Friday, March 5, 2010

interesting reading

There is lots of stuff going on in this world of ours. None of it new. Little of it good. On the subway ride home today I pulled out the latest copy of AUDUBON magazine (March/April edition) . I used to always read on subways rides - in fact this used to be how I got the bulk of my reading done as when else is there time!?! But I have gotten out of the habit lately, preferring both to carry a slightly lighter back pack & to rest , eyes closed , on rides to and fro.
Audubon is great reading and has delicious photos :this month's cover shot is a black and white classic of an elephant that looks more old time fashion shot than nature photo...actually it also looks like it could have been taken at the Museum Of Natural History from one of their dioramas I LOVED as a kid!
Inside was an article on endocrine - disrupting chemicals . They are everywhere, are largely unregulated and are thought to be having a terrible impact on the health of both humans and animals -an impact that might be long lasting if not irreversible. My heart sank. I got sick to my stomach. It is not that the information is new to me. I have heard it all before. It is just that the cumulative effect of what "we" are doing to ourselves and the earth is really weighing on me.
I know we can do better and need to do better. What stymies me is that "we" know what needs to be done-for our own good-and yet we are not doing it. I know it is tied to profits and convenience -the great loves of the modern world. But when the consequences are spelled out I am left wondering why "we" decide to take the self destructive path almost every time. "We" are brilliant and can solve these problems-if we decide to tackle them. And the resulting solutions will, no doubt, end up creating profit and giving us a different kind of convenience so why are we resisting this beneficial path that's win-win?
During my (brutal & disillusioning ) yoga teacher training course we were taught about "resistance". It is a complicated concept that vaguely explains why we resist what is good for us. But as I get older the idea of resistance seems such a poor excuse for not taking responsibility and doing what is right for all.
This is a long way of saying there is no excuse for our lax "Toxic Substances Control Act" and there is absolutely no reason why these substances-known to be harmful with well documented side effects-are still being included in an array of products (from cleaning products to food containers to lotions) . The Audubon article states that other countries are leading the way in this area and it actually hurts me to know my own country (and the big businesses that make the products we use daily) do not care enough to do more.
You can go HERE to check out Audubon's magazine and this article in particular and read back into their archives for more on issues like these. If this topic is new to you this might serve as a wake up call but if you are like me this will be old news that will make your stomach turn...

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