Remember when I have spoken about the Power of One in my Urban Sustainability post? Or my rant about evil Round-up? Well the Power of One and the ranting about lawn pesticides is quite evident in the movie, Chemical Reaction, produced by PZMedia being aired in different locations throughout the country. The movie features the struggle of Dr. June Irwin, a local Quebec dermatologist, who sought to change the pesticide habits of lawns in her town Hudson because she was convinced that the pesticides used were dangerous and harmful to people.
“She grew up on a Harley, wore layers of jewelry and applied more eye makeup in a day than some women put on in a month, so it was common to cast the eccentric physician as a quack. Whatever Dr. June Irwin might have lacked in standard professional appearance, however, she more than made up for it with tenacity and intellect. She would steadfastly attend every single town meeting in Hudson for six consecutive years — each time reading aloud a different letter with new observations and facts,” states the representatives of PZMedia.
You have to love Irwin’s dedication. Finally, Michael Elliot, the Mayor of Hudson decided to take action.
“I always wondered why the guys for the lawn companies had to wear acid proof rubber boots when they applied the products,” he said. “Acid proof? That means it’s going to do you some damage. I don’t know. I’m a simple guy. It’s not rocket science to me,” explains the Mayor.
The cast of character is like playing the game of Clue. There is the Whistleblower (Irwin), the Mayor, the Judge, the Town Manager and a whole host of other players.
Paul’s definitely on a mission of his own creation, and he has been ever since I first met him. He is determined to get the rest of the world to see the error of their ways and to embrace organic horticulture in its many facets. He’s so absolute in his determination that inevitably he has become a polarizing entity within the industry. When we’re out shooting on the road, we have people come up to him and call him their hero. And then, in the very same day someone will call him a fear monger and say that he’s out of his mind.
I admire that his will doesn’t get broken by the criticism and he never seems concerned when he has a low turnout at one of his talks. He just keeps moving, blazing a trail, and getting his message out to anyone who wants to hear it.”
The goal of this movie according to Plymale,
“[f]irst of all I want to convey Hudson’s extraordinary story of standing up for its right to protect its citizens. I want to show how social change can occur, and I want people to feel empowered by the process of democracy.
In terms of lawn chemicals, the goals of the project are simple; to completely change the way every single person in America thinks of lawn chemicals. That’s it. I’d be satisfied if that were the outcome.”
In a current movie press release, Turkey asked one of the most basic of questions: If these products are banned in Canada why do we allow these chemicals to be sold here? Makes you want to stop and wonder. Who is watching the lawn?
If the movie airs in your local, don’t miss it. And get inspired to create change in your own town. Hudson should be the norm, not just what movies are made about.