Sunday, October 21, 2007

WANTED: Pesticide Detectives

How about a way to inject some clandestine environmental science into your travels?

I’m looking for adventuresome eco-travelers to help me to identify a number of environmental bad actors. I’m talking about hazardous agrichemical pesticides, and they’re out there in full force. They’ve infiltrated our drinking water supplies worldwide – and it’s up to us to arrest these ecological criminals.

I’m working on a super-cheap, elegantly simply, low-tech water filtration system that can be constructed by just about anybody, anywhere in the world, to scrub these bad guys out of our drinking water. Next year I’ll be proof-testing the design in the lab, to make sure it scours out the baddies and produces water safe to drink.

But for the next several months, I’ll be visiting crime scenes around Asia and building a dossier of the main culprits – a worst-of-the-worst list of ecological and human health perpetrators. By “crime scenes,” I mean the farms where the biochemical mafia does their sordid business, and the village shops where they get reinforcements.

This is where you come in. By myself I can only visit with a small number of shopkeepers and farmers, and only over a limited area of travel. But with a few more detectives on the global scene, we can cover more area and get a more comprehensive sense of the pesticide thugs that are out there terrorizing ecosystems and breaking-and-entering our bodies.

Your mission as an eco-traveler cum undercover agrichemical detective, should you choose to accept it, is to visit with the local farmers and shopkeepers wherever you happen to be traveling and make a list of the usual suspects. Then send the list to me and I will put it through my eco-crime database and indict the suspected cancer causers, endocrine disruptors, developmental and reproductive system depredators, neurological vandals, aquatic organism killers, and groundwater contaminators.

So what’s in it for you?

For one, you’ll get credited in any forthcoming publications that use your data. I’ll post periodic rundowns on the web so that you can see what my research turns up about the bad actors you identify and compare notes with other traveling agrichemical detectives.

You’ll get an opportunity for behind-the-scenes travel off the beaten path, where you’ll meet people, see stuff and have experiences that most travelers never get. You’ll make friends with villagers and farmers, probably get treated like a celebrity everywhere you go, and catch a glimpse of what ‘real life’ is like outside the commercial façade of the tourist areas.

(And remember that the chemicals are the criminals, not the farmer who applies them or even the shopkeeper who sells them – these folks are just low-level pawns in the international big-money agrichemical mafia, run by the likes of the Monsanto, Dow and DuPont eco-crime syndicates.)

Furthermore, you’ll get a heavy dose of insight into the dangers of chemical-intensive agriculture and the importance of organic methods. You’ll see field workers liberally applying carcinogens to rice or citrus or vegetables while wearing no protective equipment. You may meet folks who have been maimed by pesticide exposure, or hear stories of those who’ve died from it. You’ll witness ecosystems that have been irreversibly damaged. And you’ll witness signs of the economic ruin that comes to farmers from adopting industrial agriculture methods.

As a pesticide detective, you’ll be bearing witness to these ecological crimes and helping to bring the perpetrators to justice. Your list of agrichemicals helps me to design the best possible filtration system for producing safe drinking water. And tales of your experiences spread the redeeming message of organic agriculture.

Contact me at yeah.yeah.right.on (at) gmail (dot) com if you’re ready to sign up as a pesticide detective – I’ll brief you on what are the few critical and easily collected bits of data I need and you’ll be ready to start sleuthing out the bad guys!

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