Concern for the environment should not be a liberal vs. conservative, left vs. right issue because we all breathe the same air and drink the same water.
Christians, in particular, are called to be good stewards of the Earth. Alas, as we are told in Genesis 3, one of the devastating effects from our first parents’ Fall is not just that henceforth, man must work by the sweat of his brow and woman bear the pain of childbirth, humanity’s relation with other creatures and our physical environment turns askew as, in the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, “visible creation has become alien and hostile to man.”
Conservatives do not buy the Left’s propaganda about man-made global warming because of:
- Compelling contrary evidence: Earth has been cooling, not warming: carbon dioxide actually is good for Earth; the sun, not humans, is the main cause of warming.
- Proven lies of warmists: here and here.
- Hypocrisy of warmists: Al Gore and the EPA.
- Pofiteering by warming purveyors like Al Gore.
- Warmists’ anti-capitalist communist agenda.
Instead of haranguing us with the man-made fiction of man-made global warming, more attention should be paid to the drugs and chemicals we’re extruding into our waters, especially synthetic hormones from paints, pesticides, cleaning products, and birth-control pills.
There’s increasing evidence that those chemicals are warping life. Twelve years ago, a British research team already had found that synthetic estrogens affect the final stage of development of human sperm, known as capacitation, when the sperm acquires the ability to fertilize an egg.
“Intersex” Franken-fish have been found in the rivers of Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Brielle Urciuoli reports for The Times of Trenton, July 20, 2014, that a study done by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found deformed male fish carrying female eggs in the rivers of Delaware and Pennsylvania.
From 2007 through 2010, USGS scientists collected samples of intersex fish from the Delaware, Susquehanna and Ohio rivers and their tributaries. This research, which was published last month by USGS fish biologist Vicki Blazer, is getting increasing attention among scientists, environmentalists and politicians.
Blazer discovered male smallmouth bass and white sucker fish taking on the female’s role of carrying immature eggs, the result of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the water. The fish’s endocrine system, which regulates hormones and reproductive systems, is being thrown off by the estrogen and estrogen-like chemicals being dumped into the water through both agricultural and human waste, such as manure and human waste water, along with synthetic chemicals coming from plastics and pharmaceutical chemicals that act like estrogens, such as the ones found in birth control pills.
Though a main cause has not yet been pinpointed for the mutations, John Clark, the fisheries administrator for the Delaware Department of Environmental Protection, believes that the problem can be prevented: “We are aware that intersex fish have been found in many rivers, a problem that might be preventable through improved wastewater treatment, thereby lowering the incidence of the endocrine disruptors in the environment.” Other groups continue to push for reminders to the public to not flush unused or expired medications down the toilet because they can contribute to the concentrations in wastewater.
Local environmental agencies think that it will take a lot more than that.
Jeff Tittel, the executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club, said,“When you see these kinds of problems with fish, it’s like a canary in a coal mine — an indicator of bigger problems.” The Sierra Club has been working to get New Jersey to regulate dumping of chemicals, including pesticides and medications containing synthetic hormones, that Tittel said are causing these so-called “Franken-fish.” Ultimately, Tittel said, these pollutants can work their way up to humans.
The Delaware Riverkeeper Network is one of the partner organizations working with the Sierra Club to encourage lawmakers to pass regulations on these chemicals. But the Network’s deputy chairwoman Tracy Carluccio said, “It’s an uphill battle for any kind of regulation these days.”
According to USGS biologist Blazer, there is no danger to humans eating these fish. As for the fish themselves, however, these changes may have negative long-term effects that can threaten their population. The immature eggs inside the male fish will not mature, and since the chemicals in the water can adversely affect the immune system, their lifespans are likely to dwindle as they will be more susceptible to disease.
In 2012, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection started a multiyear analysis of the rivers when they heard of the mutant fish finding. Scientists are collecting and analyzing samples of water, sediment, and aquatic life along river sites, including multiple points along the Delaware, with hopes of finding out exactly what chemicals are impacting the fish and in what concentrations these pollutants are found throughout the rivers.
Pennsylvania DEP spokeswoman Amanda Witman said, “The results are really a mixed bag at this point. There is no smoking gun that we can point to and definitively say, ‘This is the cause of these issues.’ In reality, we are finding trace amounts of nearly every contaminant we test. Bottom line, it is unlikely that there is any one cause or contaminant behind the abnormalities in the smallmouth bass, which makes our job all the more difficult. We are making progress, but there is still so much more work to do. In fact, many of the emerging contaminants we are examining are so new that the laboratory tests have only recently been developed to test them.”
Research on the issue is continuing and follow-up results should be published next year.
H/t FOTM’s Seumas
- Women who took birth control pills for more than 3 years double the risk of glaucoma
- Birth control pills linked to 30% increased risk of multiple sclerosis