Enviroweb is the blog by a aquatic and environmental scientist Eugene Macri on all aspects of the environment,science, ecology, health, educational science and the politics involved. ©2006 All Rights Reserved E. Macri. Permission to reprint or use electronically as long as credit is given and we are notified.


Friday, December 08, 2006

National Science Teachers Association Caught with Their Hand in The Corporate Cookie Jar!

The National Science Teachers Association has been caught red handed with their hands in the “corporate cookie jar.” A breaking story about their refusal to accept 50,000 free DVDs on Global Warming from Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth while having their hands in the oil company bank vaults including Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, and the Petroleum Institute will probably destroy their credibility for all time. (Op-ed: Laurie David Washington Post: htp://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article
/2006/11/24/AR2006112400789.html). According to
Ms. David NSTA has taken at least 6 million dollars from Exxon since 1996.

The same NSTA distributed over 20,000 videos in 2003 (10 part series) funded by those great environmentalist: ConocoPhillips! Now it gets worst as NSTA website is trying to purge articles and deny relationships with certain industry according to Laurie David (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laurie-david
/crooked-curriculum-oil-c_b_35829.html). Evidently, the intellectuals at NSTA don’t understand how the web works and that people can still get what they had on their website even if they take it down! I guess that should tell you something about the intelligence of the people running the NSTA. Why would a true Science Association take money from a company like Exxon that spends millions of dollars on disinformation that Global Warming and other pollution problems are a myth? I’ll let you decide that one for yourself because I’m laughing too hard!

But there is a much bigger story here and that is this: The Complete Takeover of Society by Corporate Interests. As a scientist and the executive director of a new nonprofit on environmental stewardship (The Last River and Gamekeeper www.riverandgamekeeper.org) I have watched this process in every form. I have seen good science and good environmental organizations compromised. In my own experience my pro bono work in the state of Pennsylvania (worth hundreds of thousands of dollars) caused me to lose more than that amount in my personal consulting practice (www.eugenemacri.com) because firms and groups were told not to hire me by certain state agencies because my pro bono work closed their polluting fish hatchery and focused attention on their incompetence. It didn’t matter that the work helped save and restore one of the greatest brook trout spring creeks in the world (www.bigspring-pa.org). For example, watershed groups in most states are totally ineffective because of the bureaucracy that is created by the state to get grants and is further inhibited in fund raising unless they say nothing about industry.

Even organizations like Trout Unlimited have had their principles compromised in the past because of industry influences and connections. Industry knows that all of these groups need money but that check seldom comes without strings attached. However, in the case of NSTA this is paramount to a complete and total sell-out of science in America. Over the years some scientists have told me that they couldn’t comment or write about certain matters because they were afraid of losing their grants from industry for the university they worked for. Their job performance, continued employment, and advancement were based on their grant getting abilities from industry. Very few scientists in the US will speak out on many subjects if it threatens their job. If you don’t believe me just look around! How many scientists from America do you see on television or in the media compared to other countries like Great Britain? Not many! Universities in America are nothing than corporations run by industry. Breaking News: I have just learned that the UK newspaper The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story
/0,,1967385,00.html) is reporting that the famed cancer scientist, the late Sir Richard Doll was on the payroll of the Monsanto Corporation. In certain time frames he received as much as $1500.00 per day as a consultant for them. This is a major black eye to science and to the memory of this great scientist because Doll stated that Agent Orange made by Monsanto did not cause cancer. There is nothing wrong with being a consultant to industry as long as the scientist makes it public. But in this case there appears to be a real conflict of interest which compromised Doll and may be dangerous in understanding the effects of Agent Orange on those exposed to it. This story obviously makes my point that Corporate Powers can perhaps corrupt the best people including world renowned scientists.

I believe the NSTA fiasco is the tip of the iceberg and represents a serious and fundamental flaw in our democracy and that is that anything can be bought and paid for. But when it’s science—we are in real trouble because that may be our only chance to search for truth, and when it’s compromised we have nothing left as a society!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

EPA Wants To Remove Lead From Toxins List

In its continuing process to become nothing more than a spokesman for industry the EPA is considering removing lead from a list of toxins. Because lead concentrations have declined in the last decade was the excuse given by the EPA. This change is needed because someone in the battery industry appears to once again have compromised the scientific integrity of the EPA.

Lead comes from a variety of sources including lead based paint, contaminated soil, water, and dust. Lead can and will affect most body systems. It is especially dangerous to children and including developing fetuses. Lead causes problems with mental and physical development including IQ and the ability to learn. Other complications depending upon the concentration and exposure include damage to the nervous system, kidneys and blood cells.

Lead may have been a major problem and responsible in some way for the fall of the great Roman Empire because it was used so extensively in drinking vessels and pipes. Dr. Needham of the University of Pittsburgh believes that lead in developing children affects neural mechanisms responsible for the regulation of impulses and is the cause of antisocial and criminal behavior (makes you wonder about the use of lead in Rome doesn’t it). In the 70’s Dr. Needham was one of the first to understand the relationship and causes of low levels of lead in cognitive problems with children. Unfortunately many of these adverse health affects are forever.

So now in their infinite wisdom the EPA wants to remove lead from the toxins list. It’s hard to believe we live in the so called richest nation of the world because one would think we would have an educated populace. Perhaps too many of them have also been lead poisoned including this administration and the EPA. Find out who your Congressman and Senators are and write a damn letter demanding that such insanity by the whores at the EPA be short circuited. If you don’t care about yourself that’s fine but do it for the kids. It’s hard enough to bring up a child in America today without the threat of damaging children and fetuses due to lead poisoning. Kids deserve better but this administration thinks otherwise. You know it makes you wonder about the morality of the so called religious freaks who scream about abortion but don’t give a damn about the health of a developing fetus or a child!