Last week, the BCONE - Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast Brownfields, Books, and Brew (BBB) club finished Robert Bilott's, "Exposure."
We'd like to take this moment to honor the persistent, brilliant, passionate, and principled farmer and citizen scientist, Earl Tennant. If it weren't for Earl, we'd all still be frying eggs in our trustworthy Teflon pans and allowing our families to be poisoned for generations with forever chemicals.
Earl was a hero dressed in overalls--an uneducated genius with a deep love for his cows and an unwavering moral compass. He was right all along: He connected the dots long before all the highly educated civil servants, attorneys, and scientists. Earl was a great American and should be honored for his contribution to the world and for raising our collective environmental consciousness.
To the other hero of the story, Robert Bilott: We'd like to thank him for passionately recounting his journey and compassionately telling the stories of those he encountered along the way. He matched Dupont's duplicity and talent for obfuscation with simple (but not simplistic) diligence, resolve, and moral outrage. Demonstrating an almost superhuman ability to glean salient facts from disparate disciplines, Billot wove them together into a narrative that the regulators, judges, and jurors could not ignore. He forever changed the world with his work. Billot, too, is a great American.
Both men paid dearly for their roles in this saga: one with his life and the other with his health. It takes courage to take on a behemoth like Dupont. Every American should know this story and recognize it—using the framework of the great mythologist, Joseph Campbell-- as a veritable hero's journey.
Needless to say, members of the book club have decided that we are not ready to let go of this topic. We will post a list on Linked in of supplemental materials to read/view for our next meeting.
Posted April 1, 2022