase frog habitats still shores up one of the banks. Then one year I brainstormed the idea to do a science fair project on how the fish in the lake got along, using the same pet-store equipment my sister used to test her gold fish tank. Although she used tablets to adjust the water in the tank, surely the lake with it's grasses and algae could regulate and control it's own waters. I proved that in fact the lake had no natural ecosystem, ammounting to nothing more self-regulating than a puddle of muddy water. I won the Divisional Award.

Years I spent in subsequent projects trying to figure out why man-made lakes devolved into cesspools of poison while natural lakes sustain life. Over that time, the beautiful sunspots and small-mouth bass dissapeared from it's waters, and the populations of lawns around the lake exploded. Having no way to cheaply measure other forms of pollution in the run off, and being unable to use an increase in water flora to prove the lake could be given an ecosystem, I gave up in despair. The lake continues to grow brown, and I turned away from the life of a professional scientist towards an interest in labor ecomonics and politics. Still, I love to sit with a glass of wine and listen to the frogs on a summer's evening. Someday soon, they too will be gone. Year after year, the summer drough season grows. Twenty years ago it was the month of August. This year it lasted four months and the ethanol-destined corn crops failed. You could walk across the lake and not get the top of your head wet.

Today I live outside of the District of Columbia, and one of my favorite pastimes is to run along the public park trails of the local watershed. The boulders and shale ledges are stunning, the chipmunks defiant, the occasional red fox a delightful blur. But every so often I pass the signs that state the danger of stepping a foot into the waters or eating the fish. Next to them, children play and dogs drink, and parents teach children how to hook a worm. We say that we live in a society where people are free to choose their own reckless demises, but we fail as a people to ensure that each generation has the ability to judge correctly the dangers they face. I spent time last year campaigning against a toll highway, promoted by developers, which will bulldoze low-income communities to allow for greater traffic access to the metropolitan area. Sierra Club counter argued that the money spend on the road would be better spent on expanding the public Metro system in ways that linked the suburb work centers of the capital city, reducing both traffic congestion and air pollution. The air polliution of our cities gives you the same risk of chronic heart disease as living with a smoker. Still, people generally greated us with the expectation that the developers were going to make their lives easier, and that we were the unintelligent fruitcakes. Even though we would have saved them money.

The damages caused by permission to pollute that is pervasive in the Republican Party line are slowly coming to light. Chevron's refinery in Richmond, California, dumped more mercury and other pollutants into San Pablo Bay than allowed under its permits during half of the reporting periods in 2005. 57 percent of the 3,600 major facilities nationwide that must report to EPA exceeded their Clean Water Act permits at least once in 2005. The average violation was almost four times the legal limit of what can be dumped into waterways. 628 facilities violated their Clean Water Act permits for at least half of the monthly reporting periods, and 85 sites exceeded their permits during every reporting period. The pollutants include mercury, copper, selenium, coliform, chromium, zinc, nickle, nitrogen, and ammonia. All of this goes into our streams and rivers and oceans, into our food, and into us. Yet we have built the whole notion of our ecomony around the idea that if the litter is too small to see, we shouldn't hold the trashy person that spills it accountable. We stage a manhunt for someone with TB, but we don't hunt down executives who kill people by what they exhale into the air for profit.

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