LA school named for Gore is on toxic site

A new $75.5 million Los Angeles elementary school named for Al Gore and Rachel Carson was built on a toxic site, reports the LA Times.

“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.

As part of a $4 million clean-up, crews are replacing soil contaminated by underground storage tanks with clean fill. A barrier will go 45 feet down to limit possible fuel leakage from the underground tanks of an adjacent gas station. “Like many local campuses, this school also sits above an oil field, but no oil field-related methane has been detected,” reports the Times.

Critics “worry that the pollution sources have not been adequately identified and that the dirty groundwater could recontaminate the soil.”

The Carson-Gore Academy for Environmental Sciences aims to teach environmentalism in all subjects:

Cross-curriculum efforts will include environmental speeches and presentations in English, topsoil measurements in math and climate study in science.

The principal also envisions an organic garden that could produce a student-led farmer’s market.

Robina Suwol, who heads the California Safe Schools coalition, says the vegetables should be grown in above-ground planters.

Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, is even more controversial than Gore.  Her campaign against DDT is responsible for as many as 2.7 million deaths a year from malaria, writes Ronald Bailey in Reason.

About Joanne


  1. Richard Nieporent says:


    The Carson-Gore Academy for Environmental Sciences aims to teach environmentalism in all subjects.

    Instead of education we have indoctrination.

  2. Of course we have indoctrination.

    It used to be explicitly part of public education and now it’s implicit. But whichever it is as long as there’s a centralized authority there’ll be people who want to use it to lay the foundation for the victory of their ideology.

  3. It is a widespread myth that bans by environmentalists, rallied by Rachel Carson, are responsible for malaria that would have been controlled were DDT spraying allowed. (Joanne, there is no link to the Reason article).

    In fact, the use of DDT for disease vector control was allowed and continued long after silent spring. The reason it was ineffective was due to resistance due to agricultural use, which is what environmentalists banned. But so many (usually right-wing) sources get this wrong, hewing to the old myth. From the Wikipedia article:

    “Resistance has greatly reduced DDT’s effectiveness. WHO guidelines require that absence of resistance must be confirmed before using the chemical.[85] Resistance is largely due to agricultural use, in much greater quantities than required for disease prevention. According to one study that attempted to quantify the lives saved by banning agricultural use and thereby slowing the spread of resistance, “it can be estimated that at current rates each kilo of insecticide added to the environment will generate 105 new cases of malaria.”[19]

    “Resistance was noted early in spray campaigns. Paul Russell, a former head of the Allied Anti-Malaria campaign, observed in 1956 that “resistance has appeared [after] six or seven years.”[17] DDT has lost much of its effectiveness in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Turkey and Central America, and it has largely been replaced by organophosphate or carbamate insecticides, e.g. malathion or bendiocarb.[86]”

  4. Allen-
    Of course you’re right, but there doesn’t need to be centralized authority for people to lay a foundation for the victory of their ideology. Given the ability to influence people through digital media, it may be easier at this point in history to lay such a groundwork if you bypass the central authority altogether.