I lay this background info out for a reason. You see, a little over a 2 years ago, scientists from the University of Colorado began a research study on Boulder Creek, a pristine snow-fed stream that runs down from the foothills of the Rockies right into Boulder, coursing through the city's vibrant and beautiful downtown. It's beloved by skateboarders, runners and kayakers alike, and the water is gorgeous and cold and clean. At least, there's no reason for it not to be. Which is why the following report, excerpted from an article in the National Catholic Register, is so shocking. What is more shocking is the deafening silence with which the results of this research study have been received. In a statement more credibly attributed to a gas-guzzling, rifle-toting SUV-driving conservative, environmental activist Dave Georgis, director of the Colorado Genetic Engineering Action Network, reasons: “You can’t have a zero impact, and this is one of the many, many impacts we have on the environment in everyday life,” Georgis said. “Nobody is to blame for this, and I don’t have a solution.”
Hmm, nobody to blame? Strange, because the results of the study seemed to clearly identify the source of the contamination: hormone pollution from the city sewer system. Hormone pollution? That sounds at least as dangerous as genetically engineered crops. But we must consider the source: "they [EPA-funded scientists at the University of Colorado] studied the fish and decided the main culprits were estrogens and other steroid hormones from birth control pills and patches, excreted in urine into the city’s sewage system and then into the creek."
And the impact the excretion of said substances is having on the aquatic wildlife? "Randomly netting 123 trout and other fish downstream from the city’s sewer plant, they found that 101 were female, 12 were male, and 10 were strange “intersex” fish with male and female features." These are not the chemicals leaking downstream from a steel mill or a pharmaceutical factory, which would surely have local activists up in arms. These are chemicals being excreted in human waste; read: they are coming out of our bodies and causing genetic alteration - mutation in some cases- in local wildlife. But by all means, let us continue to ingest these substances to continue in our on-demand lifestyle of uncomplicated convenience.
Curt Cunningham, water quality issues chairman for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Sierra Club International, worked tirelessly last year on a ballot measure that would force the City of Boulder to remove fluoride from drinking water, because some believe it has negative effects on health and the environment that outweigh its benefits. But Cunningham said he would never consider asking women to curtail use of birth control pills and patches — despite what effect these synthetics have on rivers, streams and drinking water: “I suspect people would not take kindly to that,” Cunningham said. “For many people it’s an economic necessity. It’s also a personal freedom issue.”
Yes of course, it is our inalienable right to ingest poisonous substances, a "sacred right and obligation to consume synthetic chemicals that alter a woman’s natural biological functions, even if this practice threatens innocent aquatic life downstream.”
A sacred right? Whoa now, that language is started to sound downright... dogmatic. I thought we had agreed to do away with the repressed archaic notions of divinely-endowed inalienable rights and moral absolutes. At least, that's the line I was fed. But I suppose where freedom of promiscuity is concerned, I suppose if the issue is women being less available for use and abuse, I suppose if the issue is sex with consequences, well, then, we all have a right to be free from that. And the impact on the environment? On our bodies? On those of our neighbors who don't voluntarily ingest poison? Remember, "nobody is to blame for this, and I don't have a solution."
Repeat as often as necessary.