I was writing this on my face book page and then realized, I do have something to say about this and brought it over here –
An earth day tshirt for everyday – it says – “After all the trees are gone, what’s the next plan?”
Which is only too true – that our trees seem to be prevalent and yet, they are being removed at a staggering rate after taking many years to grow in the first place . . . and blights are striking them from the chemicals around us every day – in the air, in the soil and in the water.
Look at any satellite map in real time and there are huge areas of clear cutting, and smoke from fires where they are burning the wood taken down there – around the world. Every day there are hundreds of these, not just a few and it has been that way for so many years without slowing down any . . .
So, I want to add this –
Over 35 years ago, the pollution of our rivers, streams and air was vicious and substantial. On any day in our cities, it could easily be seen. There was a push to get industries to stop pouring their industrial waste chemical products into our streams, rivers, creeks, harbors and oceans – but the only real result is that these industries moved their operations to other countries and other parts of our country to continue doing things in the exact same way or even to a greater extent without regard for the damaging nature of what they were doing.
There was also a push to get industries to put filters on their smokestacks to remove the chemicals that were being poured into the air every moment of every day and night – at that point, over thirty years ago – those filters and filter systems would have cost about $200 each per smokestack, but industries and corporations in America didn’t want to do that. They considered it a prohibitive and an unreasonable request being placed upon them and so instead of spending something less that $30,000 to put filters on every smokestack or air release of their chemical by-products across the nation, they spent millions instead on lawyers, lobbyists and political campaigning, public relations propaganda efforts against having to install the filters and eventually, on fighting fines for doing it . . .
Why would that have ever made sense?
In the 80’s, it would have cost about $1200 per filter system for each smokestack and still they would not do it – and spent even more millions on lobbying, lawyers to fight the application of any anti-pollution rules on them, millions more as individual companies and industry associations to fight against having these regulations put into effect and on pr campaigns, ads and disinformation campaigns to persuade the public that these kinds of regulations were harmful to their own economic well-being.
Well, when the industries finally had to put filters on their plants – many of the corporations (American corporations, born, built and bred in America) decided to take their operations to other countries and used our tax money to help them do it – and then continued polluting in the same manner. (Or in some cases, the companies put their operations in states where they could continuously put off abiding by any and all of these regulations and requirements which has left much of the Southern states in an unalterable state of pollution long after the North’s industrial states refused to put up with it any longer . . . )
My question on this Earth Day – is why can’t it be both? But, it just never is . . . Why couldn’t companies and industries have simply put the filters on their plants in the first place when it was easy enough to look outside or across any city in America and see the smog as deep as brown muck could possibly be across the entire sky? They spent thousands of times more in fighting against adding those filters and not dumping their waste products into the ground or streams than it would’ve ever cost them just to have done things a little differently in the first place . . .
And, now – those same corporations have taken those operations for the last twenty years into every other area of the planet to pollute these as well in the same ways that thirty plus years ago, they already knew beyond any doubt – were harmful to people, to animals, to continued survival of life in those areas over any appreciable time period and known to be damaging for multiple generations, sometimes even hundreds of years beyond today.
That corporate players would choose to do that, their shareholders consider it to be okay and decision-makers in the countries around the world would put up with it – is beyond my understanding. The industrialized China leaves a trail of the same toxic bed that we have destituted our own nation doing over so many years from Detroit to Los Angeles . . .
When I saw “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” with its vast images of unsurpassed beauty of China’s natural, un-industrialized, unpolluted wild spaces, I remembered what America would have looked like at one time, when the water was clean, the air breathable and the soil a place where children could play without taking lead into every pore of their skin . . .
But, in my lifetime – America has lain a toxic bed over its toxic bed from a hundred years ago, with corporate choices still being made that defy all good sense about it. And, if it was only a choice about money – then the millions upon millions – and even hundreds of millions that corporations are spending fighting against not polluting water sources, soil and air would be exchanged for adding the fourteen things they need to do to simply not pollute as a part of their operations (which would cost in the hundreds of thousands one time and last for years, save money and not require millions to be spent on lobbying and lawyers to continue fighting against all of us who want a better future for our country and for our planet.)
Instead of Los Angeles getting cleaner air – which was nothing but muck in the 1960’s where people couldn’t walk to school or work regularly, and where people weren’t supposed to go outside or allow their children to go outside to play or walk most days of the year –
what we have now –
is an entire planet that way, plus much of the rural Southern US with the same heavy layer of smog across places from Carrollton, Ga. to Mobile, Ala. and throughout Louisiana and Texas . . with massively polluted air, soils and streams AND with extreme weather events that go beyond our human tolerance range commonly occurring. . .
(that human tolerance and survival range is actually a pretty slim range) . . .
From Bhopal to West Virgina –
And it has only grown worse. Happy Earth Day 2012.
NEW ORLEANS — A new study finds that Louisiana’s second Gulf of Mexico dead zone stretches at least from the Chandeleur Sound off Louisiana to Alabama’s Dauphin Island — and could be bigger.
( . . .)
In 2010, the foundation checked a 1,050-square-mile area in the Chandeleur Sound and found that it held too little oxygen to support life. The area found last July was 250 square miles.
“This is four times larger than the region found in 2010, because a much larger area was surveyed,” Lopez wrote in a news release. A wider look is likely to find a still bigger area, possibly extending into the area off the Florida Panhandle, he said in an interview.
Monthly checks at two waterbottom sites off of Alabama, 12 and 25 miles out in the Gulf, also have found low oxygen levels “with some regularity” during the summer, said Ron Kiene, a marine sciences professor at the University of South Alabama and a faculty member at Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Another half-dozen stations closer to shore occasionally show hypoxia, he said.