Wednesday, August 27, 2008

History Lesson

Just a bit of good news this morning from the Brooklyn Eagle (I think I saw it in the Times yesterday too) --

BROOKLYN -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has committed to a new series of tests at Newtown Creek, considered one of the most polluted waterways on the East Coast, taking any additional necessary samples at four priority sites.

If the data demonstrates high levels of toxic chemicals, the entire Newtown Creek area could be designated a federal Superfund site and may be eligible for federal funding of up to 90 percent of the cleanup costs.

Of course the question then becomes why should the government pay for what the oil companies should pay for (I believe at least a bunch of this issue lies with Exxon) -- but then the government goes after the companies in court.

It's such a strange thing -- this project, this spill in Greenpoint --
I have a friend who smokes cigarettes -- she's part French -- she doesn't really believe it's such a bad thing. She spends hours worrying about what she should tell her kids when they ask if she's going to die. She gets very hung up on the feeling that smokers have it really tough in this day and age in America --

I'm the wrong person to talk to -- though she persists. When my grandfather was dying of lung cancer in the little Brookly apartment, the dining room was a make shift ward and green puss was bubbling up through the bandage.

So my arguments against smoking are more compelling than most. Dying from smoking simply is part of my history.

But now I'm sure that the spill had something to do with it. They smoked -- they smoked a lot (both of my grandparents died of lung cancer) -- but so did their friends... I'm just sure it must be connected.

So history changes -- my family history. And not small memories or perspective shift -- real huge history and the way that I feel about things. That's a very strange thing.

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