319. Water Wars: Protecting Our Most Sacred Resource W/ Erin Brockovich & Suzanne Boothby

Erin Brockovich & Suzanne Boothby

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Suzanne Boothby is a health, wellness, and environmental writer. Erin Brockovich is a consumer advocate and environmental activist. And they are co-authors of the new book “Superman's Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis and What We the People Can Do About It.”

Suzanne Boothby is a health, wellness, and environmental writer based in Asheville, N.C.

Erin Brockovich is a consumer advocate and environmental activist. Her new book “Superman's Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis and What We the People Can Do About It” was published by Pantheon Books on August 25, 2020.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Today I’m joined by one of the world’s most iconic water whistleblowers, Erin Brockovich, whose 30-year mission to decontaminate America’s toxic water system shows no sign of drying up. Turns out, not even an Oscar-winning hit movie could overthrow the corporate grip on nature’s most natural source!

Together with Suzanne Boothby, co-author of “Superman's Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis and What We the People Can Do About It,” the three of us dive into the antiquated laws and legislation polluting our ‘drinking’ water, minds, and bodies, as well as providing you with practical solutions to flip the filtration system at a grass-roots level.

It can be overwhelming to get your head around the catastrophic levels of poison being legally pumped into our kitchens, bathrooms, and food products. However, it’s crucial we empower ourselves with the science and solutions to access truly safe water–and reconnect with the planet and ourselves in the process.

No one’s coming to save us — we have to save the planet if we want to save ourselves.

08:43 — Erin Brockovich’s Water Story and how it inspired her new book

Her journey and relentless battle to bring the hidden secrets surrounding America’s filthy water system to light

Her collaboration with writer Suzanne Boothby on their new book, “Superman's Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis and What We the People Can Do About It”

The spiritual connection between humans. nature and water source

The Wizard of Oz and its parallels with the current water crisis  

29:33 — Water 101

How water is reclaimed and recycled from your toilet and back into your tap 

The backstory on hexavalent chromium (Chrome 6)

How our chlorinated water supply creates brain eating amoebas and is causing Lechona outbreaks across the US

42.09 —  The corrupt system controlling our water supply

Why we need to stop using ammonia at a national, state and local level

Why governments are ignoring the readily available UV and Ozone solutions out there

The lack of regulation, interest and funding on Hexavalent Chromium laws

Why no water fountain in a park, school or public building is safe to drink from

50:36 — Debunking ‘The Fluoride Myth’

How fluoride calcifies the pineal gland in your brain and disrupts your magnetic field

The real reason fluoride finds its way into your glass (disclaimer: it’s not for your teeth)

The active community that’s working to reduce and remove fluoride in our H20

01:01:22 — How fracking is draining and damaging our water system and how we can stop it

What is the Haliburton loophole, and how does it protect the fracking industry at our expense?

How fracking is causing literally turning water to flames due to lack of regulation

The alternatives to deep-water injections in our aquifers

Watch “Gasland”

01:26:37 — Which is better for our water supply: plant-based or regenerative farming?

How factory farming methods are polluting our water supplies

Getting to grips with the hierarchy of water waste 

The murky story behind the ‘The Lead and Copper Rule’

01:34:34 — The truth behind Trichloroethane (TCE)

How one solvent has exposed one million American soldiers to TCE, a known cancer-causing compound

How the Department of Defense is poisoning soldiers on their own soil by not being transparent

Why Minnesota is setting an example for everyone in the nationwide battle against TCE

01:50:57 — How you can revolutionize your water habits at home 

Why bottled water is not safe to drink  

How local-level activism can really make a difference 

How Pristine Hydra, AquaTrue, and Ophora can help purify your personal water supply

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube.

[00:00:00]Luke Storey:  I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlessly committed to my deepest passion, designing the ultimate lifestyle based on the most powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you.

[00:00:25]Erin Brockovich:  Oh, a person for my own heart. I'm always, watch your language, Erin. 

[00:00:31]Luke Storey:  You don't have to watch your language on this show, although I have over the past four years toned down my own language because I have had some parents right in, and they're like, I love your show, man, but do you have to say fuck every five minutes? I want to listen in the car with my kids. And so, trying to find a balance of being authentic, and being me, and communicating the way I communicate, and also, tone it down. But you two are free to talk however you want.

[00:00:55]Erin Brockovich:  Well, I'm a grandmother now of four, so I'll watch my language.

