A new school will be opening in Los Angeles next Monday that is named after Nobel Laureate Al Gore and Rachel Carson, the woman almost single-handedly responsible for DDT being banned in the '70s.
Even more delicious than the names associated with the new $75.5-million Carson-Gore Academy of Environmental Sciences is that it was built on land thought to be highly-contaminated with various chemicals which could pose a threat to students.
As the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday:
Critics say the campus' location poses a long-term health risk to students and staff.
School district officials insist that the Arlington Heights property is clean and safe. And they've pledged to check vapor monitors and groundwater wells to make sure. [...]
"Renaming this terribly contaminated school after famous environmental advocates is an affront to the great work that these individuals have done to protect the public's health from harm," an environmental coalition wrote in a letter to the Los Angeles Unified School District. Making sure the school is safe "would be an even better way to honor their contribution to society."
Construction crews were working at the campus up to the Labor Day weekend, replacing toxic soil with clean fill. All told, workers removed dirt from two 3,800-square-foot plots to a depth of 45 feet, space enough to hold a four-story building. The soil had contained more than a dozen underground storage tanks serving light industrial businesses.
Additional contamination may have come from the underground tanks of an adjacent gas station. A barrier will stretch 45 feet down from ground level to limit future possible fuel leakage.
An oil well operates across the street, but officials said they've found no associated risks. Like many local campuses, this school also sits above an oil field, but no oil field-related methane has been detected.
Groundwater about 45 feet below the surface remains contaminated but also poses no risk, officials said.
You really can't make this stuff up.
Of course, readers shouldn't miss the irony of Carson and Gore's names being placed on a school that could end up being hazardous to the health of attendees.
After all, Carson has the blood of millions nay billions of malaria deaths on her hands as a result of her paranoid book "Silent Spring" leading to the ban of DDT many years ago.
As for Gore, if he ever gets his way, and nations around the world adopt cap-and-trade programs to limit carbon dioxide emissions, millions will likely die as a result of being kept from modern forms of energy creation.
As such, it's quite fitting a school be named after these two radical environmentalists that could end up harming the very students that attend it.
On the other hand, one could make the case that if the toxic fumes don't hurt these poor, unsuspecting young souls, the environmental nonsense they're being taught certainly will.
It's like rain on your wedding day.