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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

June, 2006

 

Environment Filling Up With Chemicals
By Katharina Sandizell Smith

Why are we so slow to realize that our environment is becoming increasingly inundated by chemicals? It is like a frog that is put into slowly warming water until it dies. If it were to be put suddenly into hot water, it would jump out immediately. We must awaken and realize that the chemicals in our environment are the heating water and we the frogs. While we become accustomed to an increasingly chemical laden world, we forget the old ways of tending land, taking care of the common cold, of walking to the store. The ways that brought community, natural exercise, and simple happiness. At the same time, we have become addicted to convenience and quick fixes. And many of those come at the expense of our health and well-being.
Take mosquitoes for example. If adult mosquitoes are sprayed, resistance is created while killing off other beneficial insects that normally keep the mosquito population in check. The quick fix of neighborhood spraying that will temporarily allay the nuisance, in the end creates stronger, more resistant "super-mosquitoes".

So it is with the antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals that we have been taking for years. They alleviate the problem temporarily but usually end up creating a deeper disease in the body like deficient digestion, chronic infections, etc. In addition, scientists warn of "super-bugs" cropping up that are resistant to most drugs. So we create stronger drugs as we create stronger pesticides and herbicides (like Transline) while never addressing the root of the matter.

What we seem to have lost is the understanding that we as humans are not separate from the earth, the animals, or the plants. We are all the same, we are all a part of everything. And this is not a New Age tea cozy. This is a call for waking up. We cannot simply poison the food we eat or the farm next door without reaping the consequences ourselves through our health and our conscience. We cannot pollute the earth endlessly with greenhouse gasses and not expect global warming to take its toll. We need to make the connection that as our planet becomes debilitated, animals endangered or extinct, soil depleted, we humans are becoming sickened in health and mind. Violence and depression are on the rise, as is cancer, which will soon claim 1 in 2 people in their lifetime.

It is time for us to connect with life, what is around us. We need to let in the tragedy of the relentless poisoning of ourselves and our environment. I am not promoting going into a hole of despair, I am suggesting taking action, even small actions, to help our planet move towards health. This will create power and meaning, rather than denial and apathy.

So when we talk about pesticides and herbicides and petrochemicals and greed and profit, we are addressing symptoms of a deeper problem. That problem is within ourselves and how in touch we want to be with our earth and our hearts. We can become involved in our local community's environmental concerns and create precedents for the rest of the state, nation, and world. This may sound lofty, but small changes resonate deeply. We can no longer afford to think, "somebody else will do it". Action brings us community while delivering meaning, power, and hope into our lives. We can do it, and lets do it together!



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