Monday, November 29, 2010

How will Climate Change affect our area?

 

We are going to have to look at large studies, like this my NASA, to find out how our region is going to be affected by Climate Change. 

Odds are our local media either doesn’t have the money for investigative reporting, or the desire (because too many of their customers don’t believe in Climate Change), or the bandwidth to deal with the most important news of our region—because they are reporting on a lot of other stuff like sports news.  

Too bad, how are we in the Rochester, NY region going to get ready for Climate Change if we don’t know what to expect?  So, until our local media gets on the job of getting this important information to the public so they can plan and work in the real world, we must ferret out what we can from Climate Change studies that include our area. 

NASA Study Finds Earth's Lakes are Warming - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory “In North America, trends were slightly higher in the southwest United States than in the Great Lakes region. Warming was weaker in the tropics and in the mid-latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere. The results were consistent with the expected changes associated with global warming.” (November 23, 2010) NASA - Home

Climate Change talks and low expectations:

 

The media has informed us that there are low expectations for any substantial measures for nations to deal with Climate Change at the United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Cancun. 

So, I guess if there are any kind of substantial agreements at the talks, the bar for expectations is set so low, that any kind of agreement will look favorable. 

If the media is correct on the talk and the Cancun talks produce no binding agreements of any merit, what we can do is use these talks as another marker.  As time goes on and we collectively show that we are incapable of addressing Climate Change, we can use these major UN meetings as markers that we can use for future generations.

These ‘markers’ will be points where if we had done something, a sea coast might not have had to overrun a community because of sea level rise, or a hurricane five somewhere down the road wouldn’t have happened.

The expectation from the Cancun talks shouldn’t be just measured as ‘low’ by the media, the talks should also include the expectations of what will happen because of the lack of agreements.  There are real consequences of countries dragging their feet on not taking measures to reduce Climate Change and the media’s description of this event, shouldn’t try and make it look like a sports event, where the outcome doesn’t really matter.  As a result of not taking action, real effects of Climate Change are going to occur.

Climate change talks face crucial test As representatives from nearly 200 nations prepare to gather for United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Cancun this week, a central question looms: Can they achieve enough to keep the negotiations alive? No one expects the two-week meeting, which begins Monday, to produce a pact that would commit the nations of the world to curbing climate change. Such an agreement seemed possible a year ago, when the last round of negotiations concluded in Copenhagen. At that session some of the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters struck a deal: Industrialized nations would cut their emissions and by 2020 and would mobilize $100 billion a year in aid for the poorest countries suffering the effects of global warming; in exchange, major developing countries agreed to international scrutiny of their own emissions cuts. (November 27, 2010)  Washington Post - Politics, National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines - washingtonpost.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Seas Rise due to Climate Change will affect all New York State coastlines

 

Here’s the deal: Climate Change will causes water levels to rise because of glacier melt.  This will not only affect small islands (IPCC Report: Climate Proofing Small Islands ), making some of the disappear altogether; it will affect New York State. 

“EVERY NEW YORK TIDAL COASTAL COMMUNITY WILL BE AFFECTED BY SEA LEVEL RISE -Sea level rise will have dramatic implications for New York’s coastal communities and their natural resources, affecting the entire ocean and estuarine coastline of the state. Every community along the Hudson River from the federal dam at Troy to New York Harbor and along Long Island Sound and the Atlantic coastline will be affected.”

Though not affecting Monroe County specifically in the report, it will affect Monroe County because so much of the effects of Climate Change due to water levels rising are so widespread, including public health, hazards of sea level rise, fresh water resources, ecosystems affected, public works and infrastructure, communications, energy, transportation, solid waste, and drinking water supplies.

Instead of reading arguments in blogs and social media about whether Climate Change is one of those maddening delusions that your enemies have cooked up to push your buttons, why not read a real account of what your New York State officials are considering to do to address this very real occurrence—in your backyard. 

Read this full account of what could very well happen in our area due to Climate Change and what might be done to address it.

