By Mari Anne Gest of Portland, Oregon, who describes herself as a "homegrown progressive advocate that wants to keep Blue Oregon green". Previously, she contributed Timberrrr! Legislators are at it again.
It was just a thought. My mother has a rare disease that could cause blindness.
I asked her if the doctor thought there was a connection to her growing up next to a Nuclear Reactor in the 40's. Radiation was released at much higher levels then.
Several years ago my mom survived thyroid cancer -- a common side effect of over exposure to radiation. I myself had a tumor removed from my thyroid. My little sister was born with a birth defect, but what the heck -- everyone has a sad story to tell. We are of pioneer stock and not inclined to whine.
Just for a moment I wondered out loud to my mother why so much money is spent on finding a cure for cancer and disease instead of prevention? I remember my mom going door to door in our neighborhood to raise money to fight cancer. She said; 'It's the money.' 'Pharmaceutical companies spend millions (and make billions) researching and selling cures.'
If we focused on prevention we'd find ourselves taking on corporate America, political leaders and the almighty dollar.
When we get sick we go to the health care community, which is important for jobs and the economy. Not to mention the pharmaceutical companies that provide the drugs we need to feel better when we get sick, and the advertisement world, which depends on these drug makers. How dare we interfere with the economy?
And what about cleaning up our rivers and protecting them while we have a chance? Could there be a tie to prevention of health problems? Why bother when we help fuel the economy by purchasing bottled water. We destroy the habitat for our wild salmon by logging but we need the money and jobs. Farmed salmon is just as good though studies show they can harm our health. But again, this strategy is important to keeping our economy going.
It's interesting how government regulations change over time regarding chemicals. One day they are acceptable and the next, after testing on us, yes, us, they realize that maybe those so called scientific tests performed by the manufacturer weren't 100% accurate. But don't blame the government; they don't have the money to provide testing for all those chemicals and pollutants. Remember we want tax cuts - but not to worry, the companies will perform the scientific studies! We can have our studies and tax cuts too.
Our economy would suffer a severe setback if we curtailed industrial polluters. Water? We have lots in Oregon. But what we don't have are good jobs. It's a no-brainer for our politicians - jobs win. We will always have an abundance of clean water -- Right?
Sorry mom. You are right. It is easier to let those corporate giants sink money into finding a cure. After all, they make money from creating the problem and then make more money from treating our symptoms and our economy goes round. We are so thrilled to have our jobs that we don't dare mess with a good thing.
It was just a thought.