reply to post by loam
We do not commit the resources necessary to be aware of our environment.
I am 49 years old. Many things we know are very bad for us now we were scarcely aware of thirty years ago. Polychlorinatedbiphenals, heavy metals
like lead, arsenic, mercury, organic neurotoxins that are used as pesticides and other purposes (an artificial strawberry flavoring), asbestos, all of
these things have issues that we have become aware of only recently.
When I was in elementary school, you used to be able to get a book called, "The Boys First Book of Electricity", aside from the obvious sexist
issues (girls weren't supposed to learn about electricity back then), the book contained, among other things, details about how to build a little two
burner stove from asbestos and nichrome wire, with templates for cutting the asbestos. Fortunately, I never constructed said project.
When I was a kid we used to play with beads of mercury from broken thermometers, etc. Guess that explains a lot about my mental state today.
The point I'm making is that there were so many hazards we weren't aware of then that we only became aware of after long term exposure started to
cause problems. There are many things today we still aren't aware of and that we will only realize are hazardous twenty or thirty years down the road
after long term problems become apparent.
One thing that I find greatly troubling is food irradiation, particularly the use of neutron irradiation to sterilize food. Infectious agents in our
food are bad, neutron activation products are worse. If you take a stable isotope and bombard it with neutrons, occasionally it will absorb one and
become an unstable isotope. This is the reason nuclear reactors become radioactive themselves.
It doesn't seem like a good idea to me to be doing this to food and then eating it, yet our government allows this, encourages this, and doesn't
even permit food treated in this manner to be labeled so those of us who do not wish to consume radioactive food can avoid it.
Many of the treatments we give to food in the name of safety also destroy much of the nutritive value. Many of our farming practices remove all of
the soil minerals and leave us with crops that lack nutrients that we need.
We really need to start making changes to the way we live and produce the food and products that we need. This doesn't mean we have to live in a
minimalist way, it just means we have to be a lot smarter about how we use our resources and how we produce our foods.
Many of these mammal die offs, do you know that BSE and CVJ disease are the same thing? Just in cows and humans respectively, and that at the heart
of this is a mis-folding of a brain protein that in turn has the ability to act as a catalyst and cause more mis-folding of this brain protein and it
ultimately results in the destruction of the brain.
This happens in cows, people, deer, and can happen in just about any mammal, originally we were familiar with it as "scrapie", a disease affecting
sheep. I can't help but wonder just how widespread this disease is and if some of these mysterious mammal die offs aren't caused by it? Especially
the Moose die-off, it has exactly the right symptoms for this disease.
The strange thing is nobody even knows what the function of the correctly folded version of this protein is. Cows bread with the DNA that produce it
deleted from their genome seem to function fine.
We really need to funnel more resources into environmental research and less into wars so that we can understand what's killing off these other
mammals before we become the next extinct species.