Continued From Volume 2-
You might, er might not, recall that we ended our last eco Vig discussin’ our mission statement, Kendra seemingly implying that we need to broaden it, expand upon it some…discussing this it was thrown out there that we should be shottin’ fer a complete ban on that whole family of deadly concoctions bein’ thrust upon the natural biota, and, in turn, upon all of us. “Remember DDT!?” numerous times, the Manure Man shouted out. That meetin’ came to a close. About two weeks later we rejoined again.
“Ok....you raucous assemblage, I can tell by the way the dogs are raisin' hell, that somebody else has just showed up. Hope it’s my buddy Tom. And not the law. Yeah. I can tell by the way whomever it is, their workin' their way through and passed those beasts. Yeah! It’s Tom.”
“Hey! Tom! Com'on in here round the fire where it’s one heck of a lot more comfortable. Folks, this is my buddy Tom. Biologist, emeritus. Long time with the DNR. Brother Tom, let me introduce ya around. This young lady here who wears that constant silly smile, like she's enjoyin' herself, full blast, full time, the one with the fiddle in her hands, that's Kendra. Marques there with the banjo, him too wearin' that 'what me worry' look on his kisser...Oh shoot, you already know Marques, don't ya?”
“Yes, Brother David, we've burned prairies together. How ya doin' Marques? Long time, no see.”
“Howdy, Tom, I’m doin’ just fine. Thanks.”
“I don't know if you remember this old gimped up character, he's...”
TOM RECOGNIZES MANURE MAN OF THE PAST
“Shoot! I'd recognize him anywhere. I've been a fan of his direct-action style for a long, long time. How ya doin', Mister Manure Man?”
“You can drop that 'mister,' they've got me reduced ta just M&M around here. Anyway, thanks fer yer rememberin' of my past exploits. Fer now, this group has got me pretty well collared. I wouldn't bet that I ain’t one day gonna break loose, though.”
“Naturally, Tom, you know Ruby May.
“I wish I could introduce you to Dina, but she's off doin', I guess what you'd call research, in Peru; the country, not Peru, IL.
“Don't know how many more will show tonight, it’s still early.
“Hey! Tom. Thanks for that great frog information. I reprinted and handed out copies ta these assembled here, and others. I had little doubt that we'd fall inta serious discussion about just this. What did you guys think of that info?”
“Headline” HAS 100% KILL RATIO IN EXPOSED FROGS
Marques chimes in first. “It’s... incredible,” he comes out with while sadly shakin' his reverential head. “Absolutely incredible. A 100 per cent kill ratio. That just sucks my breath away. If there were ever reason to come up with a frog eliminator, they've found it.”
“This crap's scary!” Kendra pipes in.
“Those that manufacture that stuff outta be shot! er better yet, boiled in oil!” M&M blurts out, emphatically. “And them that sells it and sprays it too! How the dickens did this ever get past the EPA?”
CHEMICALS NOT EXPOSED TO TOUGH SCRUTINY
“These chemicals only have to leap the lowest of bars,” Tom comes back. “These companies that manufacture this crap won't do research that they're not forced to do. You can't see harmful side effects, if you're not looking for them. Research costs money. These manufacturer are inta this for right-now, bottom line profit.
“The main chemical formula concerned in this Mother Jones article is Headline, that was one of the agents in that three-chemical-cocktail that was involved in the aquatic kill in your creek here, wasn't it?”
“Yes,” Kendra pipes up. “Tombstone, Headline, and Sniper. We know it’s deadly to aquatic animals, especially invertebrates. We know it’s harmful to both mammals and birds. And now we know it’s deadly to frogs, and most likely other amphibians, and, what’s left?”
“Reptiles,” Ruby May adds in. “But we don't know if it’s harmful to them. What good biological research, done by prominent herpetologists, without a doubt indicates that snakes, and turtles are in drastic decline, too! Nevertheless, that's quite an indictment. Why not just say, especially the way they're mixin' this junk together, and the way it’s applied...’Environment, move over, get outta the way! Make way for chemical agriculture. Ain’t no room fer nothin' else!’ 100% kill ratio for frogs sprayed with manufacture recommended dosages, and their deaths after contact, happens rapidly, like from 6-8 hours. Incredible.”
