When the Miners’ Canaries Fall
Local Environmental News by
To learn more about local environmental
organizations, issues and events, go to www.eagle-ecosource.org
But there are times, when those
that love the bay,
Fly from all sorrowing far, far away;
A sudden glow comes on them, nought they see
In water, earth, or air, but poesy.
Lured by the innocent dimples.
To sweet rest
Shall the dear babe, upon its mother's breast,
Be lulled with songs of mine. Fair world, adieu!
Thy dales, and hills, are fading from my view.
Miners’ Canaries Fall
oodles of research, the recent outbreak of mutated frogs
in MN,WI and around the world hasn’t been clearly pegged
to any single cause. But new research from the University
of California at Berkely has the scientific community
stunned. The study found that Atrazine, one of the most
common pesticides on the market, causes mutations in
frogs at levels 30 times LESS than what the EPA allows
in our water. In other words, our environment is literally
soaked in a chemicals that are causing animals to mutate..
to Stanley I. Dodson of the
University of Wisconsin at Madison this discovery is
"the most important paper in environmental toxicology
in decades.” When asked whether humans should be worried
about the fact that this toxic pesticide is in our water
and food, Dodsen said "It's like a canary in the
mine shaft sort of thing," Miners used to bring
canaries with them into mine shafts. If the birds died,
the miners knew the toxic gases in the shaft had reached
dangerous levels, and they would evacuate. In this case,
the frogs are serving as a clear indicator that the
pesticides and other pollutants in our rivers, lakes
and tap water is reaching dangerous levels, as well.
Is anyone paying attention?
of the Week
than a quarter million American children ages one through
five ingest a combination of 20 different pesticides
every day. More than 1 million preschoolers eat at least
15 pesticides on a given day. Overall, 20 million American
children five and under eat an average of eight pesticides
every day. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, over
5,000 of today's pre-schoolers will get cancer sometime
during their lives SOLELY BECAUSE of the pesticides
in foods they consume until age six.
of the Week
"For in the
end, we will save only what we love, we will love only
what we understand, and we will understand only what
we are taught."
Going Organic--Local Enviro-Group
Kicks Corporate Heiny
a year long campaign, Little Marais’ own Organic Consumers
Association (OCA) has brought a major global corporation
to its knees. OCA began pressuring Starbucks to live
up to its self-toted environmental image back in March
of 2001. Starbucks ranks among the top purchasers of
rBGH milk, a hormone laden milk that has been banned
in every industrialized country but the US.
and its supporters held hundreds of rallies at Starbucks
around the world (include several rallies here in Duluth)
to educate customers about rBGH and Fair Trade coffee,
a product that guarantees the family farms a fair price
for their crops. While Starbucks CEO, Orin Smith, has
been making record profits, many of the Central American
farmers who grow his beans can’t afford to buy a cup
of their own coffee from one of his stores.
to consumer pressure, Starbucks is now initiating a
program to support Fair Trade coffees. Starbucks also
claims it is attempting to secure a reliable source
of rBGH-free milk and will provide an organic milk alternative
for an extra fee, upon request. Ronnie Cummins, Director
of OCA, says the organization has been targeting Starbucks
because it’s small enough to impact but big enough to
cause a major ripple-effect in the industry.
so you know, World Fair Trade Day is May 4th.
If you’d like to get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org
or 320-384-7764. Also, next time you’re at Starbucks,
ask for Fair Trade coffee with organic milk. Or better
yet, support a local business that never needed this
consumer pressure in the first place. Browsers N’Etc.
Café on East Superior St. provides a wide variety of
organic and Fair Trade coffees. 726-0530.
SOUL Keeps Fighting
you may or may not know, MN Power (Allete) is working
mighty hard to begin building a massive powerline that
would pipe electricity from North Dakota/Canada down
to the Chicago/Milwaukee area. The Arrowhead-Weston
powerline would cut through private homeowner property
in WI, as well as destroying hundreds of acres of wilderness.
homeowners in Marathon County, WI are refusing to grant
access to their property for surveying and soil borings.
To support this decision, these spirited folk are referencing
legal documents that clearly show that they need not
provide access to their property until all permits have
been received, which they have not. In response, the
Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) is taking these homeowners
to court. Save Our Unique Lands (SOUL) is the local
organization that has been fighting this powerline from
the start. In a recent press release SOUL stated, “Apparently
out of frustration they (WPS) choose to bully five landowners
into granting the desired access or force them hire
an attorney and defend themselves in the court system.”
To get involved, contact SOUL at 1-800-270-8455 or go
paper company, Boise Cascade Corporation, recently announced
they’re now offering a new 100% postconsumer recycled
office paper. The paper, labeled “Aspen (TM) 100” is
manufactured at a pulp and paper mill in International
Falls, and is processed-chlorine free. Mainstream papers
are bleached with chlorine, which creates dioxins, a
known human carcinogen. The news of providing a recycled
paper product out of Northern MN is refreshing, given
recent reports that Great Lakes forests are among the
most heavily logged in the US. You can purchase this
locally made product through the Green Mercantile in
Duluth. 209 E. Superior St. 722-1771.
Upcoming Local Eco-Events
Saturday,May 4- WORLD FAIR TRADE DAY: Educational
rallies will be held around the world to spread the
word about the environmental,economic and social benefits
of Fair Trade products. For more info, contact email@example.com
Wednesday, May 8 (7pm)- Blue Vinyl at the Norshor
Theater 211 E. Superior St. Donations are suggested
from those who attend this new, provocative, environmental
film. A review in the Washington Post says "Frightening
and funny! Blue Vinyl has left audiences lingering in
the hallways for hours to debate and question."
The film follows the lifecycle of vinyl from Long Island,
NY, to Mardi Gras in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to a vinyl
community in Venice, Italy, to the heart of your very
own home. Along the way, learn how much our reliance
on vinyl (a.k.a. PVC plastic) could be costing communities,
workers, children, our health and the environment. Official
Selection Sundance 2002 Film Festival ** Excellence
in Cinematography ** Sponsored by the Institute for
a Sustainable Future
Thursday,May 9 (7-9pm)- CASE STUDIES IN SUSTAINABLE
LIVING: Mary and Joseph Routh of Ways of Wisdom have
been working on a research project that has focused
on describing the sustainable lifestyles of five different
families in Northeast Minnesota. They will present an
overview of the research project and a summary of their
findings at this program. Refreshments will be served.
Free. Cina Hall Room 202 at UMD (1123 University Drive,
Thursday,May 9 (7pm)- Butterflies of the Northland
with Larry Weber at Peace UCC (1015 E. 11th
St., Duluth) Free. Larry Weber, author of "Butterflies
of the North Woods" and "Backyard Almanac"
will present an evening of butterflies at the joint
meeting of the Duluth
Audubon Society and co-hosted by Hartley Nature Center.Larry's
amazing close up photographs of butterflies, moths and
skippers will dazzle you as well will the life histories
of these beuatiful 'flying flowers.'Call Hartley Nature
Center at 724-6735 for more information.