Thursday, May 03, 2007

Too Rebellious? Up on the Soapbox

foreward: This post consists of two parts. It was initially began yesterday, and where noted I am taking it up today, after further consideration of the subject.

I've been meaning to bring this one up for a while, though I'm not sure where I'm going with it.
I've been wondering why I'm so disbelieving about what They - mostly the government- have to tell me. It's not that I generally trust the government - there are very few politicians I would have as my friend - therefore I pretty much throw the lot out. But nor do I choose to believe (for the most part) that they are Out-T0-Get-Me.
I don't attend revolution meetings and I'm not stockpiling arms in a hole in my backyard.
I read a little over a year ago -maybe two- that when plastic bowls age and start to get scratched you should discard them, as they are unsafe for use. I discounted it.
That's what started this whole thing rolling through my head.
Now, put something like Energy Solutions (a nuclear waste management company that is creeping its way into my city - although we do not use nuclear power in my state) in my face telling me it's safe, and environmentally friendly, and I'm immediately outraged, and I pretty much start (mentally) swinging.
I'm outraged about the nuclear underground testing in Nevada, and am saddened by the cancer running rampant in the down-winders in the southern part of my state. (Not to mention worldly concerns like the happenings at Chernobyl et al brings me to tears.)
There is an area a bit west of the SL valley that is home to a few menaces such as Energy Solutions and an army "proving ground" I think they call it. The town (city) nearby has a really high rate of ms and a couple other debilitating illnesses.
These things I know.
Yet I don't believe the things I think They are trying to sensationalize or when I feel they're using scare tactics.

I never buy that something is safe. So why do I discount them telling me that something is not safe?
Several months ago I started buying glass (pyrex) storage bowls instead of plastic. They'll last much longer. They're prettier. They're easier to clean, and don't get stained with tomato sauce or hang on to a funky smell.
I started wondering about cleaners, too. Why would I assume it's safe, when on the bottle it says to keep children and pets away from it? (I'm pleased to say that I now make all my own kitchen and bathroom cleaners!)
Another issue is buying and growing organic foods. I know there's a debate about local/organic, but to me (I've not read about the arguements, as I don't care really what others' opinions are on the subject as yet) it's a political as well as health issue, and growing organic is the right thing to do. The answer, for me, then, is to grow my own organically, and to suggest that others (local) should do the same. It's a morality issue for me. It harms the water, it harms the oceans, and seeweed, insects, birds, indeed, all of earth's creatures.
And why, oh, why, would someone think "Oh, that's not going to hurt Me, it only kills plants or worms or insects!" Sheesh.

Added on May 3rd:
I read recently something about "don't wait 'til it's convenient, inexpensive, and easy to take up the cause". Those were not nearly the exact word, but certainly the sentiment, and something I've certainly always agreed with. I'm much more comfortable with helping to pave a new road than I am with following one that's well worn. Following along just isn't for me. I'm much too rebellious, as I've mentioned once or twice. :)
There is a new movement in my area, it's called Utah Mom's For Clean Air.
The first meeting was yesterday, which I missed, I thought it was in the afternoon, and I was unable to attend. My friend Julie posted on her blog giving details of the night's meeting, including many informative details regarding pollution. One comment that nearly took me out was this one; "Coal power plants are the largest source of nuclear radiation in the environment far exceeding properly functioning nuclear power plants."
Now I was not under any illusions that my state with it's coal-burning ways was innocent of contributing to the ill health of this planet, certainly. Indeed, I know we're currently the worst for clean air in the nation. And personally I know it, as in winter during our inversions, when air is trapped over us, as I'm in a valley surrounded by mountains, it's not uncommon for me to have severe headaches for days at a time. I tend to buy more houseplants to clean my air around January of every year.
But I certainly had placed us well above those states that house those creepy little towers that house the nuclear power!
That's not to say because it's supposedly cleaner that I am now for Nuclear Power. Not even a little bit. I don't care if it's the safest thing that we have - which it isn't, we have wind power, solar energy, and power derived from dams that are infinitely preferable.
I am totally and thoroughly creeped out by Nuclear Power and its effects, some of which I contribute to John Hagelin, who ran for president under the Natural Law Party a few years ago. He is a brilliant nuclear physicist who is absolutely against nuclear energy. It was he that introduced me to the rgbh nightmare several year ago when I attended a lecture of his. Course, that was well after Chernobyl, so the world was already aware of the harm such a thing could bring.

Back on track.... On the flip side, another note from the meeting of UMFCA says something about "bad air can take two years off your life".
Now this particular thought doesn't frighten me. Maybe it's because I generally have the life/death philosophy of "if an airplane falls on your head, it's your time to go."
I just don't choose to live in a fatalistic, negative world. I also happen to believe that carrying around a fear of 'bad air' will certainly not contribute to my family's good health.
But! That doesn't mean that I don't believe in this particular cause.
I don't buy teakwood. I don't smoke around my children. (I don't smoke at all, anymore, haven't for years.) I don't spray down spiders and ants in my home, or in my gardens. I recycle. I compost. I don't use lights (usually) in the daytime. I don't litter. I don't leave the water on while I brush my teeth. I try to remember my canvas bags when I go to the grocery store. I don't get the newspaper.
And I'll be joining the Utah Moms for Clean Air whenever I am able.
Not because I'm afraid of even what They say, but because standing up for a healthy environment/earth is the right thing to do.

No comments: