February 8, 2017 / Issue 233

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Seaver Franks


Alternative Facts Not Included 

The answer is: LOTS! I am ever so hopeful that after reading this newsletter, you will conclude that we need the EPA and all that it stands for. And that you might even consider engaging in any effort you can to preserve it. The Environmental Protection Agency protects our rivers and streams and our air and our water quality. Pretty important stuff don't you think? To inspire, engage or assure you that we all need the EPA, read on. In my county here in Arizona, the Pima County Department of Health lists Chronic Respiratory Disease as the third leading cause of fatalities after heart disease and cancer and that's WITH EPA air-quality standards.

Then there's the major role the EPA has taken when it comes to the quality of our rivers and streams. Just a little snippet of history prior to the establishment of the EPA from this Jersey girl who lived near New York's Hudson River. Between 1947 and 1977,  General Electric polluted the Hudson River by dispensing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), causing a range of harmful effects to wildlife and people who ate fish from the river or drank the water. Other kinds of pollution, including mercury contamination and sewage dumping, also caused major problems with the Hudson. And I remember how awful it actually smelled!
Prior to the establishment of Superfund clean-ups, numerous factories that once lined the Hudson River poured garbage and  industrial waste directly into the river. PLEASE PRESS PAUSE AND READ THAT SENTENCE ONE MORE TIME: DIRECTLY INTO THE RIVER. These factories produced transformers, capacitors, and electric motors, which used PCBs as dielectric and coolant fluid. This pollution was not comprehensively assessed until the 1970s.  Between approximately 1947 and 1977, General Electric released between 500,000 and 1,500,000 pounds (230,000 and 680,000 kg) of PCBs into the river. The EPA banned the manufacture of PCBs in 1979. And would it shock any of you to discover that the bulk of the PCBs in the river were made by Monsanto under the brand names Aroclor 1242 and Aroclor 1016?
In lieu of writing that 10 page newsletter I am always threatening to write, let me just highlight 10 of what I believe are some of the major accomplishments brought about due to the efforts of the EPA. Read them and weep. Read them and let the facts land. Or read them and do more research because to know better is to do better and in the weeks and months to come, all of us who care about our rivers and streams, our wildlife and our air quality and our children are going to have to stand up and be counted like never before.  
  1. EPA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development were charged with protecting children's health through lead-based paint prevention activities, including detection and treatment of lead-based paint poisoning, limiting lead use in certain consumer items, and banning the use of lead-based interior paints in residences built or renovated by the federal government. What's wrong with lead you might ask? Lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood. Lead may also cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures and in extreme cases, death. Some symptoms of lead poisoning may include headaches, stomachaches, nausea, tiredness and irritability. Children who are lead poisoned may show no symptoms. No big deal right?
  2. EPA banned use of DDT because the widely-used pesticide was found to be cancer-causing and accumulating in the food chain, posing a risk to public health and the environment.
  3. To limit raw sewage flowing into the nation's rivers, lakes and streams, EPA embarked on a major national commitment to build an advanced network of sewage treatment facilities. By 1988, virtually all U.S. cities built or committed to build such facilities, resulting in rivers and lakes that are safe for swimming, tourism and commercial and recreational fishing. Imagine that - no raw sewage flowing into our nation's waterways.
  4. In the early 1970s, The United States and Canada signed the International Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement which began the cleanup of the Great Lakes. By the way, the Great Lakes contain 95 percent of the nation's fresh water and supply drinking water for 23 million Americans.
  5. EPA began the ban that phased out all use of lead in gasoline, resulting in a 98% reduction in lead levels in the air. The phase-out protected millions of children (OUR CHILDREN) from serious, permanent learning disabilities by helping to reduce blood lead levels by 75%.
  6. EPA set the first national standards limiting industrial water pollution, launching a program that today prevents one billion pounds of toxics from reaching our rivers, lakes, and streams each year. But if the EPA is dismantled, I am sure that companies like Monsanto will choose safety over profits and continue to protect us - don't you agree? (Heavy sarcasm intended)
  7. Because of the EPA and in order to meet EPA emission standards designed to protect public health from harmful air pollution, car makers started installing catalytic converters in new motor vehicles to meet those standards. Folks, we all breathe the same air regardless of political affiliation.
  8. Air quality and visibility in national parks and wilderness were further protected by the EPA with new amendments to the Clean Air Act, with provisions that preserve clean air in these important natural areas. Matters to me!
  9. EPA and other federal agencies worked together to ban the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as a propellant in most aerosol cans. CFCs destroy the earth's ozone layer, which protects life on earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. What's the big deal, right?
  10. Brace yourself for this totally radical act on the part of the EPA: To protect seashore recreation, ocean life, and the fishing industry, EPA's ban ended dumping of sewage sludge into oceans and coastal waters. How dare they? Who among us minds swimming with raw sewage?
Had enough or want more? Here is a link that will take you to DOZENS more of the EPA accomplishments - all of which have contributed to our quality of life and which have helped protect OUR children (our future) from harm. As I stated above, you can read their many  accomplishments and choose to weep because all of that protection might soon be disappearing (to the benefit of major corporations like Monsanto) OR read them and become engaged and active and vocal. Get inspired and add your voice to the many voices who care enough to realize that we need the EPA and we should all fight like hell to keep it intact. Why? Because the life you save may be your own.  
We are beyond thrilled to welcome Russett Southwest Corp, industry leaders in providing residential HVAC and indoor quality to its customers for 60 years, as our newest MGW partner. From my very first meeting with them, it was easy to conclude that their commitment to integrity, honesty and customer service is, indeed, the foundation of their business. They talked about things like making people's homes healthy and how troubled they were about poor indoor air quality and its impact on people's health. And they meant it. They spoke passionately about how they have the latest technology to support their Healthier Home, Healthier You Program so that harmful toxins in our homes can be detected and eliminated. They shared with me some real cases of how they discovered mold or bacteria and other "nasty stuff" in people's homes and how they went about correcting those things which, in turn, frequently restored their customers' health. By teaming up with Russett, the MGW team will be working to educate people all over the country about how testing your home can help you identify "what lies within and why" because their goal in testing indoor air quality is to identify what is in the home, why levels of certain potentially harmful particulates are elevated and what it requires to change things and manage those changes. Not your average HVAC company!
(On a very personal note but very worth sharing, I heard about Russett from a dear friend of mine named Megan. She had chronic and severe sinus infections. It was recommended at some point that she have surgery. She did and suffered a very painful infection after the surgery. Once she recovered from that, her sinus infections were back with a vengeance. Enter Gary Gibson, whom I lovingly now call "The Mold Whisperer." He is the founder of Russett Southwest and a friend of Megan's. He went to her home and knew immediately that there was something amiss with her air quality. Yes, he has the ability to sniff out what lies beneath and behind. They found bacteria in the wall behind Megan's bed and remedied the problem. End of sinus infections - for years now.) 
I am not giving up!

