Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Low Sperm Counts and Deformed Penises, Thanks Plastic!

Joshua Zaffos posted an article recently to AlterNet titled, “Low Sperm Counts and Deformed Penises: The Chemical Industry Has a Hold on Your Reproductive Future.” The article address the chemical industry’s abuse of our trust that the products we use have been tested and are safe. As Mark Schapiro points out here, this is not the case. Two of the offending chemical compounds mentioned in Zaffos’s article, bisphenol-A and pthalates, are covered in Mark’s book Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power. From the article:
I am half the man my father is. This disturbing fortune came to me about five years ago, but not from an odd relative or a sadistic girlfriend. Instead, this dinner-table diagnosis came from Theo (short for Theodora) Colborn, an internationally known scientist who has helped develop the field of research exploring how chemical compounds interfere with the hormones that guide human development. Known as endocrine disruption, chemicals found in computer screens and car seats, shower curtains and shampoo, plastic water bottles and prophylactics are skewing our odds against cancers and causing developmental delays and reproductive roadblocks, including declining sperm counts. So, when Colborn informed me of my inferior manhood, I took consolation in the fact that she was indicting my entire generation — and her own — for loading our natural environment, our workplaces and our homes with tens of thousands of chemical compounds without really having a clue about what we’re doing. Our Stolen Future, the book Colborn co-authored in 1996, first delivered this bad news to the general public. More than a decade later, scientists are still conducting experiments and measuring results, from cramped basement labs at universities to expansive high-country lakes in the wilderness. The hypotheses generally aren’t questions of whether chemicals are pervading and persisting in the environment, but rather how severely they are stunting our development and health. The federal government has investigated these questions with timidity, if not contempt, operating a regulatory system practically beholden to the chemical industry. With half of my manhood at stake and hopes for a better assessment in the future, I’m wondering how we can heed the warning signs and reverse our chemical course.
 The full article can be found here.


A Dictionary to Survive the Future

When British economist David Fleming died unexpectedly in 2010, he left behind his great unpublished work, a masterpiece more than thirty years in the making—an intellectually evocative and inspiring dictionary, Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. In it, Fleming examined the consequences of an economy that destroys the very foundations—ecological, […] Read More

Overshoot, Collapse, and Creating a Better Future

In 2016, Earth Overshoot Day happened on August 8—the day when we’ve exhausted the planet’s resources for the year, and are essentially borrowing from future years to maintain our existence today.Perhaps you celebrated this day with a counter-solution: a vegetarian meal, telecommuted, or turned off the air conditioning. There’s a lot more you could be […] Read More

Plants & Pests: Will Bonsall’s Advice on “Wee Beasties” in the Garden

“From a plant’s point of view there is little difference between a cutworm, a woodchuck, a blight spore, and, for that matter, us.”“These are all things that in one way or another prey upon it. It is an inevitable constraint of all living things: We escape one peril only to ultimately succumb to another,” so […] Read More

To Create Climate-Secure Foodscapes, Think Like a Plant

The techniques and prophetic vision for achieving food security in the face of climate change contained in Gary Paul Nabhan’s Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land may well need to be implemented across most of North America over the next half-century, and are already applicable in most of the semiarid West, Great Plains, and […] Read More

The Future Is Hopeless, So Give it Your All

The never-ending national election in the United States, the “surprise” pro-Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, climate change … the list goes on and on about how easy it can be to lose hope in the future.Like many of life’s frustrations, or overwhelmingly large topics, most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the […] Read More
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