In 2007, a “state of emergency” was declared in California because the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) was supposedly doing significant damage to agricultural crops. The state’s solution to the problem was to bypass everyone’s rights, and spray the whole state with a pesticide that would eventually eradicate the moth. Soon enough, planes were flying over residential areas in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, blanketing communities with this dangerous spray.
California residents were getting sick, dead birds were washing ashore. So they got together and formed action committees to fight the spraying. They revealed that:
- The apple moth posed no serious threat to agriculture aside from economic sanctions.
- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger received significant campaign contributions from people associated with Suterra Inc., the pesticide manufacturing company that produced the chemicals in the spray. Stewart and Lynda Resnick, co-chairs of Roll International (the holding company of Suterra Inc.), made a $144,600 donation to Schwarzenegger’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign.
- The spray was harmful to human health, the environment, and other life.
The THRIVE Sector model, as embodied in the Sector Navigator below and the 12 Sectors Landing page, proved helpful in optimizing volunteer efforts in the Santa Cruz and Monterey areas by encouraging focused and coordinated efforts in Health, Environment, Economics, Justice, Governance, Science, Arts and Media.
The Berkeley Daily Planet. Plaintiffs Win Pesticide Fight; Feds Withdraw LBAM Sprays by Richard Brenneman. May 15, 2009.