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Ruth Berlin's picture

Most of you are undoubtedly familiar with the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Emperor's New Clothes." You may even have read it to your kids and grandkids.

Remember how the two unscrupulous weavers promise the vain and pretentious emperor to create for him new clothes woven of material so marvelous, not to mention expensive, that only those clever, competent and worthy of the emperor's goodwill will be able to see it? His fearful subjects, unwilling to state what their eyes see before them, mumble the appropriate oohs and aahs when the emperor, thinking himself oh so regally decked out, appears in public "wearing" his new suit.

It takes a child to state the obvious: the emperor has no clothes. "But he isn't wearing anything at all!" shouts the child.

Thankfully, out of the mouths of our babes still comes the truth!

And thanks to an 8-year-old actor and the Ian Somerhalden Foundation for this latest video entertainingly stating the truth about the deadly toll pesticides are taking against bees, butterflies and other pollinators, without whom the food chain we depend upon for our very existence could crash. (Full disclosure: the young actor, Zachary Rifkin, is my grandson.)

How appropriate that the coming generation, our children and grandchildren, are given the opportunity to alert the adult world to the consequences of unrestrained pesticide use. After all, it is they who will suffer most in a future world even more environmentally compromised than today's.

View this video. Share it with Moms and your kids and grandkids.

I won't object if you smile at just how cute Zachary comes across.

Maryland Moms: If you haven’t already, please sign our petition for a Maryland pesticide use database to help our researchers monitor pesticide impacts on our babies, bees and the (Chesapeake) Bay.

 Ruth Berlin, LCSW-C, is founder and Executive Director of  the Maryland Pesticide Network. She is also a practicing psychotherapist. She can be reached at



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