Saturday, April 22, 2017

Science, Earth Day, and gardening

Connemara, Ireland
I'm a scientist by background and have been a science educator (from college, to youngsters, back to adults) throughout my career, and now in my post-work life, I've continued that.

Although it was buoying, I found it quite depressing that I needed to "March for Science" on Earth Day in 2017.

I'm old enough to remember the first Earth Day in 1970 (I was fifteen).

The environment (at least in the US) really needed help then, not from climate change but from pollution of air and water, which was significant.  I did a 5th grade piece in class about how a young boy had died from typhoid, because he ate some watermelon that had been in the Hudson River.  And I remember the choking air as a 7th grader, visiting NYC in the summer, when my dad was on sabbatical in upstate NY. And the uranium mine that I visited in a class as a sophomore in college was alarming (this was in a class taught by one of LBJ's former
environmental folks, and then a retired president of UT Austin):  it was a good class, and he advised me to follow my interests in graduate school, which I did.

So, as I listened to the young organic farmer rail against the evils of glyphosate and Monsanto, I couldn't help think about the MUCH worse pesticides that we used to use. And the much worst pollution that we used to have.  DDT? 2-4D? And there are plenty of their offspring that are worse than glyphosate, in my opinion as a scientist, who's tried to do due diligence as a gardener and natural history/garden educator.

Science, not silence, one of the signs said.

We spoke out as scientists (and conservationists, and environmentalists, etc.) starting a long time ago.  Perhaps this is a continuation of that.

A high school senior was the organizer for the March for Science in Asheville. How cool is that?

1 comment:

  1. It's very cool that a high school senior organized the march! Our generation can help continue this fight, but, it's falling on their shoulders to go forward with it. It was good to see so many younger folks marching!


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