New York State Sea Level Rise Task Force Report to the Legislature "The New York State Sea Level Rise Task Force was created by an act of the New York State Legislature (Chapter 613 of the Laws of New York) in August 2007. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis, Chair of the Task Force, assigned Special Counsel Robin Schlaff to establish and chair a steering committee. Kristin Marcell served as steering committee vice‐chair. The steering committee, comprised of state agency staff and representatives of non‐governmental organizations (NGOs), spent an extraordinary amount of time researching, discussing and deliberating issues addressed in the report. Members of the steering committee coordinated the work of five work groups: Community Resilience, Ecosystems and Natural Resources, Infrastructure, Legal and Public Outreach. Each work group included representatives from academia, businesses, NGOs, environmental justice and community groups, and federal, state and local agencies. This report is the result of their efforts, and the Task Force gratefully acknowledges their contributions. Projections of sea level rise affecting New York State were provided by the Columbia University Center for Climate Systems Research based on work undertaken for the New York City Panel on Climate Change. "New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Shipping radioactive material past our shores

 

Interesting, but there’s nary a peep from our local media on the shipping of radioactive material across Lake Ontario and through the St. Lawrence Seaway.  

"The generators would start the journey on Lake Huron and travel down the St. Clair River to Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence Seaway and across the ocean to Sweden. "

You’d think the public would want to know that one of the cost of having nuclear power is that something has to be done with the waste, including transporting it.  The transportation route could be near us. 

The Canadians seem to care about this issue, why don't we?

Decision soon on radioactive shipping cargo | thetimesherald.com | The Times Herald The debate about a Canadian power company's plan to ship 16 radioactive steam generators to Sweden via the Great Lakes could be coming to an end. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is expected to decide by mid-December whether Bruce Power will be allowed to move the generators. Some people monitoring the issue said a decision could by made by the end of the month.  (November 23, 2010) thetimesherald.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What it means to be an activist in Rochester.

 

This article (below) is a great tribute to one of our great environmental health leaders in our community.  Judy Braiman of Rochesterians Against the Misuse of Pesticides (RAMP) has been a tireless advocate for making our way of life sustainable. 

We should expect that businesses act in such ways that they do not pollute or create products that cause people harm. 

And, we should expect our local, state, and federal governments to enforce regulations so harm does not come to the public and to our environment. 

And, we should expect the media to be vigilant in ferreting out and discovering any issues dealing with our environmental health.  But, at present we cannot. 

At present the burden is on the public to find out for themselves whether or not new products are dangerous or new chemicals toxic to us and our environment.  We have to depend on great activists like Judy Braiman to be our watchdog, when we should be depending on our businesses, our governments, and our media to consider our environment and our health first.

Judy Braiman of Pittsford a relentless voice for consumer safety | democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle After four decades of consumer activism, Judy Braiman is still passionate about her cause. Her efforts have drawn national attention and prompted product recalls, new laws and other changes to protect the public. Along the way, she's frustrated some business and government officials who see her as an extremist, and she's been kicked off some advisory groups. "I take pride in that," Braiman said. The petite Pittsford grandmother of 10 today announces her 40th annual review of unsafe toys and other products at local stores. (November 23, 2010)  Democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle | Rochester news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Rochester, New York

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Dialogue on Climate Change:

 

Listen or read about how scientists have gathered to combat the litany of mistruths the public has on Climate Change.  Climate deniers have been having a field day confusing the public and the media on the science of Climate Change and scientist want to clear the air with the facts. 

In a way, this is a sad commentary on our times that scientists have to go head-to-head with those who didn’t learn their ninth-grade Earth science and have taken their frightful ignorance to mainstream media.  But there you are, a public and a media who don’t what to talk seriously about the most important issue of our day, Climate Change, and have dropped the dialogue to the level of online squabbles. 

The truth is that many serious folks who are charged with protecting the public are moving ahead on Climate Change by beginning preparations for Climate Change.

New Yorkers Learn the Troubles Posed by Sea Level Rise Flow Far Beyond Manhattan - NYTimes.com NEW YORK -- New York state is beginning to take the threat of sea level rise attributed to climate change seriously as a new government prepares to settle in next year. Starting Monday, state officials in Albany will gather with members of the public to discuss a recently released 93-page report that recommends major changes to development planning and conservation along coastlines from the tip of Long Island all way up the Hudson River Valley. (November 19, 2010) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia

You can read about how New York State intends to address Climate Change and even make comment on the plan, instead of going backwards and arguing about what most of the scientists in the world already know: Climate Change is happening.

