Direct outrage to cleaning up water, air

commentMay 19, 2012 

While I was perusing and marking up stories for my daily radio show, my daughter asked, "Why all the heavy sighs?"

For a year I've been covering "War on Women" stories. Between Kansas letting pharmacists decide if they want to fill prescriptions, a Mississippi lawmaker saying coat-hanger abortions were part of a value system and Arizona blocking funding for contraceptives for poor women, I wondered what the end goal was.

The Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized this week. House Republicans stripped it of protections for immigrant women before it passed with fewer votes than it had co-sponsors back in 1994 when it first became law.

I realize women are born with eggs and we can make milk, but that doesn't make us "Dairy."

This week a former fighter pilot and prosecutor was voted down from a judgeship in Virginia because he's gay. I guess he was good enough to shoot straight and defend our freedom but not straight enough to enjoy that freedom.

I was going on about the articles and looked at my daughter to see if she was still listening. The look on her face was more than average teenage disgust.

"I hope when you're my age these wars are won and you'll be on to things that matter," I told her.

She laughed. "When I'm your age, we'll be figuring out how not to boil and (how to) grow our own food for survival."

She walked outside.

I was so embarrassed.

Will the next generation look at us the same way we look back at the McCarthy hearings and the battle for civil rights?

While we waste valuable time debating the merits of consenting adults making lifelong commitments to one another, a plastic continent is forming in the Pacific Ocean. It's our garbage, bigger than Texas. All our oceans are changing, and not in a good way. The Gulf of Mexico is still reeling from the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon gusher that dumped more than 200 million gallons of oil into the water.

Meanwhile, the right to plan for families is being stripped from women across the country. Apparently women aren't smart enough to understand the weight of pregnancy, but somehow they're smart enough to successfully raise the children they didn't intend to have.

The Fukushima-Daiichi Unit 4 reactor has severe structural damage. It contains as much radioactive cesium as was in all the atomic bombs dropped in all the tests in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and into the 1970s. If another earthquake hits Japan, it would be a disaster never before seen on planet Earth.

The uproar over Time magazine's cover displaying a mother breastfeeding her 3-year-old son took a week to die down. In the meantime, trace amounts of pesticides, dioxin and a jet fuel component are showing up in samples of mothers' milk. High levels of flame retardants have also been found.

Where's the outrage? Devoted to preventing people we'll never know from marrying one another.

People around the circumpolar north have the highest amounts of industrial chemicals and pesticides in their bodies. The levels in breast milk and tissue from some Greenlanders is high enough to be classified as hazardous waste. Inuit people have levels of PCBs and mercury higher than international health guidelines.

But we're busy fighting over vaginal probes and whether a Plan B pill is the same as throwing a baby off a bridge. (It's NOT.)

If life is precious, and I believe it is, then why aren't we protecting life -- in the womb and out -- from chemicals that impede brain development and damage immune systems? Our risk in the U.S. is greater than most of the rest of the globe.

Scientists believe neurological damage caused by exposure to chemicals is similar to fetal alcohol syndrome. Chemicals used in plastic mimic estrogen. Studies are under way to learn if that is why girls are "blooming" earlier than ever before and breast cancer is so prevalent.

I realize "environmentalist" is a dirty word here in Alaska. To the propagandists over at KGOP, it's simply another way of saying "anti-development." (Sidenote: I think we now have enough evidence to conclude that hearing the word impedes the development of Don Young's brain.)

But if you aren't concerned about the environment, you either know of another habitable planet and have your very own rocket, or you're an idiot.

Wake up. We're wasting time on foolishness while creating a mess that future generations may or may not be able to clean up.

Demanding clean water, air and food supplies -- now that's pro-life.


Shannyn Moore can be heard weekdays from 6 to 9 p.m. on KOAN 1020 AM and 95.5 FM radio. Her weekly TV show can be seen Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. statewide on ABC affiliates KYUR Anchorage, KATN Fairbanks and KJUD Juneau.

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