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Re: E-M:/ Symbol for Clean water unanimously passes Senate, whilesubstantive laws and funding are being gutted
no more polluted than any other
part of the Great Lakes!
Dear Ms. Madsen,
Thank you for raising to this issue. I love wetlands, am very aware muck
is a natural substance, and composed of rotted dead plants and animals,
the product of aerobic, and facultative anaerobic microbial degradation.
I am never happier than when I am bog trotting and have spent 1/2 century
as a native Michigander doing more than most to protect wetlands and bogs
while academicians did far less to actively protect and save them from destruction.
I not offering my personal world view with yesterdays email but instead
am identifying what I had read about how others view the Lotus as a symbol
of rebirth, raising out of the ooze and muck in pristine beauty.
You have identified that Michigan wetlands are no more polluted (nor one
bit less) than any other part of the Great Lakes, I view this as a general
failure on the part of the scientific community to promote safer alternatives.
"Remember, better living through chemistry?" State of Michigan universities
took that to heart and their extension service often act as pesticide apologists,
while at the same time exhibit behavior akin to state capitalism and are
daily promoting , endorsing, and helping to market millions of pounds of
pesticide, fungicides, herbicides and other industrial chemicals each year
that end up in the Great Lakes while simultaneously repressing and disparaging
private sector efforts of biological control, and other safer, more sustainable
You have missed the point I had hoped to make, to have trusted public institutions
withhold biological control and bioremediation technology much like the unenlightened
academic mind set used to "drain swamps" in the past. Some Michigan Universities
have failed to share vital available technology, apparently to milk the public
or governmental agencies out of more grant money. To gut funding for cleanups,
but use the American Lotus as a symbol is ironic. However it is a perfect
metaphor for rising above the lies, filth, political muck, and corruption
that keeps our water polluted and our air impure. Fear mongering is a common
practice of State of Michigan employees used to promote polluting technologies
Samuel M. DeFazio, PRAXIS
Barbara Jean Madsen wrote:
On Thu, 29 May 2003, Praxis wrote:
Lotus grow best in a polluted setting.
its blossom. held well above the filth, muck,
and corruption of life made of rotting vegetable and animal matter that
it grows best in.
As a botanist and wetland ecologist, I have to object to this portrayal of
both the American Lotus (which should not be confused with the completely
unrelated Asian lotuses), and its habitat. "Muck" is, in fact, a natural
organic soil type, the result of incomplete decomposition of (mostly)
plant material as a result of waterlogging and lack of oxygen in the
sediment. Praxis' characterization of decomposing organic materials as
"corruption of life" and these habitats as "filth" perpetuates outmoded
nineteenth-century stereotypes of wetlands, especially organic-soil
wetlands, as somehow unhealthy, "polluted", noxious, and disease-ridden.
These are the same misconceptions and fear-mongering being spread by the
groups and individuals who want to destroy Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
These are, in fact, healthy, normal, dynamic habitats, essential to the
health of the Great Lakes ecosystem, and no more polluted than any other
part of the Great Lakes!