[00:01:00]Suzanne Boothby:  And in the publishing industry, you only get like one or two fucks in a book, which I was assuming we would use, but I don't think there's any in the book.

[00:01:07]Erin Brockovich:  No, we said it separate from the book. This one, I thought was really going to—at some point, I'm like, she's leaving.

[00:01:16]Luke Storey:  Yeah. I don't see any profanity in the book. 

[00:01:16]Erin Brockovich:  She's going to leave.

[00:01:21]Luke Storey:  Some of the things I read in the book made me think profanity because it's so disturbing, made me so pissed, but I guess that is good. That's the point, right? Alright. So, first thing, you two, tell us about the new book, Superman's Not Coming and the podcast. What's the book about? I know we're going to dive into a lot of the meat of it, but what was the impetus to write this book and what's the summary of it? Because I think that's the most new and exciting thing for both of you right now, right?

[00:01:48]Erin Brockovich:  I've been working in the environment and water since I was 30. I'm now 60, so it's been a long journey. I've learned a lot as a foot soldier on the ground about water, working with the experts, the communities, the poisoning of water, legislation, the lack of legislation. I've always said, water's never a sound bite. It's always a story, and it's always someone's story. And the more I'd get into communities, there was this idea, but yet this frustration, where's EPA or the EPA's here, we're saved.

[00:02:25] Yeah, no, I don't think so. Ah, where's the health department? Why didn't anyone say anything? Where's our agencies? And so, it became, as I was at community meetings, I'm like, yeah, because, no, Superman's Not Coming. And everywhere I go, there's been somewhat of an idea or surprise, what do you mean, no one's really watching the water? So, that's kind of how Superman got going. But there is so much misinformation out there. It's not necessarily wrong information, or confusion about water, or lack of awareness, where would I get a water report?

[00:03:01] Why am I not getting it? What does this pollution mean? How does the agencies really work? That it became a moment where it's like, we have to get it into a book, and a book that people could read, reference, refer to learn about the EPA, how the system works, how the systems failed, and what we, the people, can do because that's where I actually see the biggest changes. And so, that's how it started. And then, Suzanne, co-author here of this book, and I laugh every time because we've spent a lot of time together. She knows me pretty well. 

[00:03:38]Luke Storey:  I can tell. I can feel the rapport between the two of you. So, how did you get involved in this project?

[00:03:43]Suzanne Boothby:  So, Erin and I have the same agent. And so, I mean, we got connected because she was looking for someone that could help with some of the writing, and sort of the background, the interviews, that kind of stuff, because Erin's like running around all over, saving people and putting out fires.

[00:04:00]Luke Storey:  She's being Superwoman, yeah. 

[00:04:04]Erin Brockovich:  Yeah. No, Superwoman's not coming either, but you're here, so that's the whole point. We need people to. And we'll get into that in a minute, but that's how I met Suzanne.

[00:04:12]Suzanne Boothby:  But when I heard about it, it was funny, because, so I graduated from journalism school in 2000, the year that the Erin Brockovich movie came out. So, it was like, I've graduated, I saw this movie, I was like, this is what I want to do. Like this is the kind of journalism. And I started my career at Mother Jones magazine in San Francisco. So, we were doing like real political, like environmental 20 years ago. And then, my career has just kind of gone all over the place.

[00:04:15] As a professional writer, you kind of have to take the jobs that you get. But when we got connected, I was like, oh, my gosh, this is an amazing project, because here's this person who everybody respects and loves, the movie and this one town. And when I started talking with Erin, I was like, wow, she's been going these last 20 years and all these communities have been reaching out to her with the same kinds of problems. And everybody thinks it's just their community, but when you line these communities up, across the board, it's crazy. It's crazy, what's going on.

[00:05:11]Erin Brockovich:  See, to my point, see, people don't know. Even watching Suzanne, that we've shared a lot of tears, a lot of frustration, I honestly thought there was a moment where I'm like, she's going to bail. 

[00:05:23]Luke Storey:  She's going to bail.

[00:05:25]Erin Brockovich:  And I'm like, hang in there. It's a lot of data to take in. And it can almost hurt your brain to understand water. And it's complex. And I think we just take it for granted. We turn on tap, we have water. I think because we can't see what's going on, we're never going to run out of water. All of these things, nothing could be further from the truth. And the more you understand water and read the book, the more you're going to understand yourself and the more you're going to understand the need for us as people not to rely on legislation. We have to make movements to give back to this planet because we're in some trouble.