New York State Climate Action Plan - Interim Report - November 9, 2010 | This Interim Report is presented by sections and chapters and, following this list, as a compiled report in three sections.  The public comment period for this report will extend for ninety days, beginning on November 9, 2010 and ending on February 7, 2011. Instructions for submitting comments electronically are provided at http://www.nyclimatecomments.us .   

And, this is where the public dialogue should be on Climate Change, acting, not arguing about whether Climate Change is happening.  That horse has left the barn; but for those who still need to be mollycoddled through the facts on Climate Change that they should already know they will get help:

John Abraham and Scott Mandia - Climate Science Strikes Back | Point of Inquiry "For the community of scientists who study the Earth’s climate, these are bewildering times. They've seen wave upon wave of political attacks. They're getting accustomed to a public that grows more skeptical of their conclusions even as scientists grow more confident in them. No wonder there’s much frustration out there in the climate science world—and now, a group of researchers have organized to do something about it. Their initiative is called the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, and it pledges to organize dozens of researchers to help set the record straight. "  (November 19, 2010)  Point of Inquiry

Friday, November 19, 2010

The trouble with waste water treatment plants:

 

This is one of those critical environmental issues that we here in the US seem totally incapable of addressing—can our wastewater treatment plants handle what we are throwing at them?  We know that our waste water treatment plants have to let raw sewage go into our waters in some major storm events, due to overflow.  They can only handle so much volume.

We know that these waste water treatment plants were not designed to handle pharmaceuticals and a myriad of manmade chemicals and products that go through them every day. 

We haven’t even had major testing as the Canadians have and brought this issue to the public’s attention.  We are deluding ourselves that we are keeping our waters save and healthy. 

I’ve heard talk of sending hydrofracking fluid waste through these systems too.  I cannot verify this, but if true this is really far beyond the kind of stuff waste water treatment plants were designed for, which are supposed to filter our waste before they go into our drinking and fishing waters safe.  

It’s bad when our economy tanks and we have to struggle to live and retire.  It’s going to be really bad if our environment tanks because we are too busy with other matters to focus on it.

Study tests sewage for drugs Truckloads of stinking Windsor sewage have begun rolling down Highway 401 to be tested for drugs at the Environment Canada laboratories in Burlington. The federal environmental agency is just one of many parties involved in an ambitious new study centred on Windsor that is looking at painkillers, perfumes, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and other contaminants making their way into the Great Lakes, the primary source of drinking water for millions of people.  (November 18, 2010) Windsor Star - News

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The future look of news:

 

As the face of the media changes, we are interested in what forms it will take?  Will the new media be able to report in-depth on our environment?

Will the new media have the funds to pay for serious environmental investigations or will they merely help spread what few media have sufficient funds to do serious environmental reporting.  These are serious matter for the future of both the media and keeping ourselves informed on our environment. 

At present, it doesn’t look good.  The public seems disinterested in the very life support system that keeps them alive and the media seems very interested in pandering to the public’s interest in other things—sports, fashion, car accidents, etc. 

Here is one model the new media that has a section on Global Warming.  Check it out:  

The Real News Network "is a television news and documentary network focused on providing independent and uncompromising journalism. Our staff, in collaboration with courageous journalists around the globe, will investigate report and debate stories on the critical issues of our times. We are viewer supported and do not accept advertising, government or corporate funding."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Removing Rochester’s mountain tops

 

When we switch on the lights in our homes, we often forget the moral implications of such a common, humdrum act. We flip on lights without thinking; but, that switch is not a magical box. That light switch is connected to wires, which in turn are connected so some source of electrical power: natural gas, hydro electrical, diesel, coal, nuclear, geothermal, wind, solar, petroleum, or biofuels. Usually, something has to burn and something has to turn to create electrical power that runs the power for lights that we switch on. (Solar power has other issues but burning fossil fuels and turning turbines are not two of those.)

