Saturday, November 23, 2013

Long Term Survival

Awareness has become a larger part of my practice than I expected and I fully embrace the magnitude of what it can, on occasion, involve.  Many times, I am reminded that despite having a strong commitment to evidence based practice, I can still be far from mainstream thought.  For example,  several years ago a public health nurse in Calgary was asked on the radio if there were any need to eat organic.  Her answer in summary was to the effect of, "in the last several years, I have only seen maybe one or two cases of acute toxicity from consuming pesticides or herbicides on fruits or vegetables.  So, there isn't really a safety issue."  My reply would have been, knowing how smoking causes cancer, how may times have you seen acute toxicity of cigarette smoking in the last several years?  So, is there a safety issue with smoking?

Then we now have John Schadan vice president of Sherritt Coal.  Recently one of Sherritt Coal's tailing ponds broke and spilled heavy metals into the surrounding streams west of Edmonton and now the toxic waste is entering the Athabasca River.  To my surprise, the vice president tells the reporter that he wanted to prove a point to himself so drank water directly from the contaminated stream (Click to watch CBC Sherritt Coal Tailing Pond Spill Interview).  I'll leave it to you to decide what point he just proved!

It is not just the world we are leaving for our children that matters but we need to empower our children with the survival skills to last for generations or the state of the world that we leave them will not matter.