[00:06:06]Luke Storey:  I was reminded of this issue in its scope when I interviewed Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently and his work with the Waterkeepers Alliance.

[00:06:15]Erin Brockovich:  Yeah, They're amazing. And our Waterkeepers around America are a beautiful organization.

[00:06:20]Luke Storey:  He reminded me of how big it is. I think I've become a bit insulated because I became aware of the issues with water 20 years ago and have sought out my own personal resources for water for myself, and family, and whatnot. But I forget most people, A, don't know, and B, the ones that do know don't really have viable solutions even in their personal, immediate life experience and lifestyle to supply themselves with water, let alone to go out and actually fix what's wrong. So, I could see why you almost bailed, because when I start to look at it-

[00:06:56]Erin Brockovich:  There was tear, we went through a lot, honestly. 

[00:06:58]Luke Storey:  When I interviewed RF, I was like, oh, God, he's started out cleaning up one river. You're like, okay, how many rivers are there in this country? How many rivers are there in the world? And you get to the sea, and then you get into the municipality issue, and it's just like, oh, my God. So, I commend both of you. And before I forget, I want to thank you for reaching out. It's a great opportunity to have a conversation with you. And I'm glad that you saw my passion for this issue.

[00:07:26]Suzanne Boothby:  I've been in health and wellness a long time, too, and I think there's a lot of people who are really good on the food part or the farm part, but they miss the water, and you're one of those people that really gets the water piece.

[00:07:37]Luke Storey:  Well, it's like, your blood is made of water. I mean, it's just like it's what we are, so that's why it's always been, to me, such a core issue. And you're right. And I have found it annoying, actually, in the health industry that so many people are like, you've got to be vegan, paleo, raw, keto, and I'm like, yeah, but what are you drinking? Like, to me, that's the first thing you tackle, then you start getting into the food. 

[00:08:00]Erin Brockovich:  You bring up an interesting point just to even like, I don't know, for any listeners, set a stage. I'm very visual, as Suzanne knows, and how you made a comment, we are water and to visualize water. And like I said, my journey in water has also been a journey into my own self-discovery. And so, I've recently been sharing about water. And if you look at the strength of water, it carves hills and valleys. It changes coastal land forms. And when you realize you're water and you find yourself weak, if water has that kind of strength, so do I.

[00:08:45] And so, I feel we've become disconnected from who we are, which is the water. And speaking about the river keepers and you were talking about how overwhelming it is, I am fascinated with the fact that there are no two bodies of water, anywhere on this planet, the same. They have their own fingerprint, like we. So, I've really connected again, and I think when people connect again that the environment is us and we are the environment, we'll start rising more as we learn that knowledge is power to protect who we are.

[00:09:22]Luke Storey:  Yeah, that's so beautiful. And as a nature lover, even though I'm here in the city, every chance I get to get the hell out of here, and if I'm not, I'm in the backyard pretending like I'm in nature. I had an experience recently in Yosemite. I went up there just for a weekend jaunt and I happened to take a copious amount of mushrooms one particular day there. And I don't say that you have to have that experience to have the experience that I had, but it's the truth. I'm just going to be real. And I wanted to have kind of a ceremony in nature, and just really feel the trees, and the rocks, and the animals, and picking up little rocks in the creek, and playing with salamanders, and just really getting into it.

[00:09:59] And I'm sitting there and the sun's coming through the trees and it's just beautiful moment. And I thought to myself, Luke, this is it, man. You've got to be in nature more. And then, the voice that we all hear in our own way said, Luke, you don't get in nature, you are nature. And I was like, oh, this is what the indigenous cultures around the world perceive as their environment. It's not like the environment's over there and I'm over here. You are the environment. 

[00:10:26]Erin Brockovich:  But we've disconnected.

[00:10:27]Luke Storey:  Yeah, absolutely.

[00:10:30]Erin Brockovich:  Some of our turmoil in this world, I've been saying for a good year on my lectures, there's a shift coming because we've moved too far away. And I really think that moment is just really here. That will be an awakening for us. She's heard my Wizard of Oz story too many times. 

[00:10:48]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah, you can tell. 

[00:10:49]Erin Brockovich:  I can see her right now.

[00:10:51]Luke Storey:  What is it? 