According to NYSERDA and the New York State Power Authority the electricity generated in New York was in 2002: 26% natural gas, 25% nuclear, 15% coal, 15% hydro, 9% petroleum, 8% net imported, 2% biofuels - HYDROGEN FACT SHEET -New York State: Case Study

Only two percent of our electrical energy comes from renewable sources—wind and solar. NY's Green Power Program So, when we flip that light switch we are mostly choosing to burn fossil fuels and warm up the planet, or blow the top slick and clean off of somebody’s mountain. We don’t like to think of these things, the simplest little thing we do in our daily lives having big moral implications, that we are just doing what everyone else does unmindful of their consequences, but it is becoming increasing obvious that almost everything we do has environmental implications. Implications that we can no longer ignore because our collective buying habits, how we dispose of trash, how we use products, and how we power our stuff affects our environment. Earth with over 6 billion humans (and growing) has drastically changed this planet’s ecosystems in just 200 years from humanity’s growth and development, an unprecedented change in the 4 billion years of life on this planet. (Think of the very short time our species has occupied this planet ((about 5 million years)) compared to how long it took our environment to evolve in 4 billion years of life.)

We, meaning New Yorkers, have to start thinking of how we get electricity in a larger way. We may not have mountains with coal in our backyard, or easily assessable natural gas deposits, but we do use energy from these natural resources—and so this implicates us in the moral equation. Many of our neighbors have to suffer the consequences of continuing to burn coal for energy. Right now New Yorkers are screaming over the spectacle of having noisy wind turbines far off-shore, but that’s nothing compared to a mining blast or heavy equipment tearing off the head of a mountain, and the toxic tailings pouring into your nearby streams.

If you burn something, a fossil fuel like coal, oil, or natural gas, you are releasing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. It is causing Climate Change. Also, in order to get at fossil fuels you often have to dig, drill, or blast. These present moral problems, there is no way around it. This moral argument isn’t a conspiracy theory cooked up by a bunch of leaf-chomping greenies. It is physics linking our actions with the health of our planet. Environmental issues are not special interest—they are the issue of our times. Check out this discussion Thursday evening on ourand I’ll see ya there:

Deep Down, an Independent Lens film | WXXI Thu, 11/11/2010 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm "WXXI's Community Cinema invites you to a free screenings of the Independent Lens feature film Deep Down. Join us Thursday, November 11 at 7 p.m. as WXXI's Community Cinema presents a screening of Deep Down. The event is free and open to the public. The screening will be held at WXXI's Studios and followed by a panel discussion with Ed Przybylowicz,  Marcellus Shale Committee; Frank Regan, RochesterEnvironment.com; and Margie Campaigne, Sierra Club. " WXXI | Go Public.

What can we expect from Governor Cuomo on our environment?

 

Now that Cuomo has been elected as governor of New York State and our very own Mayor Duffy to Lieutenant Governor, how will things change for Rochester’s environment? Check it out:

Cleaner Greener NY “The protection and improvement of our environment is more than an investment in the quality of life for New Yorkers, it can also benefit our economy for years to come.”

Because I’m helping to develop a bicycle boulevard project throughout Rochester’s neighborhoods, I’m especially interested in Governor Cuomo’s Transportation goals:

“We must explore alternative vehicles and environmentally friendly public transportation throughout the State.  This includes upgrading our rail system for high speed rail, the development and adoption of alternative fuel vehicles, retrofitting of public transportation system, including the acquisition of hybrid buses, to improve the environment, and encouraging pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to ensure New York’s streets are safe and encourage these forms of transportation.”

I like the words “bicycle infrastructure”.  Will Cuomo keep his promise?  If he does, that means alternative transportation, safer streets for walking and bicycling, less polluting vehicles in the Rochester area.  Most of the trips we take with our vehicles are under six miles from our home.  We should be bicycling or walking those routes (if we can) and reducing greenhouse gases being released in our neighborhoods--making these modes of transportation safer.  Check out what is already being accomplished on bicycle boulevards in our neighborhoods.

Upper Monroe Bicycle Boulevards “On December 2, 2009, the Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association (UMNA) Executive Committee voted to support the Bicycle Boulevard concept in the City of Rochester. This decision may herald a healthier, friendlier, and safer neighborhood for us all, even if you don’t bike.  What are bicycle boulevards? “Bike Boulevards are: Low-traffic neighborhood streets that have been optimized for bicycling;” (bta4bikes.org).  The goal is to provide attractive, safe routes through the neighborhood for bicyclists.  See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyfiCUPV9PI  for a comprehensive discussion of the concept.”

