Part 5: Nuclear waste, neurological diseases, ground water poisoning, ocean dead zones, mustard gas dumping
The recent blockbuster movie, “Avatar”, by the enigmatic director James Cameron, touched a lot of environmental nerves across America and hopefully, the planet. Moviegoers enjoyed an amazing futuristic world with similar dramas playing out across America and around our globe in 2010.
His movie, set in 2154, depicted a planet named Pandora, where the 10 foot tall, blue-colored aborigines named Na’vi, lived in perfect harmony with the natural world. Unfortunately for them, their planet possessed a rare mineral, “unobtainium” that military pirates, from a dying planet called Earth, came to plunder.
Humans had so desecrated their planet Earth that it struggled to maintain its environment to sustain life. Ironically, the human army decided to trample the rights of the aborigines—by stealing the rare metal. As one of the actors, Sigourney Weaver insisted that everything on Pandora connected to a life ‘energy’ and to disrupt it would bring destruction to all life.
Let’s return to 1945 Earth where we see our own species wreaking havoc with this planet for the past 50 years, starting with chemicals and radioactive waste, nerve gas, mustard gas, nuclear reactors and bombs.
From Deep Sea News, “"The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste - either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels. Hundreds of dolphins washed ashore in Virginia and New Jersey shorelines in 1987 with burns similar to mustard gas exposure. One marine-mammal specialist suspects Army-dumped chemical weapons killed them.” (Source: http://scienceblogs.com/deepseanews/2007/06/munitions_dumping_at_sea.php)
“We’re drowning in a sea of garbage with a three million ton waste dump twice the size of Texas floating 1,000 miles off the West Coast called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch." Professor Paul G. Miller, Colorado State University
On April 15, 1968, the SS Ralston, “Was packed with 301,000 155 pound bombs filled with mustard gas along with 1,500 containers of 1 ton containers of Lewisite and scuttled in 13,542 feet of water. A minimum of 48,000 containers of radioactive waste were dumped in the area from the 1940s to 1974.”
A National Public Radio report in 2009 showed that all containers had corroded to release their contents into the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. Army used similar dump sites off Florida, Massachusetts, Virginia, Mississippi, Hawaii, South Carolina and Alaska—revealed millions of pounds of nerve gas, mustard gas, munitions, Lewisite, phosgene and other deadly chemicals jettisoned into the Atlantic and Pacific. Other countries jettisoned their chemicals into the Indian, Arctic and Southern Oceans. (Source: “ A generation of indiscriminate dumping” 1944 to 1970, http://www.dailypress.com/media/acrobat/2005-10/20226301.pdf)
From, Our Dying Oceans, “What New York City and surrounding municipalities are doing is similar to the stories of injury to ocean ecology worldwide. Since 1987, barges carrying all of the sewage sludge from New York City, two adjoining New York counties and six New Jersey counties have dumped about 24,250 tons of wastes every day —that’s eight million tons a year— into the last place in the U.S. where ocean dumping is still allowed, a 100-square-mile area of ocean located 106 miles offshore of Cape May, New Jersey, called the 106 Deepwater Municipal Sludge Site. The wastes include substantial amounts of industrial and household toxic chemicals. A 1983 report by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates the "area of influence" of toxic wastes deposited at this dumpsite at 46,000 square miles. The area is a spawning ground for about 200 species of fish, and is frequented by dolphins, whales and turtles, some species of which are already considered to be endangered.”
Debbie Wynn, a Rhode Island fisherman’s wife, told In These Times newspaper: "My husband has been lobstering 17 years and we’ve never seen anything like this. There’s a yellow scum floating on the surface 150 to 175 miles away from the dumpsite itself, and all the shellfish have burn spots from exposure to heavy metals. I’m so scared. The meat isn’t contaminated, but these creatures can’t survive without their shells. And the pollution affects crabs and lobsters first, then clams and scallops, then goes into the fish.”
“Tilefish caught off New Jersey in 1988 were suffering epidemics of fin rot and lesions. In the summer of 1987, an unexplained virus killed over 1,000 plus of the 6,000 to 8,000 dolphins believed to inhabit the waters north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. In November and December of that year, about two dozen whales were found beached, mostly near Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Eighty-five percent of ocean pollution originates on land. The run-off of heavy metals from the continents into the oceans now averages two and one half times the natural background level for mercury, 4x for manganese, 12x for zinc, 12x for copper, 12x for lead, 30x for antinomy, and 80 times the background level for phosphorus. Toxic wastes have been found in the deepest part of the ocean and in most ocean habitats.”
