From Why Organic Lawn Care Copyright © 2023 Grass Master
Do you mean to say that you are actually planning on using chemicals on your property this year?
April is a time of year when homeowners tend to line up their lawn care for the summer, and plan their fertilization/herbicide/pesticide spray schedules.
You can read all about reasons that spraying is not a good idea at A Frog House website here, which includes a thoughtful and thorough article by a neighbor in Next Door several years ago.
But first: Also in this issue:
- Chemicals and Frog Populations.
- Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC’s) and Human Gender Identity
- Birthdays One Day Apart: Important Environmentalists; Al Gore and Wangari Maathai
- Taking Action: Prosocial: Using Evolutionary Science To Build Productive, Equitable and Collaborative Groups.
State laws may ban certain chemicals, such as glyphosate, from public parks, but they cannot, mostly because of financial lobbies, ban private use. It is hard for non-sprayers to feel happy if we sense that we are being poisoned by our neighbors. And poisoned indeed we are, as many chemicals used in herbicides and pesticides were left over from and further developed after World War II.
… chief of President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency late in 2017 decided to let U.S. farms continue using another nerve gas (in addition to Zyklon B) invented by the Nazis on crops as diverse as nuts, apples, broccoli, melons, citrus, corn and soybeans. … the organophosphate chemical chlorpyrifos [was] used to gas Jews, gypsies and others they crammed into the airtight rear areas of mobile vans, a total of more than half a million persons.
[Nazi’s Zyklon B, which was already in fertilizer] was used to murder roughly 1.1 million people in gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Majdanek, and elsewhere.
For the sake of the greater good, sprayers and non-sprayers actually have to get along. In 2021, Mark Wolfe published an article in Bob Vila called Pesticides and Property Lines: How to Talk to Neighbors About What They’re Spraying. Perhaps a picture is really worth 1,000 words.
Maybe there aren’t even words to express how horrible it is that dogs are dying prematurely from chemical spray induced lymphomas
Chemicals and Frog Populations.
April was the month, in 2002, that Tyrone Hayes et al published his “outrageous” article on “Hermaphroditic, de-masculinized frogs after exposure to the herbicide atrazine at low ecologically relevant doses”.
Millions of dollars were spent by Monsanto trying to ostracize Dr. Hayes and debunk his research, but fortunately, he was able to secure a position as a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he continues to teach and write.
Dr. Hayes did not stop with frogs. In May 2007, Dr. Hayes was a co-author of an article “Atrazine-induced aromatase expression is SF-1 dependent: implications for endocrine disruption in wildlife and reproductive cancers in humans.”
From The Frog of War, by Dashka Slater, January/February 2012 issue of Mother Jones:
[Dr. Hayes’ feisty pugalistic style with Monsanto, now Syngenta] has also brought his work to new audiences … “[Minority farm workers] have levels of atrazine in their urine that are 24,000 times what we use in our laboratory,” Hayes adds.
In 2009, a New York Times investigation found that 33 million Americans are exposed to atrazine through drinking water…
…epidemiological studies have found links between prenatal atrazine exposure and birth defects, premature birth, and low birth weight—even at extremely low concentrations…
… The Huffington Post Investigative Fund reported that fewer than 20 percent of the papers the EPA relied upon in its past decision-making were peer-reviewed, while at least half were conducted by scientists with a financial stake in the product.
Since then, there has been a tremendous amount of knowledge accumulated about the harms of endocrine disrupting chemicals and their adverse effects on all life, but hard to apply in getting rid of them because of monetary interests.
Atrazine, banned by the European Union in 2003, is still being used in the United States as of 2022. The American legal system has proven tremendously difficult to negotiate, as this article indicates, with complicated ands, ifs and buts and fancy dance moves by the EPA.
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC’s) and Human Gender Identity
As we have seen, atrazine is clearly an EDC in frogs. Now we know that there are many EDC’s, and Pesticides is just one category, and atrazine just one pesticide or herbicide among many.
Aside from the multiple groups of LBGQT hate groups, do those who set themselves up as judges of “differences” in human expression ever wonder why these variations in sexuality have arisen and become more predominate over the years? Is it at all possible that the same chemicals that affect frogs affect humans?
With the provocative title “Are EDC’s blurring Issues of Gender?”, the authors give pretty clear evidence that “the nexus of the debate is the concern that prenatal and childhood exposure to EDCs may be responsible for a variety of abnormalities in human sexuality, gender development and behaviors, reproductive capabilities, and sex ratios.”
A question of Y. A Swedish study of fishermen exposed to CB-153 and p,p′-DDE associated elevated levels of these chemicals with a higher proportion of Y-chromosome sperm, suggesting that exposure to EDCs could skew the ratio of boys to girls (image in the article cited above.
Genetic studies have indicated that there is no single gene for sexual preferences, but as always in life, from the smallest cell to the largest universe, life is perplexing.
On August 29, 2019, three publications, The Washington Post, The New York Times and Harvard Magazine announced the same findings based on a study reported in Science the next day, which concluded
“Comparing these [genome-wide association study] GWAS results with those for the proportion of same-sex to total number of sexual partners among non-heterosexuals suggests that there is no single continuum from opposite-sex to same-sex sexual behavior. Overall, our findings provide insights into the genetics underlying same-sex sexual behavior and underscore the complexity of sexuality.”