[00:10:52]Erin Brockovich:  I've been, for years. Fascinated with, not the movie, Wizard of Oz, even though I loved it, I was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, so I was always watching Dorothy, I aspired to be Dorothy. I was out on a journey. I mean, I love this, but the book that L. Frank Baum wrote before The Wizard of Oz became a movie. 

[00:11:11]Luke Storey:  I had no idea that existed, so thank you.

[00:11:13]Erin Brockovich:  We're going to do some fun Google searching today because there's a political allegory to it that blows my mind. I've been obsessed with it. He wrote the book at the pre-height of the Industrial Revolution as a way to teach his children the power of individualism and thinking for oneself in a world that was increasingly going to begin speaking for you. So, there's a whole political allegory to the book, Wizard of Oz. So, Dorothy is every girl that lives next door out on a journey to find herself, right? 

[00:11:49] So, you'll see in the film, and most of us have seen it, but even in the book, there is a tornado. That tornado is a representation of disruption in DC. So, as Dorothy, the story goes, the house gets picked up in a tornado and dropped on the Munchkins, which is a representation of the citizens who are frustrated and they're angry. And what they do know or what they do believe is she's got to follow that yellow brick road to find the wizard because he will have the answer for her.

[00:12:20] So, off she goes on the road. So, she meets the Tin Man and his representation in the political allegory, which has been highly studied by many scholars. This isn't something where they're guessing at. But the Tin Man is a representation. He lost his heart because he's an industry worker, and how he will be treated by industry. He lost his heart. So then, those two go off and they made the Cowardly Lion. And the Cowardly Lion has no courage, but he's a representation of a politician, L. Frank Baum's best friend, William Bryans Jenning, and he's known running for a populist president, but he never had any courage.

[00:13:06] And so then, they meet the Scarecrow who everyone thought had no brain, he represents the farmer. And during that time, all the banks were buying the farmer's land. So, look at our farmer today. So, here we have L. Frank Baums' interpretation of the American people, every girl next door, industrial worker, politicians, and our farmers. So, off they go on their journey to the yellow brick road and they're met by the Wicked Witch of industry who doesn't want them finding out the truth, so they get put to sleep in the poppy field. 

[00:13:45]Luke Storey:  Does the poppy fields have anything to do with opium?

[00:13:47]Erin Brockovich:  Well, I guess it could because that is poppy. 

[00:13:50]Luke Storey:  It could have been a rose garden.

[00:13:52]Erin Brockovich:  Yeah. But I don't know. It could. 

[00:13:54]Luke Storey:  It was the precursor premonition to fence the fentanyl crisis.

[00:13:58]Suzanne Boothby:  Maybe.

[00:13:58]Erin Brockovich:  Possibly, who knows? But that is a moment for me that where I got stuck on Wizard of Oz. I'm like, a lot of it even led me to Superman is not coming, I'm like, do we not know what's going on? Are we buying the illusion? Do we think there is a wizard? Are we comfortable? Have we gotten complacent because something is not right. Something's just not jiving for me out here. And so, I became very into this Wizard of Oz, but I think we're in that moment again. If you look back at the pre-height of the Industrial Revolution, it was a revolution. I think social media has been a revolution.

[00:14:40] And I think at some level, we have been asleep. And what I don't get overly alarmed about what's happening today, I believe we are waking up. And in that wakeup, there is going to be turmoil. But the moral of the story is, see, when they got to see the great wizard and they pulled the curtain back, they're like, wow, there really isn't a wizard, and I'm wondering if that's where we're going. But what I have the hope and I believe, just like they learned, that we, the people, have forgotten we have a heart, we have our brain, and we have the courage. And it's going to be up to us to find our way home. 

[00:15:29]Luke Storey:  Damn. Mic drop. We're done. Thank you for coming today. 

[00:15:32]Suzanne Boothby:  That's great.

[00:15:33]Erin Brockovich:  Thanks. The sass with The Wizard of Oz.

[00:15:36]Luke Storey:  No, that's great. 

[00:15:37]Erin Brockovich:  But it's a true political allegory, and it almost seems we're in that parallel.

[00:15:42]Luke Storey:  Absolutely. And I love that you framed the tumultuous time that we're in as an awakening. My fiancee you met on the way in, Alyson, always corrects me, and I'm grateful that she does, because I'm like kind of end of times, because I'm going on all these rabbit holes and I'm interviewing all these brilliant people that are privy to information that I was previously not. And it gets pretty bleak when you start seeing behind the curtain. It's not that there is no wizard, there are wizards and some of them are-

[00:16:11]Erin Brockovich:  We're it. There is no Superman, we're here. Wake up, people.

