Politics and Science in the Poisoning of America
More than 50 years after Rachel Carson's Silent Spring warning of pesticides, America continues to be sprayed with harmful substances. Farmers use most pesticides. These petrochemicals contaminate America's food and drinking water, giving disease to farm workers and contributing illnesses to many people. In addition, posticides are threatening the endangered species and wildlife as well as cementing in place a giant agriculture that wrecks both the land and family farmers, according to E.G. Vallianatos, co-author with McKay Jenkins of a new book, Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the E.P.A.
This dangerous state of affairs continues because agribusiness has been influencing Congress, the White House, and the rest of the government (especially the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture), as well as many American scientists by funding their research. The result of this excessive political influence is that Americans are ignoring the real danger of eating contaminated food, drinking contaminated water, and seeing rural America dominated by very few large farms and agribusinesses. This unhealthy reality also is detrimental to our democracy.
Vallianatos, who is the author of six books and more than 200 articles, received his BA in zoology from the University of Illinois, a Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and had postdoctoral studies in the history of science at Harvard. He worked for two years as an analyst on Capitol Hill and 25 years at the U.S. E.P.A. He also taught at several colleges and now writes for Truthout and the Huffington Post. He lives in Claremont. His coauthor, McKay Jenkins, is the Cornelius Tilghman Professor of English, Journalism, and Environmental Humanities at the University of Delaware, where he has won the Excellence in Teaching Award.
NOTE: Due to a scheduling error, this talk will not be repeated in Costa Mesa at 4:30.
Students (with ID): $4
Friends of the Center: FREE