First of all, we'd like to say that it's really an honor to be asked to blog by what we consider the greatest bookstore ever! Powell's Books is always my (Jeff's) first stop when I visit Oregon because I'm guaranteed to find something I've been looking for and something I never knew that I wanted. And with that said, on to environmental policy!
One of the great injustices of our time is that people who don't understand science are responsible for our environmental policies. Politicians, who write environmental laws regulating our food, water, and soils, just don't know all that much about the consequences of what they're doing except in terms of how it might affect their reelection.
As a plant scientist (Jeff Gillman) and a political scientist (Eric Heberlig) we spend a lot of time discussing the science and politics that surround the choices that our politicians make for the environment. This is a constant source of frustration for us, and has been for years. Sure, we have no end of things to complain about, but I think we'd both prefer it if we could just nod happily at a new regulation or law. Our frustrations with the inability of politicians to work together or look at science in a constructive way led us to write a book, How The Government Got in Your Backyard, which tackles the science and politics of a bunch of hot-button environmental issues by approaching them objectively from both sides, rather than from the jaded political left or right.
This week we're going to spend some time looking at different issues which impact our environment and the science and politics behind them. We have some picked out already, but if there's any particular issue you'd like us to look at we'd be more than happy to oblige. Worried that USDA Certified Organic food isn't healthier than conventional food? Concerned that our government's lack of regulation of transgenic foods will be the death of us and our Earth? Staying up late at night thinking about global warming and how Obama isn't doing enough about it (or, too much)? These are some of the issues that we've spent a lot of time looking at as plant and political scientists and we're more than happy to tackle any of them!