Protecting our environment

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It's happening again. The governments are cutting jobs. I understand why; I accept the necessity. What I don't accept is the choices they make when they cut.

Have you noticed that it is the people that serve us, on the ground so to speak, that are cut? Is there any possibility that the politicians don't want scientists to spot problems and offer real solutions? Do they cut inspectors jobs because when they find a problem it might interfere with profits?

Am I being too cynical?

Since I am interested in protecting our environment so future generations have a good place to live, I worry the meteorologists who can analyze what is happening to our weather, the chemists who can study all the new chemicals that are being created but we don't know their long-term effects, the engineers who need to check our infrastructure.

I would like to see a list of the planned cuts -- how many of the real workers and how many of the managers, the managers' managers and so on up the chain. Think about where you work and how many people do the real work and how many create meetings and discuss policies that don't really affect the real work that needs to be done.

On another topic, I have heard recently tht there is now a genetically modified sweet corn being sold. The brand name for the modified variety is "Attribute" by Rogers (owned by Syngenta). It contains the genes of Bt (Bacillus Thuringiensis), a biological insecticide that causes the corn to produce a substance that kills caterpillars. It's also referred to as "insect protected sweet corn". Organic farmers (and conventional as well) use Bt as a spray to control cabbage worms, tent caterpillars, etc. The problem with the genetically modified Bt corn is, that the whole plant produces the active ingredient throughout the plant and you are eating it with every bite. As a spray it is washed off easily, it has to be re-applied every time it rains. It has very low toxicity to humans when handled, but there is no research proving it to be safe when ingested regularly and long term. I haven't noticed this at our local markets or food stands, but keep an eye out.

Again, if the government cuts scientists' jobs, who will check the long term effects?

Have you heard of Permaculture? This is a new word in my vocabulary. Permaculture seems to be a way of life based on three ethics:

• Care of the earth, which means actively nurturing the natural systems that support life on earth.

• Care of people, which means actively meeting the needs of all people in a socially just way, so that we can all have a good quality of life without damaging the earth.

• Fair share or return the surplus, which means accepting limits to growth and to our personal consumption, taking only what we need, and accepting equality for everyone so that all get a fair share.

Organizations: Syngenta

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