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Fox Does Environmental Story - But They Didn't Have An Environmentalist

Reported by Donna - September 8, 2005

Yesterday on Studio B with Jane Skinner filling in for Shepard Smith, she interviewed Dr. Stephen Garner with the St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Center about the poisonous water and sludge that now fills New Orleans.

Skinner reported that 5 people so far have died from water born diseases. She said that this may really turn into an environmental disaster if you believe what some toxicologists are saying.

Skinner said that the water is being pumped out could end up in the lake, the Gulf or even the Mississippi.

The following is paraphrased, but pretty much verbatim:

Dr. Stephen Garner: Your damned if you do, your damned if you don't. (Comment: Is this how Catholic doctor's talk?) You have this toxic material that not only has sewage but all kinds of chemicals from the factories and the petroleum plants and heavy metals. All known as carcinogenics. Cancer causing agents.

You have it flooding the streets, seeping into the ground, you've got to get rid of it. The best place is to pump it into the lake. Okay, granted, not a great choice to pollute the lake but the lake gradually cleans itself through the Gulf of Mexico (Comment: And this is acceptable?).

Jane Skinner: And then once it gets into the Gulf and possibly even the Mississippi, it could affect animal life. (Comment: Skinner seems more concerned with the Mississippi, I'm not sure why)

Dr. Stephen Garner: Fish, equatic life and so on. You're going to have a total change in ecology. This is just the devastating effects. There is no easy answer for these problems. (Comment: Prevention would have been a good answer and much easier that what they're faced with now, but we do need answers, easy or not)

Jane Skinner: Once it affects the ecology then it can't help but affect human health, I suppose.

Dr. Stephen Garner: Right because we're part of the chain. We start eating the fish that has mercury in it and we have more children born with autism and we start having more cases of liver cancer.

This is what's going to happen, 10, 20 years down the road.

Jane Skinner: Doesn't sound like there are many ways to mitigate that, at least at this point.

Comments: While I'll give credit for Fox covering an actual environmental story, it would have been nice if they had had an actual environmentalist on. I'm worried about these long term health effects. If it's pumped into the lake, shouldn't it be cleaned up there, before it goes into the Gulf?

Does the president have a plan? There's been evidence in the past that he does not plan for the long term. Fox ran a banner that said 'Task Force has been Formed to Monitor Health Hazards. But, who is on that task force? This isn't exactly the environmental president. I'd sure like to see a group of environmentalists on this now before it destroys the ecology of the entire region and the Gulf of Mexico to spread to everyone's food.

I fear for the future of our health, our children's health and will we ever be able to eat food from the Gulf again?

This all could have been prevented with proper funding to the Army Corp. of Engineers for the levees, but for now, it's time to think long term on the environment.

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