Social issues ARE at the root of our environmental problems-part 1-no more sense of community

Why don’t people care anymore?

I want to concentrate my posts on this blog in the environmental area, especially because this is where my passion is, and it’s also my area of expertise with my Master’s degree. In my last post, I wrote about bullies, both adults and kids, and how they feel the need to exert their power over others. Bullying is a major social problem, and some would say that our environmental problems stem from social issues.

No more sense of community

I agree. If you look at our social problems, they all result in people not caring about their surroundings. For instance, a bully doesn’t care if he hurts others, therefore he doesn’t care about his surroundings. I see small acts around me that show defiance toward others. So many drivers here in Texas don’t want to obey the speed limit and drive faster. This shows that they don’t care about the law and will do what ever they want. Also here in Texas, I see so many cars NOT slowing down while going through school zones with flashing lights. This may seem like something small and not important, but all these small defiant acts add up, hurting everyone.

Why? What happened over the years that lead to people not caring? What caused the shift in our thinking that is now destroying our environment and our planet?

By people making the conscious decision to not care, it has a detrimental effect on the environment that affects everyone, not just them. We have lost that sense of ‘community’ where everyone looked out for everyone else.

Social class is another factor. Many times, the division between classes has a negative effect on the environment. In many instances, lower class populations don’t take care of their surroundings due to several factors, like being poor and not seeing how protecting the environment would benefit them. Underdeveloped countries, for example, don’t have the same advantages and resources as first world countries, and can’t picture how conservation would help them or their country. Unfortunately, these third world countries are not the worst polluting countries…it’s the first world.

Food for thought….

“The domination of nature by man stems from the very real domination of human by human”

‘The Ecology of Freedom’, page 1. Murray Bookchin

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How to prevent another West, TX tragedy

Living only 50 miles away from West, TX, the plant explosion is constantly in the news, and the news is not good. The more the investigators dig into what happened, the more they find out about lack of regulation enforcement. West Chemical and Fertilizer tried to obtain an exemption from OSHA inspections, allowing less regulations for companies that sell more than half of their product to end users. However, OSHA doesn’t follow up with these companies, and in fact, had not inspected the plant in West since 1985.

How can this be fixed? For starters, OSHA can perform inspections like they are suppose to, no matter the size or exemption of the company. If OSHA and the EPA don’t enforce laws, companies are going to continue to get away with anything and everything they can.

Which is exactly what the plant in West did. Not only were they not inspected, they built the town right up against the plant. Why? Texas has minimal rules and regulations when it comes to protecting its citizens. But citizens don’t have to sit back and let it happen to them. There are so many grass roots efforts that have made big changes in our policies. Sadly, 15 people died for no reason in West, TX, and hopefully it never happens again. People are not going to sit around and let another apartment building, retirement home, or school be built within 500 feet of a fertilizer plant, ever again.

The one positive thing we can all take away from this tragedy is that we can prevent it in the future. It may be an uphill battle, especially here in Texas, but it can be fixed. We just have to make sure the government officials in Austin follow the laws to protect the citizens of Texas.

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Homemade recipes to avoid soy by-products

I found some amazing homemade recipes for a few store-bought items that contain soy and soy by-products.

Here is one for homemade pasta sauce in a crock pot:

http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/2011/09/homemade-homemaking-garlic-basil.html

Another one for homemade cream of chicken soup, because the store bought version has a TON of bad stuff in it:

http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/2012/01/homemade-homemaking-cream-of-chicken.html

And finally homemade taco sauce, because, yep you guessed it, full of soy stuff….

http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2009/11/homemade-taco-sauce.html

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Soy is in everything….(and that’s NOT a good thing)

     I’ve been avoiding (at least I thought I was) soy since I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in 2001. However, soy is in ALL processed foods, usually as soy lecithin. Soy is known to cause trouble for the thyroid, and 95% of soy grown in the US is genetically modified, meaning it has Round Up poison and the Bt toxin added to its DNA. So when you consume soy, you are consuming weed killer and toxins that are now part of these plants. No wonder we are all fat and sick. Go check your labels, you will be very surprised.
     Soybean lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a “degumming” process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid. (http://preventdisease.com/news/09/073009_soy_lecithin.shtml)
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Environmental

I’ll be posting interesting articles about the environment and how we can protect it better. Feel free to comment!

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