In the last newsletter I invited you to become more pro-actively engaged with the Mrs. Green's World podcasts. We received some great emails with comments about the newsletter and some questions for me but not a single question for a show guest! (Thank you Dr. G for giving me the two thumbs up! It matters coming from you.) Well, we really DO want to try something new and we sooooo hope you will give my request some thought. I am not giving up. Here's our invitation. Read about our upcoming guests and think about something you would like for me to ask our guest. It can be something you want to know, think would be fun to know, or that might result in some thought provoking discussion with the guest. Email your question to us  and if Mrs. Green asks it on the air, we will mention your name AND we will most happily provide you with a $25 gift certificate to a locally-owned establishment of your choice anywhere in the United States. What a wonderful way to become more engaged in raising your Environmental IQ in 2017. Are you in?  I hope so! 

February 14
Making Contact: New Approaches to Cracking the Communications of Dolphins and Whales
James Nestor, author and journalist
James is a journalist with a passion for extreme adventure who has written for Scientific American, National Public Radio and The New York Times, draws from his mind-boggling, multiple award-winning new book, DEEP: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves. He'll describe how groups of athletes and scientists plumbed ocean depths, and researchers collaborating with engineers from Apple, Google and elsewhere worked to "crack" the cetacean language code and send back messages to these giant marine mammals - to make contact. Their weird and wondrous new discoveries might just redefine our understanding of the ocean, and of ourselves. Another amazing guest with unbelievable experiences to share with us. This show made possible due to the generous support of the Chapman Automotive Group.
February 21
All Aboard: The Goal of Mayor Jim Brainard
Jim is the six-term GOP Mayor of Carmel, Indiana (same state as Mike Pence.) He was one of only four Republicans on a Presidential task force on climate change. Although Jim argues that conservation has long been a core Republican value - the root word of conservative being "conserve" - he's arguably more of a "rogue elephant" in this arena now more than ever before.    But he remains a strong believer in the cause, and his willingness to speak out could embolden other Republicans who care about conservation.  There are many of them.  This is such an important show for me personally because it is all about finding common ground with people from both political parties who understand and who are willing to stand up and be counted about the most critical issue facing our planet today: climate change. And if you want to know why Mayor Brainard has been dubbed "The King of Roundabouts" you will want to make sure you join us. The story is a fascinating one. Please plan to listen and be inspired. This show made possible due to the generous support of the Chapman Automotive Group.