[00:16:15]Luke Storey:  Yeah, we are. But at the same time, there are humans in power that don't want us to be free and succeed because they're drunk on their, as you well know—so it's like, God, I'm like, now, it's all coming out in the open, and you see social media censorship wanting to close that door. They don't want us to find out. So, they're like trying to plug the leaks so that we don't see the people that are pulling the strings and what their real motivations are. But it is an awakening, nonetheless.

[00:16:46]Erin Brockovich:  It is. And pre-industrial revolution is a revelation and a revolution, and I think we're in that, revelation, revolution. We're in that zone. And this is some like, oh, DD, DD thing. It really is. And this is why I've said my journey in the water and I hope that we're all in some journey, right? But we have lost ourselves. And when we don't have that perceived person to guide us, and direct us, and reassure us, or be that courage, or fix it for us, we forget that we have ourselves. 

[00:17:26] I think that this moment is a very serious inward journey and the understanding of we, as humans. And she knows how I feel about Rachel Carson. And we open up in the book with one of Rachel Carson's quotes that she did in 1963, and it says that man has now acquired a fateful power to alter nature. But man's war on nature is inevitably a war upon himself. And when that happens, that moment of, we have to turn in, and instead of trying to control nature, we need to master and understand ourselves. And I think when we do, we'll stop that war on nature.

[00:18:15]Luke Storey:  Yeah, absolutely. Well, let's go ahead and get into the water piece. And I'm going to start with this just because-

[00:18:20]Erin Brockovich:  Oh, it's not. It's never an easy answer.

[00:18:23]Luke Storey:  No, I'm going to start with this. And, Suzanne, you might know a little bit about this because we were talking about Daniel Vitalis, his work, and there's the naturalist's kind of relationship with water. And as you know, I've been a fan of springwater for a long time. It was something that both Daniel and David Wolfe reminded me of some 20 years ago or something like, oh, yeah, there's water in the ground that's not, I used to think that hadn't been above ground in a long time. So, water that had resurfaced through the hydrological cycle, pre-industrial revolution, therefore it's not contaminated with anything other than getting water that's got too much of one mineral or something like that, right? 

[00:19:00]Erin Brockovich:  We could ruin that for you today. Now, I just see the look on his face. Not every spring is clean.

[00:19:08]Luke Storey:  No, it's not. It's not. I have mine tested and I'm a proponent of making sure it is. But here's the thing. And I don't know if either of you have ever even heard of this. It's not something I've researched a lot. But today, in preparation for this, I did a little research to see if there was actually science behind this. And this is something called primary water. Are you guys familiar with that term? 

[00:19:28] Because the idea here is that there's one school of thought that is, we're running out of water, there's not going to be enough fresh water, and then there's this primary water that I looked up today and found a brief study or a brief excerpt from Scientific American that says, recent study documented the presence of vast quantities of water. Oh, my God, that's funny. My dictation was on my computer, and now, I'm seeing what I said. Said, the study confirmed that there is a very, very large amount of water that's trapped in a really distinct layer in the deep earth, approaching the sort of mass of water that's present in the world's oceans.

[00:20:05] So, this primary water concept, which does have, incidentally, a lot of research behind it, indicates that the water that we see on the surface of Earth that we typically see in the hydrological cycle is only part of the picture. And this isn't saying, let's not work on the water problem, but it's a sense of hope that there might just be more water that the Earth not only contains beneath the surface, but is actually manufacturing through electromagnetic radiation from the sun and all of these different forces.

[00:20:34]Erin Brockovich:  The water is a big cycle, and it has been for billions of years.

[00:20:38]Luke Storey:  Have either of you looked into this idea that there are springs and hot springs in different places on Earth where new water that's never been up here before is emerging?

[00:20:49]Suzanne Boothby:  I hope so.

[00:20:54]Erin Brockovich:  Yeah, you're definitely going to want to hope. Yes, there could be, and I haven't delved really too deep into it. For a long time, we've had the idea the water we do have is the solution to pollution is dilution. And that's one thing that we can't keep taking for granted, that any and all of our trash, I mean, just goes into our waterways. Whether it's plastics, or chemicals, or herbicides, or pesticides, it's running off. And I think the Earth is having a hard time naturally getting all of that out, and it moves, so it may move out of one aquifer system, but to another location and impact somebody else.

