The current issue of Rolling Stone features an in-depth article by Paul Solotaroff, What’s Killing the Babies of Vernal, Utah? Billed as the story about a midwife who becomes the local pariah after she starts asking questions about dead babies, it is much more than that. Donna Young has been a midwife in Vernal, Utah, for 20 years. Since 2013, she has witnessed and reported an alarming increase in the number of stillbirths and birth defects. Solotaroff weaves her story in and around other well-documented horrors in the gas patch, including Garfield County. I, and other environmentalists in Colorado, assisted Solotaroff with some of the research for this article.
This is the most important article you will read this week.
In an easy-to-follow slide show about the air in the Basin and its calamitous level of pollution, Moench [Dr. Brian Moench., an anesthesiologist in Salt Lake City who co-founded Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment] and his fellow doctors, two of them obstetricians, spent an hour and a half building a brick-by-brick indictment against the effect of those toxins [from fracking] on fetal neurons. “Think of them as bullets to developing brain cells,” said Moench. “They either kill some of those cells, alter them or switch them off, blocking their connections to other cells.” Citing a wave of new studies that link inhaled contaminants to everything from diabetes and obesity to ADD, he added that babies “are being born now pre-polluted. Lower IQs, less serotonin, less white-brain matter: We’re literally changing who they are as human beings.”