Sixty-some years ago, a renowned American marine biologist named Rachel Carson sat down at her desk and scrolled up a sheet in her typewriter. Reading a few lines written earlier refreshed her stream of thought and she continued clicking away. The nausea and weakness caused by cancer treatment she was undergoing, was offset somewhat by a view of blossoming trees and flowers just outside the window she faced. The book published from this work would become the subject of a broadcast documentary program on prime-time CBS television news in April 1963.
During an unscripted live show titled “The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson” she faced a panel of government officials and a PhD of the chemical industry. Moderated by a highly respected journalist, Dr. Carson gave testimony on immanent threats to environmental well-being due to widespread chemical pesticide use. Her demeanour was calm and assured, much in contrast to attitudes of her male counterparts. By today’s standards, the air of misogyny projected would send a shock wave across every social media platform. The dire warning of her message ignited what is known as “the whistle blower effect.” From the Board rooms of petrochemical companies, directives came down to mount legal challenges, damage control ad campaigns and covert personal attacks on the gentle soul who ultimately sacrificed every atom of her strength to protect life. Six decades since then, Rachel’s facts would mirror countless tragedies and suffering still being perpetrated on living tissue. Today we are ever closer to awakening to a Silent Spring, void of bird songs and buzzing insects. “Within the sound of that silence may resonate the last exhale of the last human breath.” The chemical DDT was banned as a result of her work.
What is CCD, and why should I care? Let’s answer the second question first: CCD is a precursor to the demise of bee colony existence. If pollinating insects were to become extinct, the entire human population of Earth would follow within a few years. CCD is “Colony Collapse Disorder.” In 1995, the beekeeper industry in California managing an estimated 2.4 million hives sounded an alarm over an already well documented issue; the impending loss of 50% in the honey bee population. Other areas of the Northern U.S., including New England, actually suffered up to a 100% loss.
The causes of this phenomena then were not yet attributed to climate disruption. At first, certain pathogens such as microscopic mites were a suspected source. Following massive urgent efforts, colony populations rebounded to approximately half of what it was beforehand until 2007, when another catastrophic devastation occurred. At that time the effects of striking shifts in global weather patterns and chemical pesticides strongly factored in. It is now known that glyphosate is the culprit. The Bayer-Monsanto producer has recently paid an $11B settlement for a carcinogenic poisoning of the public, but inexplicably the product is still being sold. Today it’s more than a single soft-spoken woman sounding the alarm. The global scientific community is warning: “Glyphosate and other similar products damage ecosystems by disrupting the natural food chains, plant pollination, and have also been linked to non-Hodgkins lymphoma”
Commonly sold in Roundup it is also based in commercial lawn maintenance treatments. The United States has used more than 1.8 million tons of glyphosate since 1974. The weedkiller doesn’t just kill weeds – birds, bees, and people are gravely threatened. Roundup is found in about 90% of food products tested by the U.S. government including honey. Every state has a change.org petition requesting the respective state governors to ban glyphosate.
At least 150 cities in the nation have adopted “organics first” pesticide policies simply by concerned residents “calling” their town leaders and requesting they add writing a glyphosate ban ordinance into their agenda. Nine Connecticut municipalities have banned the use of glyphosate – Suffield is not among them.
“Star Date 2021, Log Entry: A litany of man-made global crisis issues precipitated by ‘profit before people’ policies prevail. Billions of socially inhibited, face mask wearing residents, and the crew of this spaceship known as ‘Planet Earth,’ anxiously clamor to first resolve our life support system failures. Success for keeping the mission on course and secured intact to continue is challenged. Numerous memos are being circulated to arouse concern and awareness. It has reached the level of touching each individual on board with a jab of responsibility. A young child – a girl nick-named ‘Zippy’ has proposed printing and distributing T-shirts for everyone that read ‘Life Support is good – Support life.’”