[00:21:31] So, this is a big recycle system that Mother Nature has going. But I think we've overwhelmed it, and now, we are dealing with climate issues that is going to cause drought that we're in or scarcity of water. Johannesburg, South Africa just experienced that in their day zero, too much water with all the hurricanes that creates all the flooding, and then all the flooding is creating more issues for the municipalities in how we're going to treat our water. So, there's a little bit of both. And the primary water doesn't seem to be surfacing itself as a conversation that will come and save us, but our focus has been on the water that we do use and that we do have on, not taking that for granted, for sure.

[00:22:21]Luke Storey:  So, let's jump into then some of the concerns about water and some of the work you're doing. So, I guess we could just start with municipal water, water that's been rerouted or drilled for and brought to the surface or found on the surface that is ending up in our water system that we drink. And we've got a long list here, and maybe it could take hours to go through them, but now I know some of these-

[00:22:52]Erin Brockovich:  I have to take a potty break if we did, I'm just saying.

[00:22:53]Luke Storey:  Yeah, we can do it. You can go flush it down the system and it will end up in someone else's tap eventually. This is a really weird thing, actually, before we get into this, because I have done a lot of episodes and we'll link to all of them in the show notes. I mean, I've covered just what I think is every possible angle on this, but I interviewed someone a couple of years ago whose name I forget. 

[00:23:13] Again, we'll put it in the show notes. But he was explaining the process how, in most urban areas, they clean the water, and what happens is they recycle tap water, essentially. And he said that in a city like Los Angeles, for example, when you flush the toilet with solid matter in it, that it ends up being reclaimed. They have a system of filtration where the first thing that they filter out are turds, condoms, anything else weird that gets flushed. And then, once they get kind of the bulk matter out, then there's disinfectant and purification. 

[00:23:45] But even in that process, which is disgusting in and of itself, to think that like the water that's going down your toilet is going to eventually come back out your sink here in Los Angeles, but that there are some things through that cleaning process and the disinfectant process like pharmaceuticals, birth control pills, things that are just in our bloodstream that come out of our bodies, that we put in our bodies, we're just putting them back in our body. So, that was the first thing for me. I'm like, I'm never drinking tap water again, A. 

[00:24:14]Suzanne Boothby:  Remember, we wanted to for the cover of the book, of course, it didn't happen, because it's not a beautiful picture, but we wanted like a glass of water that had like all those different things in it for people to really see like what's in the tap water. Like the pharmaceuticals, and the turbidity, the dirt, and then there's all the chemicals that you can't see, which is a whole other piece of it.

[00:24:37]Luke Storey:  I have a list here and I would like to actually cover them because I want the impact to inspire people to really activate, right? And not only clean up their own water supply, but find ways, as you've indicated in the book, and I'm sure we're going to be able to illuminate that people can actually be more proactive about it. But I think we kind of need to hit him with the hard facts first. So, A, if you live in a big city, you're probably drinking water that had turds in it, so that's just a starting point. But we've got the the chrome 6, which was the chemical in the Erin Brockovich movie that kind of spurned this whole movement. What is chrome 6 and why is that a big deal?

[00:25:18]Erin Brockovich:  Okay. So, hexavalent chromium has been known for a hundred years, certainly by inhalation, to be highly, highly toxic. So, when I got involved in Hinkley, California, Pacific Gas and Electric uses hexavalent chromium as a manmade compound, and it's a great anti-rust corrosion inhibitor. So, PG&E has all these natural gas compression plants that push and pull gas from Texas all the way up to New Oregon border. And at each compressor plant that it stops at, they have huge piston engines, because you're pushing, pushing massive amounts of gas. So, it works kind of like the piston engine in a car, and they add water to the system to keep it cool, so it doesn't cease to operate.

[00:26:11] And they add the hexavalent chromium to the system so they don't get corrosion and rust. And that's what chrome 6 was made for. It's a manmade compound and that was its use. And so, what they did after it ran through the system and they had the cooling towers, it would go back out into unlined pits full of hex chrome from the system. And that's what leached into the aquifer in Hinkley, California. I could have a conversation here and tell you some stuff that would spring us into the next place or I can wait until we get to that next place and come back to chrome 6.

