Now here's a great thing for my home town. Former Vice President Al Gore has become a partner in a venture capitalist firm located here in Menlo Park, California. The San Jose Mercury News reports today that the former vice-president and recent Nobel Peace Prize winner is working with Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers a VC firm located on the now locally famous Sand Hill Road where many tech companies have gotten their start. Sand Hill Road is to tech as Madison Ave. is to fashion. I just love the idea that green technology and environmental issues are such a hot topics right now and much of the awareness and funding is here in my backyard.
As we slowly disengage ourselves from the oil dependence that America has been on for almost a century we are looking toward the future where alternative energy sources, reducing carbon emissions, and developing non-toxic alternatives to many common daily contaminants abound. The dark sexy news lies in global warming and hybrid technology but there is much more to the Greening of America and the world. The not so sexy news is that you can probably prevent a lot of illness that you didn't know you could prevent just by making different choices at home and at work.
Despite all the media coverage about how changing weather patterns and global warming, not much is being said about the chemicals that are found in the home and workplace. These are things that are polluting our bodies and our minds. For instance, have you ever been to FedEx/Kinkos and felt like you had just lost about 20 iQ points after the experience due to inhaling the printing chemicals?
Many of the patient population that I see have some environmentally related component to their illness. This includes diagnoses such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, chemical sensitivities, allergies, autism, ADD/ADHD and anxiety. As much attention and money is being focused on the melting of polar icecaps and endangered species, there is little notice of the ocean's pollution and how that affects the health of those of us who love sushi and eat seafood. If I really think about it, it is pretty pathetic that the Environmental Working Group had to make up a Tuna Calculator so that we know how much mercury we are getting with our tuna sandwich every day. For my weight and size I can eat about half a can of albacore tuna a week before I exceed my safe allowance of mercury intake. How sad is that?
Our seas are getting so polluted that we almost can't eat the larger fish that have been caught. The FDA recommends that women of child bearing age and children under 5 not eat albacore tuna at ALL due to their toxicity! I am also seeing a lot of children with precocious puberty which are girls (and boys) that are starting to go into puberty years before they should. Some kids as young as 5 and 6. Other doctors have dealt with children having early puberty signs as young as 3. The xenoestrogens, or chemicals that have hormonal effect on our bodies are numerous and at times overwhelming. Silicon Valley has one of the highest autism rates in the country and probably the world.
The point to all of this is that there is not enough awareness that goes into the underlying causes of many health issues. The trend points to an increasingly more toxic world that we as individuals can change. The healing of our body and minds, like the earth start through awareness and conscious action. Thank you Mr. Gore for your care and attention toward the environment. There are too few in our government and media who are noticing.