The moral connection to your gadget:

 

Buying, using, recycling, and discarding electronics involves you. Just released yesterday, the new Story of Stuff people have released The Story of Electronics

In this short film you learn about the problem of electronics and how they contribute to our toxic waste problem.  We as a society need to see how products we buy are part of a continuum where our buying and using the product are only but  a few of the stages of the life of a piece of electronics.  If we don’t get the message that what we buy matters we won’t be able to affect how items like electronics affect our environment.  And remember in  New York State a new law on the subject of ‘take back’ goes into effect on April 1st,  2010

Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation “Beginning April 1, 2011, manufacturers of covered electronic equipment [those covered by the law] will be required to accept the following: computers, televisions (as well as cathode ray tubes), small scale servers, computer peripherals (monitors, electronic keyboards, electronic mice or similar pointing devices, facsimile machines, document scanners, printers), small electronic equipment (VCRs, digital video recorders, portable digital music players, DVD players, digital converter boxes, cable or satellite receivers, electronic or video game consoles)” more... 

We don’t know much about this new law, how it will work, or how it will be enforced, so stay tuned to RochesterEnvironment.com.  When we find out, you’ll find out.

The Story of Electronics The Story of Stuff Project worked closely with the Electronics TakeBack Coalition to develop and distribute The Story of Electronics. ETBC is a coalition effort launched in 2001 to promote green design and responsible recycling in the electronics industry. ETBC works to protect the health and well being of electronics users, workers, and the communities where electronics are produced and discarded by requiring consumer electronics manufacturers and brand owners to take full responsibility for the life cycle of their products, through effective public policy requirements or enforceable agreements. To learn more about ETBC and get involved click here.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Solving Climate Change city by city

 

At the national level and many other levels, it seems impossible, despite the immediacy and severity of Climate Change, to get anywhere solving the Climate Change problem. The public and business and our public officials seem to believe that there are too many more important problems to be solved before Climate Change can be properly addresses.

They are wrong. There won’t be other problems if we don’t solve Climate Change. A planet overheating is going to disrupt everything. Maybe, instead of wholesale governmental effort to solve Climate Change, there will be a city-by-city effort to make the kind of large-scale changes that are needed—like:

 C40 Cities - Climate Leadership Group “C40 is a group of large cities committed to tackling climate change. On this website you will find news and updates on current C40 initiatives, information about each of the cities involved, and links to useful documents.”

In Rochester, NY we are working on that with the:

City of Rochester | Green Team “Mayor Duffy set up the Green Team to ensure that the City maintains and enhances its long-standing commitment to preserving, protecting, and restoring our natural resources. Representatives from every department provide expertise to guide the development of City policies and practices that are consistent with our Environmental Mission. ”

Wouldn’t it be good to connect Rochester’s Climate Change effort with all the cities around the world and work on this planetary issue together? Check this out:

Cities as Hubs of Energy and Climate Action - NYTimes.com "A pair of energy and development specialists from the mayors’ offices in New York City and Los Angeles are going global.  Jay Carson, a former deputy Los Angeles mayor and aide to both Clintons, and  Rohit Aggarwala, the former chief sustainability advisor to New York City  Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, are going to work for  C40 Cities, a  coalition of cities in rich and developing countries working to initiate and share ways to cut emissions of greenhouse gases and boost resilience to impacts of climate change. " (November 7, 2010)  The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia

Friday, November 05, 2010

Energy Warning

 

This news item each year always amazes me: a four-minute siren test in case of a nuclear plant accident. It amazes me because one doesn’t hear a peep from the public on what this siren means. (It means that a very dangerous energy source that requires iodine pills for radiation leaks so your thyroid gland doesn’t get cooked, and the haunting spectacle of an accident and fallout that could last years, decades, or maybe more could occur.)

Siren Test in Ontario Next Tuesday "Ontario, N.Y. - If you hear a siren blaring next Tuesday - don't panic! It's just a test. The Ginna Nuclear Power Plant on Ridge Road near Lincoln Road will be testing a notification system for four minutes starting around 9 a.m. “(November 04, 2010) 13WHAM.com

There are so many other less dangerous ways to get energy than nuclear energy. There have been ‘issues’ with nuclear energy (check these latest Energy News) and none of them catastrophic, thank goodness. But, you have to ask yourself each time these sirens go off—is it the big one? Did the best and brightest make a mistake? This issue may be more significant, as there may be another nuclear power plant consider for our area.