[00:26:47]Luke Storey:  Yeah, let's do it. We'll come back because I want to rattle off some of the things, again, just for shock value, just to get people to freaking mobilize here. And you said something about when it's inhaled, and I think that's the thing a lot of people don't realize, too, is we're paying attention to the water we drink. Of course. I mean, some people are drinking bottled water. There's different filters. I'm a springwater guy. But then, you got to think about, you're giving your baby a hot bath, you're taking a shower, you're taking what could be thousands of chemicals and vaporizing them, and essentially turning your shower into a gas chamber, and that's not even an understatement. 

[00:27:22]Erin Brockovich:  It is. You're definitely turning it into gas chamber with Legionnaire and we can get into that later. But you can definitely do that with hexavalent chromium. And that is one of the things that was going on with people in Hinkley, they had swamp coolers. So, all the water going in, they're laced with chrome 6, was going through their swamp coolers as a mist.

[00:27:42] And these cooling towers by the way-

[00:27:44]Luke Storey:  Head on forehead emoji, no.

[00:27:47]Erin Brockovich:  But we don't laugh as funny. And then, the mist from cooling towers can go a good mile and create an air plume. And after the film came out, most people don't know this, they used aeration to draw the chrome 6. So, chrome 6 is attracted to pumping. So, they would take all these alfalfa fields with those big round sprayers and they were using that to draw the plume to them to aerate and spray out into the air. Well, after the film came out, the state went out there, and those big aerated hose things, there's a name for it.

[00:28:32]Luke Storey:  The big roll-in sprinklers that you see on the farm. 

[00:28:33]Erin Brockovich:  As a way that PG&E was using to control the movement of the plume was exceeding the state level, so they had to shut it down. So, it was in the air and they had to shut it down. The minute they shut it down, I even said to one of the attorneys, I said, that plume is going to march, which it did. That's another story, because the entire town of Hinkley is gone, because PG&E, the plume broke through. So, they had to go out, and buy out everybody else, and get them out. So, Hinkley's gone. 

[00:28:59]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah, the school closed, the post office closed.

[00:28:59]Luke Storey:  Really?

[00:29:03]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah, everybody moved.

[00:29:04]Erin Brockovich:  They're looking at a 100-year cleanup.

[00:29:10]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah.

[00:29:10]Luke Storey:  Wow. I think that's the other thing about this, too, is so you think, well, let's say the plume didn't move, and they're just taking this tainted water, and they're throwing in an alfalfa field, it's this-

[00:29:22]Erin Brockovich:  They're drawing it back.

[00:29:23]Luke Storey:  It's the trail, though, of where all of these toxic molecules end up in, right? So, you're putting it in an alfalfa field, and that alfalfa is likely going to be cut, and then you feed some cows down the road at a feedlot.

[00:29:36]Erin Brockovich:  We have totally shit in our mess kit with fucking up with the water, and then we grow our food in, and we're now eating. So, we could get into glyphosate, we could get in to just that, we could get into oil and gas, and all of their pits. And out here in the San Joaquin Valley, the tree stumps underneath the ground are just saturated in oil. Oh, yeah, we're in real trouble. The shit in our mess kit. Sorry for the foul language.

[00:30:01]Luke Storey:  That's okay. I'll give a disclaimer in the intro.

[00:30:04]Erin Brockovich:  You can just bleep it out.

[00:30:06]Luke Storey:  No bleeping here. I would consider that censorship. I just give a fair warning usually. If you have kids in the car, cover their ears. Next one that really got me, and I didn't know about this one, was brain-eating amoebas. Like what? And I'm not a fan of drinking chlorine for obvious reasons, but doesn't the chloramine or chlorine that we put in the water, wouldn't that kill the amoebas? Isn't that the whole idea there?

[00:30:32]Erin Brockovich:  No. We're creating some issues at the municipal level for that reason, so I don't know if you are familiar with what just happened in Texas. 

[00:30:46]Luke Storey:  No.

[00:30:46]Erin Brockovich:  Okay. Well, a six-year-old boy just died from brain-eating amoebas.

[00:30:51]Luke Storey:  From drinking tap water? 

[00:30:53]Erin Brockovich:  Tap water, and they believe it was on a splash pad.

[00:30:56]Luke Storey:  Oh, okay. Like a slip and slide thing? 

[00:30:59]Erin Brockovich:  In a park, it's a really hot day, water's coming out, and the little splash pad.

