Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Kerrys Speak Out On Environment

Teresa Heinz Kerry and (hubby) Senator John Kerry came to Cambridge, Massachusetts last Saturday to speak out on the current environmental situation, and to encourage people to take action. The convocation was part of a tour for their new book This Moment on Earth.

The Kerrys were very impressive; both speaking without notes to the large audience, they demonstrated a firm grasp on a wide variety of environmental issues including climate change, fisheries, the bees, breast cancer, and cosmetics. Not surprisingly, the politically strong-suited Senator tended to focus more on affirmative democracy, activism, and populist efforts; the Ms. was more scientific and concentrated on health issues, particularly ones related to women and children. Working together, they wove a compelling narrative on the urgency of the current environmental problems. Questions from the audience were answered directly and specifically, without the usual rhetorical device of acknowledging the presenter, then changing the topic to something they really knew something about. Oh, and they were also signing books too.

Senator Kerry stressed the importance of continuing the 37 year old tradition of Earth Day, and emphasized using the event as a springboard for change. Being comprehensive without rambling, the Senator cited many regulations (The Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, etc.) and organizations (the EPA) that arose from the environmental activism in the 1970s and encouraged more of the same.

Ms. Heinz Kerry had an impressive array of facts at her disposal, so much so that it would be dangerous to wrangle them up here in a few short sentences. She stressed the importance to having cosmetics and cleaning products tested in the US, citing that 250 of these products have been banned in Europe; the US, only 5. She also knew that cell phone radiation penetrates 2 inches into your head, and that newborn babies have dozens of chemicals in their system before they are born. She finished with "If you can't use your democratic rights to protect your unborn baby's life, what can you use them for?" That was the money quote for me; get out there, and do something.

No comments: