Let me start with this video.
The reason I posted that video is because it relates to an interview I heard last night on Diane Rehm (Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie: “Slow Death by Rubber Duck” – http://wamu.org/programs/dr/10/01/20.php#29308; sorry but WordPress won’t allow hyperlinking at the moment). That interview was about hormone-disrupting chemicals in our food supply. The major source of this is from plastic in packaging and containers. I was already aware of this problem from an interview with Dr. Leonard Sax I heard Coast to Coast AM which I wrote about in a forum thread at Open Source Integral (Boys Adrift – http://opensourceintegral.ning.com/forum/topic/show?id=1615967%3ATopic%3A13481). Here is the opening post that I wrote (I would indent or do something to the following but WordPress won’t allow me):
I heard an interview with Dr. Leonard Sax on the radio show Coast to Coast AM. He was discussing his book Boys Adrift. The book focuses on the development of boys, but does so in terms of considering both genders. His basic premise is that for various reasons normal development has been altered in the past generation or so.
The website about this book:
Here is an excerpt from his book Why Gender Matters and an interview with him on the Today show:
The primary problem he sees is the estrogen-like chemicals that leach out of clear plastic bottles. This causes boys to develop slower and not to develop normally, and it causes girls to develop faster. Young men now have majorly decreased levels of testosterone and sperm count than previous generations.
Another major problem is that the school system has tried to treat boys and girls equally in recent decades. Teachers don’t take into account that boys and girls develop differently, and the natural behavior of boys has become unacceptable in schools. To try to calm boys down more like girls, drugs such as ritalin have increasingly been given to boys. This is a twofold problem. Boys are stunted psychologically which is bad enough, but the drugs have long-term consequences on brain development. It causes a part of the brain that relates to motivation to not to fully develop.
So, this means that young men are becoming evermore effeminate and apathetic. Young women are more likely to go to college, get degrees, and get professional careers. Also, with the sexual dynamic messed up, sexual attraction has decreased and along with it so has marriage.
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This is a rather sadly ironic situation. The chemical soup we live in and ingest on a daily basis is creating a generation of youth with various physiological/psychological problems (asthma, obesity, autism, ADHD, and on and on). What is our collective answer to these problems that society has caused? To give the kids even more chemicals in the form of drugs that further alters their behavior and biological development.
Anyways, this is no grand insight in and of itself. Any reasonably informed person already knows about this kind of thing (the question then being how many reasonably informed people exist in the general population). I do feel critical about the lack of discussion and a lack of action about this kind of thing. In the Diane Rehm interview, the author spoke about how closely the Bush administration worked with the chemical companies. Basically, the role of government has been to first protect capitalistic interests and only secondly to protect the average person.
My further complaint is about political ideology. Why does this kind of thing bother liberals more than conservatives? A typical response by many conservatives is to defend the ideal of a free market based on an assumption that drug and chemical companies always have the general population’s best interest in mind… or they defend the doctors that prescribe the drugs to children based on the assumption that drug company bribes and propaganda doesn’t influence the behavior of doctors. Another typical response of many conservatives is to attack parents for all of the problems their children experience or else attack the children for having problems. What conservatives are reluctant to do is to objectively look at the science… which might be explained by the fact that only 6% of scientists are Republicans.
I still don’t understand. I understand in theory why conservatives uphold ideology above all else, but I don’t understand it in a deeper way. These problems are equally experienced by conservative children as liberal children. Isn’t it common sense that conservatives should be equally worried about how pollution, additives, and drugs are causing their own children problems?
For another example, why would only a liberal write a book like The Culture of Make Believe by Derrick Jensen? The facts he shares aren’t liberal. Facts don’t have ideology, but why are liberals more interested in facts in the first place? Why is the desire to stop pollution and oppression a liberal agenda? Why do conservatives tend to blame individuals and the liberal elite while rationalizing away all problems involving corporations? Why do conservatives value religion more than they do science?
I’m truly perplexed.