Second reactor eyed at Ginna French company has acquired land near the Robert E. Ginna nuclear power plant in Wayne County and the Nine Mile Point plant in Oswego County for possible new reactors. Electricite de France SA said it has purchased Constellation Energy Group's (November 2, 2010) Democratandchronicle.com

Despite the fact that a major nuclear accident is possible at any nuclear power plant anywhere in the world and the particular way in which a nuclear accident would be catastrophic, you’d think we’d seriously consider other ways to get energy. Because even if there is only a slight, only a teeny-weeny chance, of a nuclear accident that spews nuclear radiation into our environment, the people around the facility won’t like it at all. Your property value won’t just go down, it will disappear.

You’d think we’d try everything else before settling on nuclear power. But we go on hoping everyone does everything right at our nuclear plants, no one cuts any corners and no one keeps anything from the public so they can get an accurate idea of the measure of danger a nuclear plant could achieve. But we don’t do that. We close our eyes and plug our ears and gamble on an energy source that could be very dangerous in a very long term way, rather than adopt renewable energy like wind and solar—sources of energy that seem to galvanize legions of groups who cannot stand the sound of wind turbines or the sight of a bunch of solar panels gaily collecting free, un-polluting sun rays for your favorite gadgets.

Granted, the sounds of a neighborhood after a nuclear power accident would be quieter than a wind turbine blade swooshing through the air, but not in a good way.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The end of plastic shopping bags and Freedom:

This article about the possible banning of plastic shopping bags makes one think a wholesale practice that is not good for the environment can eventually end.  Of course, we are not Canadians and we get very touchy about someone (the government) telling us what to do. 

What in these extraordinary times when our past environmental practices of pollution are catching up with us, are the alternatives?  How do we get the US population to understand the problem of plastic bags, or even care, and start using reusable bags? 

Many, many Americans won’t do it just because someone suggested living environmentally friendly annoys them.  It’s interesting.  Some day American are going to have to face a very vexing dilemma, that is, to examine what they consider their Freedoms and how to solve environmental issues.

I wonder how Canada will tackle this issue:

Solid Waste & Recycling Magazine - Bill seeks to ban plastic shopping bags in Canada As reported by Canadian Press, an Ontario MP has introduced a private member's bill that will seek to ban plastic shopping bags across the country. London-Fanshawe MP Irene Mathyssen said many Canadians have already switched to reusable bags or leftover shipping boxes that are made from recyclable cardboard. "I can remember a time when there weren't plastic bags and we managed very well," she says, then describing a recent trip to Europe where she saw people using portable shopping carts instead of plastic bags. (November 1, 2010) Headline News from Solid Waste Magazine

Monday, November 01, 2010

The body burden and your health:

 

Though the issue of chemicals, manmade chemicals, ending up in the human body, called the body burden, doesn’t get much press these days, it probably will in future days. 

Much is being heralded by groups and businesses to find the cure for cancers and other disease which profoundly affect our health.  But what I find curious is that the monies to find cures for many of our diseases are not focused on the most likely causes of the increases in cancer and disease—our environmental health. 

In this country, and not around Europe, the burden of proof that new products and chemicals produced by industry might be dangerous to the public must be proved by the public (and not the other way around). 

We as a society are strangely disinclined to investigate our environment to look for manmade toxins and discover if they are actually responsible for the increase in human diseases. 

Considering all the toxic stuff we have released into our land, air, and water for decades you’d think much of the monies spent on the cure for this disease or that would focus on environmental investigative reporting to rule this obvious cause out. 

But we usually don’t.  Even though, I think studies like the one below will become more common as the obvious link to many of our new rash in diseases increases and the power to thwart these studies diminishes.

Senate panel examining how chemicals in daily life affect kids' health - CNN.com (CNN) -- Pregnant again after two miscarriages, Molly Gray was desperate for answers that could help prevent losing a third baby. When she heard about a small study to test the blood of pregnant women for chemicals, she signed up. The result was shocking: Gray's blood tested high for mercury, a heavy metal that can cause brain damage to a developing fetus. A Senate subcommittee Tuesday will examine how chemicals that Americans are exposed to in daily life might be harming the health of children, including those developing in the womb. CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News  (October 25, 2010)