We Need Solutions
What do we do when the actions of large corporations are proven to be harmful to the health of thousands, if not millions, of people and they refuse to acknowledge they’ve known about it for decades?
Public safety takes a distant second to profitability. It is common knowledge yet little has been done to change it. These kinds of behaviors are apparently well known, yet rarely does human health take precedence over contrived and often paid legislative actions to diminish or even deny responsibility. When did this convoluted business activity find its way into our idea of acceptable behavior? Does this make sense to anyone? Are we helpless to change our future? Perhaps not.
Sometimes things come to light that just seem completely out of the realm of human decency, yet reflect the state of business behavior that has been allowed for decades. It is a living nightmare. There was a recent article in the New York Times Magazine, written by Nathaniel Rich, that strikes at the very core of human decency, or the lack of it.
The article The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare weaves a tale about one of the largest chemical companies in the world knowing about yet denying the effects of its manufacturing and products on the health of the communities surrounding their plant. It does not stop there because their products and the ‘toxic’ chemical that has never made it to the proverbial ‘list’ has been shown to have traces in humans across the planet.
Last May , 200 scientists from a variety of disciplines signed the Madrid Statement, which expresses concern about the production of all fluorochemicals, or PFASs, including those that have replaced PFOA. PFOA and its replacements are suspected to belong to a large class of artificial compounds called endocrine-disrupting chemicals; these compounds, which include chemicals used in the production of pesticides, plastics and gasoline, interfere with human reproduction and metabolism and cause cancer, thyroid problems and nervous-system disorders. In the last five years, however, a new wave of endocrinology research has found that even extremely low doses of such chemicals can create significant health problems. Among the Madrid scientists’ recommendations: ‘‘Enact legislation to require only essential uses of PFASs’’ and ‘‘Whenever possible, avoid products containing, or manufactured using, PFASs. These include many products that are stain-resistant, waterproof or nonstick.’’
Perhaps it is time we, as citizens of our great nation, take back the control that has been given to these reprehensible corporations and organizations. Moreover, it is the unconscionable behavior of our fellow humans who put profit above the sanctity of both animal and human life, let alone the pollution of our environment. The conduct has been allowed to exist for decades, carefully hidden though deceitful and deliberate actions. Consequences of inaction have plagued our nation for too long.
Isn’t it time we tended to the business of a better world?
The shift in response is critical now. Our nation’s population has shifted to the Boomers (as they are called) being the majority. It was this same group who rallied in the 60s to call a halt to the atrocities of war. Many more served in that same war, and others now, only to become fodder for the mechanistic behavior of our military and the misguided leadership. It’s been proven that our ‘leadership practices’ around the world haven’t had the people in mind. It’s largely been for profit, fueled by the companies who benefit from war. We know that now. We can no longer deny it.
Those same valiant souls who became the fuel for the machine, fighting the wars on the ground, in the air and on the water are now some of the most mistreated people in our country. Event that expose this practice continue to appear in the news. There are many organizations who, in spite of the lack of service from our country, do their best to acknowledge the veterans’ plight and serve them to some degree. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans puts their numbers at 11% of the homeless population, if we can believe statistics. The focus tends to be placed on their problems instead ‘the’ problem of their homelessness.
The litany of challenges of this nightmare is certainly not the intention of this article. What is intended is the attention on the notion that we are so capable of uniting for common sense, yet seem to find ways to disagree and prolong the agony of various segments of our population as a result. The scope of the problem is systemic and not one leader is going to be able to change anything. It will indeed take all of us, or at least a significant portion, to change the direction of our nation so we can become the world leader we all know is possible.
It is time we practiced what we say we believe in. Religious differences don’t matter as the core of each is about taking care of one another. Culture and ethnicity doesn’t matter because we all breath, drink and eat from the same planet. We’re talking basic human rights that have been systematically denied by poor fiscal and material management, a lack of sustainable business practices and the seeming apathetic response from our nation’s citizenry.
Rather than turning our backs on the ‘system’ that elects our leaders we need to retrofit it to produce the desired results. There is a way… Stand for something rather than fall for anything. We know what doesn’t work… bigotry, prejudice, profit at all cost, avoidance of responsibility. What would happen if we [you] became more responsible? Take action and watch what happens.