Chemical Weapons

We have an administration in this country that has shown it doesn’t care about the health of the American people.  It is working hard to take away health care from our nation’s most vulnerable, allows industry to pollute our precious air and water, and has left the Paris Agreement which is a teamwork agreement with 175 other countries to work on climate change.  But when this administration  speaks out, it speaks out about the Syrian people which they have banned from entering The United States?  All this is impossible to make sense of, but the below letter to the editor had a lot to say:

CHEMICAL WEAPONS from Startribune.com

There are two kinds: Syria’s, and those sprayed on food

The hypocritical attitudes of the current administration in Washington were clearly depicted on Page A4 of Wednesday’s Star Tribune with the juxtaposition of two news stories.

One article notes the White House’s warning that the Syrian regime would “pay a heavy price” if it used chemical weapons against its own people. The next article describes the EPA’s reversal of the ban on spraying chlorpyrifos on food in our country.

The EPA’s own studies have proved that chlorpyrifos harms children’s brains and that pregnant mothers “ingesting even minuscule amounts” can interfere with babies’ brain development. Is there a connection between this chemical and the 78 percent rise in autism in the last decade?

Why would EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt side with Dow Chemical rather than the American Academy of Pediatrics, whose 66,000 members are deeply alarmed with the decision? Could it be that the $13.6 million Dow spent lobbying last year or the $1 million donated to President Donald Trump’s inaugural influenced Pruitt’s decision?

The big question to be answered: Why is the White House outraged by the Syrian children being sprayed with chemicals while allowing chemicals to harm American children? Just whom is the Environmental Protection Agency protecting?

Kathleen Ziegler, Lino Lakes

Information from Earth Justice on chlorpyrifos

Advertisements

Celebrating Butterflies

Hobomok skipper on Canadian anemone

I love butterflies, and National Pollinator Week gives me an excuse to concentrate on what brings butterflies to my yard and to my walking routes. This week I learned two new skipper butterflies: the hobomok skipper and Arctic skipper.  Both are crazy for wild geranium, The yellow swallow-tail, painted lady and admirals are plentiful now also, and a few monarchs are checking out the milkweed.  Also, this week I saw one pearl crescent and a silvery blue.

Arctic skipper on wild geranium
Favorite butterfly books

Below are two books that help me identify butterflies, and here is an on-line butterfly guide.

Have fun land I hope you enjoy butterflies as much as I do!  Get out for a walk and look!

 

An American painted lady

Turn Your Banana Peel into Good!

 

Backyard Compost Collection

How can you amend your soil and garden without chemicals? This is from the Compost Foundation, and see their video below:

Have you ever looked at a banana peel and thought, “Is that it?” Does life go on? Could this humble peel serve a greater purpose?
We’re telling the new story of compost as the regenerating, probiotic solution for restoring land and balancing the climate.
60 billion pounds of food material go to landfill every year, creating methane gas that is poisoning us and destroying our home. Meanwhile, we’re throwing away the building blocks of life. We’re INSANE! JUST STOP IT!! So what’s the solution?”

See the video on composting:  Composting Story
My tips on composting. Read here

Give Your Yard a Dose of Happy

Deep-rooted plants absorb more water than turf grass. Cone flowers, bee balm, and black-eyed Susan

Just making a few adjustments to your yard can make big difference for our climate. If everyone does a little bit, it adds up to a lot! Some amazing statistics on our lawns from “greener lawn” below:

*Grass covers more land in the US than any other crop.

*It’s estimated that there’s up to three times more acres of lawns than corn, according to NASA

Fritillary butterfly on bee balm.

*Homeowners use up to 10 times more chemical pesticides per acre on their yards compared to what farmers use on their crops, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Some other ideas to slow climate change and help pollinators:

**plant a rain garden

** Add diversity

** Love pollinators

** More on bees an butterflies

Minnesota Public Radio on a “greener” lawn:

Grass isn’t greener

Adding new pollinator plants is not easy if you are a hosta gardener or a new gardener.

I would start small by adding a few of these: purple cone flowers, black-eyed Susan, bee balm, a few asters, and columbine.  I suggest these because many garden stores sell them, they are easy to grow, add diversity, and are loved by pollinators.

We Love Science!

Science is real, it is not opinion. Science can be proven, it isn’t an alternative fact. Business profits rule in this administration, and without help from science, business won’t thrive either.

Can you think of anything in our lives that does not deal with science?   Scientists have gotten us to where we are in civilization, and we still have a long way to go to cure cancer, Alzheimer’s, MS, ALS, heart disease….and the list goes on. Science research must be funded to keep us safe and healthy.

Saturday I marched with 40,000 other people in Chicago saying to this administration , “Science Is Important!” “Business profits don’t keep us healthy” “Fund science research”

Read more about the marches here.