February 28
Biomimicry: Imitating Nature
Nicole Miller, Managing Director Biomimicry 3.8
I admit that I first became aware of biomimicry at the Cultivating Women's Leadership Conference I attended in July of last year. So what is it and why is it so vitally important that more and more of us know and understand just what Biomimicry is and its significant value to citizens of this planet? In short, Biomimicry   is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature's time-tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies - new ways of living - that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul. Translation? Learning from nature. Biomimicry 3.8 is the global leader in biomimicry innovation consulting and professional training, helping innovation leaders, designers, business and sustainability leaders, to solve human problems with biological intelligence and brilliance of nature's designs.  How do they do it? By accessing the powerful intelligence embedded in 3.8 billion years of evolution, Biomimicry 3.8 has collaborated with innovation teams and individuals at more than 250 companies to achieve competitive advantages through biomimicry. Their consulting staff of biologists, chemists, and designers work with innovation and design teams to zero in on the relevant biological intelligence and unpack nature's proven processes and structures to inspire new solutions for the world's challenges. Talk about improving our Environmental IQ - bring it on! This show made possible due to the generous support of the Chapman Automotive Group.
March 7
The Least Deadly Catch: Ocean Farming in 3D
Bren Smith, owner of Thimble Island Ocean Farm and Executive Director of GreenWave
When I heard Bren Smith present at Bioneers 2016 last October,  I literally jumped up from my seat to get to the line forming of people who wanted to talk to Bren. My mission? Get him on the MGW show.  His is AMAZING, fun, funny, inspiring and brilliant. A lifelong commercial fisherman since age 14, Bren has pioneered "restorative 3D ocean farming" to restore ecosystems, mitigate climate change, create blue-green jobs for fishermen, and ensure healthy food for communities. From a very young age, Bren witnessed the destruction of the ocean firsthand.  In a quest for a better way, he pioneered a revolutionary new model of harvesting bounty from the seas. Join us to hear Bren's story including his future vision for restorative 3-D ocean farming. To me Bren is the Triple Bottom Line (People, Plant, Profit) all wrapped up in one human being with a very big heart. Please join us. This show made possible doe to the generous support of The Fairfax Companies.

March 14
Invented for Life
Nitasha Rohatqi, Brand Manager, Bosch; and Alan Thompson, District Sales Manager
From the founding of Bosch by Robert Bosch over 130 years ago, this company's history has been characterized by innovate drive and social commitment. They strive to improve the quality of life for their customers with innovative products and services that are second to none. Whether they are producing household appliances or a power tool for a professional, Bosch products provide the best technology, the highest performance, that stand for quality, innovative and excellent design. As for being good stewards of the community? Up to and including today, Bosch spends about HALF of its global research and development budget on technologies that help conserve resources and protect the environment. They use natural resources responsibly and continuously work to reduce energy consumption at every level of their organization. And as a consumer, several of Bosch values I admire and respect are their constant development of new ideas to make people's daily lives more comfortable, their appliances are actually intelligent and their household products are styled in ways that you just can't wait to own one. Join us to hear great, exciting, concrete examples of all of the above and why I have admired and respected them since I began my Mrs. Green journey. This show made possible due to the generous support of Bosch Worldwide.
March 21 - TBA