The late Jacques Cousteau pointed out that there is already DDT in the livers of the penguins of Antarctica and that while rivers and semi-enclosed seas are in worse shape than the oceans today, that would not long remain the case.
Even more disconcerting, I investigated ONLY the USA dumping figures. If we look across the planet, we will find other horrific problems such as “dead zones” from poisoned rivers.
For example, the Mississippi River, 2,552 miles long, drains most of the middle of the United States. Today, it carries endless thousands of chemicals from sewage, fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, used oil, acid rain, plastics and worse. At its mouth, you will find a 10,000 square mile dead zone. That means higher forms of sea life vacated while only simple life forms continue—albeit contaminated beyond repair.
In the North Sea off Europe, one of the largest dead zones spans 27,000 square miles, or, the size of North Carolina. Very few creatures can exist in those toxic waters. A quick jaunt to the Ganges of India and the Yangtze of China would uncover 24/7 sewage conveyor belts emptying into the ocean. I traveled up the Yangtze to see it myself. Time Magazine wrote a piece showing 95 percent of China’s rivers suffer such horrific contamination that the waters cannot be utilized for human contact, agricultural or industrial use.
OUR OCEANS AS THE ULTIMATE HUMAN TOILET
When you add the 82,000 known chemicals created by humanity in the past 100 years, and all of them end up in our oceans, is it any wonder that the USDA tells pregnant women to limit their fish intake to less than one serving a month? How about none at all?!
Nonetheless, garden stores sell “Roundup” to kill your driveway weeds instead of pulling them out. We spray “Raid” on termites and mosquitoes to kill them, but eventually, we kill our loved ones with cancer. Over 200 million Americans breathe toxic air with every breath in our cities. We eat toxic foods sprayed with chemicals from airplanes. What the heck are we doing to ourselves just for the sake of adding millions upon millions more humans to the USA and the planet?
The imminent author, Sandra Steingrabber, wrote, Living Downstream that followed the cancer trail back to industrial pollution not only in Illinois, but all over the country. Dow Chemical won’t admit it, but it dumped toxins into the Great Lakes for decades to poison the fish and create birth defects in migrating birds. Kimberly Clark, the paper people, dumped dioxins into the waters of Lake Michigan for decades.
Can you imagine what another 100 million people added to the USA and another three billion added to the planet will add to our chemicalized world?
As CBS anchor Katie Couric said recently, “Autism, only 20 years ago, affected one child in 2,000. Today, it affects one child in 160 children.”
And, cancer rages as the number one killer around the world. Can it be that our dumping all those chemicals into the “ultimate human toilet”, our oceans, has anything to do accelerating diseases and neurological chaos within our ecological systems?
Maybe we might all like to move to planet Pandora to get back to some kind of ecological sanity! Yes, clean water, clean air, clean soil, clean food, clean oceans, and clean living!
If any of us, no matter what our race, creed or color might be, refuse to engage our U.S. Congress as we have not for 30 years as to the population/immigration equation—our children will find themselves living in a terribly degraded America where the American Dream will be described by the history books as a ‘fleeting fantasy’ from the era of 1950 to 2010. These are several of the top organizations where you can take collective action to change the course of American history as well as in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Take collective action at www.numbersusa.com ; www.fairus.org ; www.capsweb.org ; www.thesocialcontract.com ; www.populationmedia.org ; www.worldpopulationbalance.org ; www.populationconnection.org ; www.quinacrine.com ; www.familyplanning.org/ , www.skil.org ; www.growthbusters.com ; www.populationpress.org ; www.thinkpopulation.org ; in Canada www.immigrationwatchcanada.org ; in Australia www.population.org.au and PublicPopForum@yahoogroups.com; in Great Britain www.optimumpopulation.org ; and dozens of other sites accessed at www.frostywooldridge.com.
Must see DVD: “Blind Spot” http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/blind_spot/ , This movie illustrates America’s future without oil, water and other resources to keep this civilization functioning. It’s a brilliant educational movie! www.blindspotdoc.com
Must see: Rapid Population Decline, seven minute video by Dr. Jack Alpert-
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents – from the Arctic to the South Pole – as well as six times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents “The Coming Population Crisis in America: and what you can do about it” to civic clubs, church groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com He is the author of: America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies available: 1 888 280 7715