Couple looking for a woman in Kettleman city California

Added: Dalan Garland - Date: 30.07.2021 10:30 - Views: 11453 - Clicks: 7932

The town of about 1, is bordered on three sides by crops, including almond trees and tomato plants, that extend for 20 miles. Earlier this year, however, the town made national headlines after residents reported that at least eleven local babies had recently been born with severe defects, including Down syndrome, missing brain parts, and cleft lips and palates. One was stillborn. Three died in infancy. The birth defect cluster could be a statistical quirk, but it is much more likely that environmental factors are to blame.

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Many residents believe a toxic-waste dump three and a half miles from town has poisoned the Couple looking for a woman in Kettleman city California, soil, or water. The pervasive uncertainty about what caused the defects has kept some women in the town from considering pregnancy. This willful pollution, compounded by destructive farming practices and climate change, has led to water scarcity, soil contamination, and, in some cases, diminishing crop yields.

While scientists are racing to respond to the problems industrial farms have created by rethinking the way crops are cultivated, many growers are just seeking ways to maintain their profits in the short term on increasingly limited resources. Above all, the valley is likely a harbinger for the bleak future of big farming in the United States, as the destructive consequences of its disregard for the environment and human health come to light.

Environmental depredation in the Central Valley is nothing new. The region was once predominantly swamp, seasonal wetland, and prairie, but, in the second half of the nineteenth century, growers and their political allies began turning it into an agricultural engine. They diverted rivers, built canals and levees, and drained the largest inland body of water west of the Great Lakes, turning its exposed bed into cotton fields. Vast farms now dominate the region.

The cause was identified as sele nium in agricultural drainwater that had been pumped into the refuge to make up for freshwater that was being diverted to crops. And a University of California-Davis study from concluded that there is a two-in-three chance the poorly built levees on which the San Joaquin depends for water will experience a disastrous collapse by Crops are also being squeezed out of increasingly spent ecosystems.

On a human level, farms depend on minority and immigrant laborers who receive rock-bottom compensation and are exposed to serious health risks in the fields and their communities. A Congressional Research Service report found that the San Joaquin is even poorer than Appalachia, and cancer clusters pop up there every few years.

Pesticide drifts, during which toxic chemicals are blown from fields to adjacent towns, happen more or less annually. The victims suffer vomiting, nausea, coughing, sore throats, irritated eyes, and assorted long-term damage. Ina couple dozen vomiting and coughing residents of the town of Earlimart were rounded up by firemen, taken to a middle school football field, ordered to strip, and sprayed with a fire hose—which did nothing to alleviate their ailments. Alarmingly, health problems sometimes extend much further: In Decemberat least 81 people in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin suffered E.

Inabout 1, people as far away as Canada and Hawaii fell ill after eating watermelons tainted by pesticides. All of this portends a dark future for the Central Valley. To ward off disaster, many farmers are trying to switch to crops that require less water, and researchers are hurrying to develop genetically modified crops that can cope with higher temperatures, reduced water supplies, and diseases currently combated with pesticides.

They are hampered, however, by cutbacks in government research grants.

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Moreover, while geneticists are learning how to make plants disease-resistant, their fixes would probably only work for a few years, until pathogens find ways around them. In Kettleman City, residents hope that publicity about the birth defect cluster will force the nearby waste dump to abandon expansion plans, and prospects have improved for the construction of a new water-treatment plant that would make it safe to drink from local taps.

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But they doubt they can pinpoint it. Production of some commodities may diminish or end altogether. While other countries—starting with China—seek to make up the shortfall in agricultural products consumed by millions of people nationwide, the demand for farmworkers in the valley could drop, costing many people their jobs and worsening their already poor living conditions.

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Couple looking for a woman in Kettleman city California

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