March 28
BioNurse: Generating Spaces for Life
Camila Hernandez and Camila Gratacos
I was actually in the audience at the Bioneers 2016, when John Lanier, Executive Director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and sponsor of the grand prize in the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, announced that the two Camilas won the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize. To be honest, I actually thought the two of them were BioNurses. What I found out later is that they were part of the BioNurse team from the Ceres Regional Center for Fruit and Vegetable Innovation in Chile. There are many reasons this BioNurse's BioPatch design received this prestigious award and they are all about creating healthy soil, being waste-free, self-sustaining and low cost. The BioPatch was inspired by nature and the design mimics the way hardy "nurse" plants establish themselves in degraded soils and pave the way for new plant species to grow. Simply put, they are one solution to ways we can feed a global population by developing biomimetic solutions to climate change. Prepare to be fascinated and filled with hope.  This show made possible due to the generous support of The Fairfax Companies.
April 4
Green for All
Vien Truong, Director of Green For All
Vien, a longstanding, highly effective environmental and social justice activist, helped lead a coalition to pass California's landmark SB 535 (de Leon) law, which reinvests hundreds of millions dollars in disadvantaged communities and offers a national model for making polluters pay. Vien has received many prestigious state, regional and local awards for her work advocating on behalf of those most vulnerable to climate change. To make real progress on climate change, we need a true collaborative movement, reaching across race, class and ethnic divisions. In California, where 73% of those under 18 years old are people of color, Vien Truong will walk us through practical examples and models of what success looks like - and what it's going to take to build this movement. In a word?  Vien is a force. I heard her speak at the Bioneers 2016 and could not wait to share her passion, her knowledge and her success with bringing about much needed change with all of you.  This show made possible due to the generous support of the Chapman Automotive Group.
April 11
Syncronicity Earth
Jessica Sweidan, Co-Founding Trustee
When Jessica and her husband, Adam, founded Synchronicity Earth, they wanted to look at the whole conservation landscape, make sense of it, and spread the word so that ultimately they can ramp up funding for excellent projects. They believe that without a healthy biosphere, we all lose the possibility of peace, security, health and prosperity for all. They also believe that unless we change course, we will soon accelerate the 6th Mass Extinction, the first caused by humans. And they want to be a part of what needs to happen so that we can ensure that we pass on a planet worth inhabiting for future generations.  But it's the "how" they go about doing this that intrigues me. Their rigorous research identifies effective people and organizations globally tackling the most urgent environmental problems. Then their team works alongside and bolsters them so that, together, they can protect Earth's at-risk species, peoples and habitats, and regenerate damaged ecosystems. Jessica is a visionary, an inspirational thought leader and a force. I hope you will join us for a conversation about hope, possibility and change. This show made possible due to the generous support of The Fairfax Companies.
April 18
An Orbital Perspective on Spaceship Earth
Ron Garan, Fighter Pilot, Test Pilot, Explorer, Aquanaut & Astronaut
When you visit Ron's website , it states that Ron "occasionally can be found in low Earth orbit, on the bottom of the ocean, or meeting new crew-mates  on Spaceship Earth." When I met Ron, he was meeting and speaking to new crew-mates at an amazing event called Fast Pitch and he had us all from hello. Ron described, in detail, about an experience he had in 2008 on the International Space Station looking down at our indescribably beautiful Earth. As he soaked in the indescribable beauty, he couldn't help but think of the inequity that exists on this apparent paradise we have all been given. He couldn't help but think of all the people who don't have enough clean water to drink or enough food to eat, of the social injustice, conflicts and poverty that exists throughout the earth. While in space, he pondered the question: if we have the resources and the technology to solve the challenges we face, why do they still persist? Join me as I ask Ron about his experiences in Space, what kind of answers he has found and how it has impacted this phase of his life's journey. This show made possible due to the generous support of the Chapman Automotive Group.
April 25
Meet the Feral Agrarian
Ariel Greenwood
Ariel Greenwood calls herself a "feral agrarian" - one who works at the intersection of agriculture and the wild. Currently she is the resident grazier at a research preserve where she manages a herd of cattle to restore its grasslands as part of Holistic Ag. She is also orchard manager at the renowned Occidental Arts and Ecology Center and blogs at ArielGreenwood.com but she is one of our guests who is hard to capture in words. She   grew up unschooled in the wilds of the rural Southeast. In college, she studied agroecology and psychology while working with community gardens and private farms. She has grown produce and raised livestock for families, five star restaurants, and tech companies and she has strong opinions about many things related to restoring grasslands and raising cattle - among other things. And I want to hear as many of them as I can. This show made possible due to the generous support of The Fairfax Companies