One of the most terrifying things that was brought to light in the last several months was that Flint, Michigan isn’t the only place in the country with lead poisoning. In fact, it isn’t even the worst place in the country with lead poisoning. Yet, no national leaders seemed to even take notice.
Last night Real Time with Bill Maher, welcomed actor and environmental activist Mark Ruffalo as his mid-show guest to talk about the problem. Ruffalo is nominated for Best Supporting Actor Oscar this year, but the real work that matters to the world is his non-profit organization Water Defense.
“The whole nation is Flint,” Ruffalo started off saying. “We just don’t hear about it until someone is sick.”
Jerry Brown—as much as we like to think of him as a great environmentalist and a climate leader—is basically one of the most friendly governors to oil and gas,” Ruffalo said about the California Governor. “And he goes all over the world, telling people they need to keep 80% of their carbon in the ground while he does everything he can to make production easier here. There’s no tax, there’s no regulations, we’re irrigating our crops in the Central Valley using … waste water.
Last year we learned that California is using the water for fracking — you know, the kind that you can set on fire — to irrigate our crops. We have so much of our vegetables and fruits that come out of California, and we’re going to water them with fracking water? While California is suffering from a horrific drought, more water is going into fracking for dangerous fossil fuels while it should be going to grow our food supply. So they decided they’d just get a two for one.
If that isn’t bad enough, California may incentivize and advertise its love for electric and hybrid cars, but the harsh reality is that a company was allowed to scrimp on safety that resulted in the largest methane leak in history. California might fight back against the disgusting and unbreathable air that hangs like a cloud over their cities, but what about those offshore oil rigs?
Now is the time for all political leaders to stop exchanging the safety and health of the American people for campaign contributions from companies that don’t care if they harm us or our planet.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWcuYn4gQZ4]
Featured image via screen capture