Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 53 > Page 46 - On the Trail of Elizabeth May

Page 46 - On the Trail of Elizabeth May

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/1/1 (251 reads)

a really bad government that it was important to save something to protect the global cli? mate? And yet when you start breaking it down, there's all kinds of really good environmen? talists working in Brazil. There's all these really courageous indigenous people. And there is an economic sense to not destroying the rain forest. And it makes no sense to destroy it, because nothing ever grows back. (Elizabeth, let's get back to you. The herbi? cide case in Cape Breton--is that the begin? ning of your interest in environmental things?) Oh no, no. Go back to budworm. 1976 is when we started Cape Breton Landowners Against the Spray. But was that the beginning of my interest in environmental stuff? No. I was active in high school in environmental work. To be honest, I don't know of any time that I wasn't interested in the environment. But there wasn't necessarily a cause around it. the Hartford area where I grew up to form one big coalition environmental group. We had an Earth Walk, and we raised money to have the first Ralph Nader outfit outside of Washing? ton, based in Connecticut. And those are now called PIRGs--Public Interest Resource Groups. And there's several, lots of them in Canada. So that was one thing. And I worked on getting a bill introduced to the Connecticut legislature to ban non-return? able bottles and cans. And I worked to get phosphates out of detergents. And that was all between '70 and '72. and we moved (to Cape Breton) in '73. And when we moved, one of the things I brought with me were all of my books on environmental issues, and all qf my back issues of various newsletters. It was a funny thing to bring. Because a lot of the stuff that we had in the States got left behind. That I had all my facts and literature from all those years--and I was interested in pesticides. When I got to high school, by 1970, there was a lot of interest in pollution. And I was in? volved. I started an ecology club at my high school. And then I found out there were other ecology clubs, so I got the 35 high schools in Go ACADIAN STRIPS DAILY BETWEEN SYDNEY & HALIFAX TRIP 72 - Pick ups in: NORTH SYDNEY, LITTLE BRAS D'OR, BIG HARBOUR, BADDECK. LITTLE NARROWS, WHYCOCOMAGH, PORT HASTINGS, PORT HAWKESBURY, & others (TRUR01:45 P.M. VIA RAIL connection) TRIP 64L - No other Cape Breton pick ups TRIP 62L - Pick ups in: NORTH SYDNEY, LITTLE BRAS D'OR, BADDECK, WHYCOCOMAGH, & PORT HAWKESBURY TRIP 54 - via St. Peter's - Pick ups in: SYDNEY RIVER, 2:15 P.M. 11:50 P.M. BIG POND, ST. PETER'S. GRAND ANSE, CLEVELAND, PORT HAWKESBURY, & others TRIP 76 - Pick uos in: NORTH SYDNEY. BADDECK. 6:00 P.M. 12:10 A.M. WHYCOCOMAGH. PORT HAWKESBURY (SUNDAY TO FRIDAY ONLY) CALL TOLL FREE 12 NOON 5:30 P.M. 12:30 PM. 7:10 P.M. Schedule Subject to Change 1-454-9321 for furttier information PARCEL EXPRESS • Same day service to most Maritime points • Collect shipments now accepted • Excess insurance available to $500.00 • "Priority Pak" our new 12''x1'" waterproof envelope with a flat rate throughout the Maritimes for $4.00 • sold 10 for $40.00 GRAYLINE SIGHTSEEING TOURS June 1 - October 15 See Historic Halifax / Peggy's Cove We depart from most hotels for these tours. ACADIAN LINES LIMITED 6040 Almon Street, Halifax, N. S. B3K 5M1 I was most interested in pesticides because we had had sheep who had died in Connecticut with really horrible death from--it was like they had nerve gas. Their legs were twitching and it was awful. And we were really crazy about those sheep. And we had an autopsy done. They hadn't eaten anything poisonous. The vet couldn't figure out what happened. That happened when I was about 12 or 13. And it was a couple years later that I read Silent Spring (by Rachel Car? son) . And I read the S3nnptoms of nerve gas poi? soning from insecticides. And it looked just like how our sheep had looked when they died. So I wrote the town, and I said, "During this period"--which was right before the sheep had died--"was there any spraying done on our road? And if so, what chemicals were used?" And they sent me back a letter with a list of some of the most villainous of insecticides that had been used in combination. And from reading Rachel Carson, I realized that those were the chemicals that would have caused those symptoms. So anyway, I was an environmentalist at that point, I guess. I mean, I wrote back to the town and I said. "Look, you should know that your spray program killed our sheep." But they never wrote back. Anyway, I had Rachel Carson's book with me. So when it turned out in '76 that they were going to start spraying for budworm in Cape Breton.... The first thing I saw on it--well, I saw the item in the newspaper--and then the 539-4413 539-4415 "GOOD DEALS ON GOOD CARS!" Located on ttie Sydney - Glace Bay Higtiway 1/2 mile before U.C.C.B. Catering Services I for Any Function [ large or I Yellow Cello Cafe Bakery ./ 295-2303 #' Pizza / Outdoor J Terrace I JFacing theL < Wharf in > [baddeck]
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