Just because we don’t understand some phenomena or personal choices doesn’t give us license to reject recipients of difficult bio-psycho-social-spiritual situations. If we don’t work on understanding others, we won’t get very far in a decent pro-social society.
Further Reading GENDER BENDING CHEMICALS
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, Volume 215, 1 June 2021, Combined toxicity of endocrine-disrupting chemicals a review
New Scientist, 27 May 2005, ‘Gender-bending’ chemicals found to ‘feminise’ boys
Environmental Health, 16 August 2016, Gestational exposure to phthalates and gender-related play behaviors in 8-year-old children: an observational study
New York Post, 5 February 2018 Teen hormones being altered by gender bending chemicals
Birthdays One Day Apart: Important Environmentalists
In 2022 it couldn’t have been more clear that all gas and oil fields and associated facilities are the 14 top known sources of greenhouse gases, according to a detailed inventory launched by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.
In spite, or possibly because of this, top fuel producing countries, such as Russia, continue to jerk us around with even more devastation than could be imagined, as well as blaming everyone else for their problems.
Gore has founded more alliances and educational institutions and advocacy groups, and advocated for protest, groups, because he says our three major crises of our time: economic, environmental, and national security, are totally due to over-reliance on carbon-based fuels.
In this speech, Al Gore says that our dangerous over-reliance on carbon-based fuels is at the core of all three of the economic, environmental and national security crises. He sees the weakness of democracy when we require bold solutions, and he looks to education for the next generation to improve the situation.
For this purpose, in 2017 Gore followed up with An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, and has approached the proper age groups, including encouraging millennial who are investing to “take a long-term approach and invest in sustainable food, health, energy and mobility technology [which] can enhance returns while helping to restore the natural balance of the planet … [and avoid] those that solely pursue short-term shareholder returns at the expense of wider environmental and social cost …
… ‘The sustainability revolution has the magnitude of the agricultural and industrial revolutions but the speed of the digital revolution,’ Gore said. ‘This is the battle of your lifetimes — but we can turn the corner in the next 10 to 15 years and the assets you control can make a huge difference.’ Deutsche Bank, November 19, 2017”
His issues have been taken up by Teen Vogue, including at least two articles, Climate Change Doesn’t Care Who You Voted For, March 31, 2017, by Lauren Duca, and How to Fight Climate Change, as Explained by Al Gore, July 31, 2017 by Sumita Baral.
Environmentalist Wangari Maathai’s Birthday, 1 April 1940
Wangari Maathai is a person all of us need to know about. She earned a PhD in Veterinary Anatomy in 1971 in Nairobi, Africa, after studying in the United States (Master of Science at the University of Pittsburg). This began her career of important public service.
Her longest project was as Founder and Coordinator (1977–2002) and Chair of the Board (2002-2011) of the Green Belt Movement. Starting with a small nursery in her backyard, this was a grassroots tree-planting organization composed primarily of women. This NGO focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights.
As rosy and shiny as all of this seems, no activist has an easy life. Not only did Wangari Maathai have personal problems, with a nasty divorce that left her unable to support her children and keep them with her, but her political life was rife as well.
For example, when she decided to campaign for a parliamentary seat, she had to resign her position at the University of Nairobi. Ironically she had not re-registered to vote in the previous election, so she was declared ineligible to run, and then was denied getting her job back. No longer a staff member of the university she was evicted from the housing! [Additional information from Wikipedia.]
During the last two years of her life, when she died of complications from ovarian cancer, she was a UN Messenger of Peace (2009–2011).
While both Mr. Gore and Dr. Wangari Maathi have had plenty of detractors and difficulties, it cannot been denied that the world is better off because of them. But what world? The world for homo economicus or for homo sapiens?
Prosocial: Using Evolutionary Science To Build Productive, Equitable and Collaborative Groups.
One of the reasons that I love Earth Regenerators/The Design School for Earth Regeneration is that they embrace the concept of prosocial engagement (homo harmonium), related to engaging in win win interactions, benefitting the community as a whole, rather than the most successful self interested individuals (homo economicus), the latter assuming that humans are inherently rational, greedy, and self-interested.
While prosocial is relative, in the eyes of the beholder, in the best case scenario, there is greater human thriving at all levels of society. Conversely, if we believe that we are inherently rational, greedy and self-interested, we act that way, as we have, and our world will literally implode, as it is on the brink of doing.
Each one of us can be an important steward of the earth, and we only need to find our niche and the reach out across the world to share and conspire for good.
Teaser: About 8 people sent me this article on 3/27. If you didn’t see it, enjoy and take note! From The New York Times: (click to see live photo). March 27, 2023 by Margaret Renkel. She writes:
“I have grown deeply attached to a particular spring-singing pond on a bluff outside Sewanee, a disappearing pond so full of nighttime song that I always long to replicate it once I’m back home in Nashville. Such a thing is not possible, of course. I don’t live in a forest. Too many of my neighbors drench their yards in the lawn-care poisons that make rainwater runoff lethal for amphibians. I have not seen a toad in this yard for decades, and every year the tree frogs singing in the trees grow fewer and fewer …When we work to preserve frogs and salamanders — when we work to preserve any species — we are working to preserve life on earth as we know it.”