“And as you've read, gang, er maybe group, is better, this wasn't some test that couldn't pass muster with respect to the quality of science applied. It comes outta Europe, its peer reviewed by Swiss and German scientists. I mean, this is the real thing!”
“100% kill ratio on contact with ‘Headline,” a commonly aerially applied synthetic agricultural chemical that the chemical manufactures haven't done their homework on, not even close. And this blanketed over a significant portion of Lee and Ogle Counties. And because there's essentially no oversight of those doing the aerial spraying, or that done from the ground, either, you can bet that this stuff is gettin' into the ‘environmental commons,’ proved here by exactly what happened ta Grove Creek. Yeah. The ‘environmental commons,’ something we'll slate for further discussion, later, and in depth, I promise...”
“The manufacture of this killer of a chemical, BASF, a huge chemical conglomerate from the EU that once was involved in producing stuff for quick-kill Nazi concentration camps' gas chambers, found that results of this study interestin', but it also doubted that these peer-reviewed-scientific studies duplicated real field conditions and judged them insignificant. Whew!
“We'll quote directly from Mother Jones here as to this huge conglomerate's response to email questioning:
'The study design neither reflects conditions of realistic agricultural use in practice nor the natural behavior of the animals. Amphibians are not exposed to such pesticide concentrations in practice and under normal agricultural conditions. For instance, Pyraclostrobin is not applied to the bare ground but to the crop, and the plants in the field will certainly reduce the exposure to the amphibians. In addition, amphibians tend to hide (under leaves or in the soil) during times of application. Accordingly, BASF considers the risk to amphibians resulting from Pyraclostrobin to be low in practice and under normal agricultural conditions.' [you can read the whole article here: http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/01/new-study-common-pesticides-kill-frogs-contact]
“The obvious question here that’s just begging to be asked...is...why the hell wasn't research done on this type of problem before this junk started killin' off just all kinds of critters in our, yours and mine, environment? Where is the EPA on stuff like this when ya need 'em?
“Is this an example of corporate double speak er what? How do they know what the exposure to amphibians is...when they've never studied it? Fine. Your chemical is applied by air to the crops.
Yeah. None of it hits ground. Sure. It might interest you that many species of frogs make their living moving around on leafy vegetation, searching for insects as food. Do you think they could come into contact with these deadly chemicals that way? Seems ta me that there's a chance.
WHAT ARE NORMAL CONDITIONS?
“Twice they mention ‘normal agricultural conditions.’ What the heck, in the always-changing- environmental conditions are 'normal agricultural conditions!'
“Their statement with respect to amphibians tendin' ta hide durin' times of application, I find absolutely ludicrous. Do they, have they, even a scintilla of research data pertaining to that?! Shoot, no. It’s just some PR entity's hack, knee jerk, and stupid statement.
“Those amphibians must hide all the daylight hours, 'cause that sprayin' went on from dawn ta dusk, for days. The reason frogs have such big eyes is that they are 'sight' feeders. Yes they do hunt also in darkness, but bet yer last dollar that they're extremely effective daytime hunters too.”
“Brother David, I love the closing statement in that Mother Jones article,” Kendra expounds. 'If all it takes to kill a frog is a single spray, you're using a problematic pesticide, full stop.'
Marques comes out with a statement about how Church of the Earth Firsters, our Washington Grove chapter, its membership, continues to swell. “We've got Tom here, and there's this fella I know from Oregon. His name is Richie, and he owns a feed, seed, and lawn mower repair service. He's thinkin' of startin' an Oregon chapter. Boy has he ever got a frog story ta tell.”
“Well, David, why don't ya get it from him then?” Ruby May wants ta know.
“I'll do just that Ruby May. This is pretty good, first-hand and very local stuff.”