April 19, 2008

D.O.A. (part 8)

"And Here We Test Our Powers Of Observation" - The Bad Plus

Environmental injustice and racism occur not only when policymakers violate... rights to free informed consent or equal treatment in siting decisions but also when risk assessors use biased scientific methods whose policy consequences de facto result in unjustified discrimination against people of color and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups (3).
“We are not going to be spending a lot of resources chasing something that is intermittent and the firefighters could not even detect,” Department of Agriculture’s pesticides program manager, Robert Boesch (4). Apparently there are no fields of cleome gynandra (a.k.a. "Stinkweed") close enough to the evacuated schools in Kekaha to impute as the reason for symptoms indicative of pesticide exposure (5). Despite recently cleared fields in the area being sprayed by Pioneer and their refusal to share the name of the chemicals applied with the public, even more preposterous specious explanations have been proposed. “Nothing we know of would have caused that,” Steve Lupkes, Pioneer site manager.“This morning the weather guy was talking about the vog hitting Kaua‘i (5).” Allowing Mr. Lupkes the benefit of doubt, perhaps he's never read an MSDS for pesticides Pioneer applies to their crops? It's a miracle that all the schools on Kauai and the state weren't evacuated, as the vog was statewide. According to David Gerow his comments to Adam Harju of The Garden Island Newspaper in reference to propane were printed out of context and without his knowledge of the events taking place in Kekaha. Mr. Harju used journalistic prerogative stating that officials were speculating the cause as being a delivery of propane in the vicinity (4). As per the gas company, propane is heavier than air. With a distance of over 1/4 mile between Kekaha School and St. Theresa's as the crow flies, there is not a vehicle large enough to hold the concentration of propane required to produce the symptoms expressed by children and adults including individuals in areas upwind of where the reported propane truck made it's delivery (6). And here we test our powers of observation.

1. "And Here We Test Our Powers Of Observation" - The Bad Plus : GIVE
2. Image: "Poison Prevention" 1-800-222-1212
3."Environmental Racism and Biased Methods of Risk Assessment" by Daniel C. Wigley & Kristin S. Shrader-Frechette.
4. The Garden Island Newspaper , April 17, 2008
5. The Garden Island Newspaper, April 15,2008
6. Google Earth map - Kekaha School to St. Theresa's

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