Children & the Environment

Excerpts from a three-part series on the environment and children’s health and well-being

Between 2004 and 2006, Varda wrote three articles that together form an integrated series on environmental threats to children in North America.

‘Techno-Environmental Assaults on Childhood in America, ’Childhood Lost’

The first, ‘Techno-Environmental Assaults on Childhood in America’, with researcher Gary Sampson, was developed from a key-note address to the second Childhood in America national symposium, held at Point Park University, Pittsburgh. Childhood LostThe article appeared in Childhood Lost: How American Culture Is Failing Our Kids, in 2005, in the first anthology of the highly praised Praeger Press academic/popular crossover Childhood in America series, edited by symposium coordinator and psychologist Sharna Olfman.

Praise for Childhood Lost

“This brilliant and trenchant expose´ of how American culture fails our children will enlighten parents and should be on every policy-maker’s desk. I only hope they have the guts to read and act on it!” Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., Educational Psychologist and author Your Child’s Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning from Birth to Adolescence.

Childhood Lost… How American Culture is Failing our Kids” is an enormously important book and should become required reading for anyone who is concerned with our children’s welfare. It brings together world-renowned experts from a wide range of fields, ranging from anthropology and economics to psychology and environmental studies. Each of them writes with passion about their research and the dangers that face our children today. These essays highlight the unparalleled importance of childhood for a human being’s physical, intellectual, emotional and moral growth, and the steps that must be taken to safeguard children’s irreducible needs”. Stuart G. Shanker, Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy and Psychology, York University

‘Toxic World, Troubled Minds,’ No Child Left Different

The second article, devoted entirely to problems of chemical neurotoxicity, ‘Toxic World, Troubled Minds’ with researcher David Fenton, nochild_webappeared in the second anthology in the Childhood in America Series, No Child Left Different, 2006.

Praise for No Child Left Different

“This is a must read for anybody interested in the health and welfare of children. …[T]he various authors, leaders in their respective fields … demonstrate how a medical establishment obsessed with finding genetic causes routinely obfuscates environmental factors, and how a pharmaceutical industry obsessed with profits only sees self-interested opportunity in the suffering of children.” Joel Bakan, author (and co-director of the film) The Corporation.

“An important book raising critical concerns about childhood, drugs and how unfettered corporate interest combine with the romance of a quick fix to undermine children’s health.” Susan Linn, Ed.D., author of Consuming Kids, associate director of the Media Center of the Judge Baker Children’s Center and Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School.

“The clarity, passion and power of the authors’ writing strengthens their vital message. A must read for parents, mental health professionals, and policy makers and a forceful call to action.” Laura E. Berk, Distinguished Professor of Illinois State University, and author of Awakening Children’s Minds: How Parents and Teachers Can Make a Difference.

‘A World Fit for Children,’ Child Honoring

The third article, ‘A World Fit for Children’, sets out a step by step program for effecting major changes in children’s, family and public health with respect to environmental factors. ChildHonoring_150hIt appeared in the highly acclaimed anthology, Child Honoring: How To Turn This World Around, edited by Sharna Olfman and children’s entertainer and environmental activist Raffi Cavoukian, with a foreword by the Dalai Lama. It also appeared in 2006.

Praise for Childhonoring

 “Child Honoring is a bold vision for a humane and sustainable world.” Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Environmentalist, author, Crimes Against Nature.

“New ideas and a clear vision of how to reshape ‘a world fit for children,’ by all means read this sobering, salutary and inspirational book.” Stephen Lewis, Former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations.

“This excellent book exposes the corporatocracy that challenges the very essence of good parenting by putting profits before children. It heralds a major shift in priorities for detoxing the womb environment and assuring that each child reaches its fullest potential as a human being.” Theo Colborn, Ph.D., co-author of Our Stolen Future and president, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX).

“How often do you come across a book that might actually change the world for the better?… Read it, believe it, and pass on the message!” Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., Educational Psychologist and author, Your Child’s Growing Mind: Development and Learning from Birth to Adolescence.