[00:31:03]Luke Storey:  Got it.

[00:31:04]Erin Brockovich:  So, it is in the system that they've confirmed that. So, here's where I can tell you, Water 101, and this was a real wake up moment for me. So, I work with Robert Bowcock. He's in the book. He's probably one of the best water experts truly in this country. And I don't say that lightly. He is a level-five water operator. There's not many of them. Most of our major cities should have level-five operators. They don't. So, that means you've got an inexperienced person at that municipality messing around with chemicals.

[00:31:39] And if they don't balance the system right, we have a big problem. So, Bob and I, we always go to community meetings together on these water issues, and he would always talk about organic matter. I grew up as a dyslexic. So, if you think that you're going to throw science and stuff at me, I'm like, oh, my God, I'm not going to be able to understand this. And people in the community are like, organic matter, this is something scientific. You can almost see that they fade out.

[00:32:04] So, I'm like, Bob, what's organic matter? And he goes, dirt. I'm like, oh, okay. So, we do get our water from aquifers, but most of our water comes from surface waters, rivers, creeks, tributaries, and it all has organic matter in it. There's dirt in water. So, when the water comes in the municipality, to your point, because of that dirt and we don't want all these bacteriological outbreaks and E. coli, we chlorinate the water. But what most people don't know is that when organic matter and chlorine meet, they create a very toxic compound called trihalomethanes. 

[00:32:49] Trihalomethanes are very monitored by the Safe Drinking Water Act because they are toxic. So, what's happening now is you're not controlling your dirt. And the Safe Drinking Water Act says, if you can't control your trihalomethanes, you have to put on the appropriate filtration. But we don't like to do that because we like to cheat the system and go cheap. So, we've now started adding ammonias to the system. So, ammonia creates a different reaction in the water, and it will actually sequester chlorination, and lend itself less effective.

[00:33:30] So, it's not making it through the distribution system and down the lines. Hence, we have Legionnaire outbreaks and brain-eating amoebas. So, these bacteria are getting a chance to grow because we're not controlling the dirt at the municipal level. And adding ammonia creates an entire new situation for the water. Remember, water is individual and it makes the water very corrosive. So, ammonia is like crack to the little bacteria. They just lvoe it. And so, they go crazy in there. 

[00:34:10] And so, now, you have a distribution system that's going to biofail and you're going to have more bacteria grow. You're going to have more Legionnaire outbreaks, which we are having. I did a show a few weeks ago on New York City, and I said, I'm telling you, you're going to have Legionnaire outbreak. Forty minutes later, they had two schools shut down for Legionnaire. CDC didn't follow the guidelines. We've been talking about this for months on my Facebook. They had a Legionnaires outbreak at the CDC.

[00:34:37]Luke Storey:  Is Legionnaire another microbe?

[00:34:39]Erin Brockovich:  It is a deadly bacteria. It is as deadly as brain-eating amoebas. We were dealing with brain-eating amoebas down in Louisiana a couple of years ago. So, this is a situation that can be dealt with and it's all about how we are controlling and managing the dirt at our municipal level. So, if we don't stop using ammonia, and we keep adding it to the system, and they're not appropriately controlling their dirt, you are going to see more Legionnaire, more brain-eating amoebas, and it's also corrosive. So, we've got 18 million miles or something like that of lead pipes.

[00:35:22] So, when that distribution system, then this is an unregulated thing. We think our water comes in and comes out, right? Oh, no. It runs through a whole system to get to you and your tap. And if you've got lead pipes and you now have a corrosive water, it's causing all the lead, all the iron, and all the manganese to precipitate out, and it gets delivered to your tap. If we stop using ammonia, we would create less strain on an already strained infrastructure. We would have less lead contamination, and less brain-eating amoebas, and less Legionnaire outbreaks.

[00:36:00]Luke Storey:  The question I'm going to ask is-

[00:36:03]Erin Brockovich:  So, I knew you didn't want to talk to me. I just saw that happen.

[00:36:06]Luke Storey:  No, I'm with you. Maybe it's just the way the male brain works, but when I hear problems like, what's the solution? My brain just starts going solution mode.

[00:36:17]Erin Brockovich:  Stop using ammonia. At a national, and state, and local law.

[00:36:24]Luke Storey:  Okau. So, if we fix the dirt in the water issue, we remove the necessity for ammonia. But in terms of not purifying the water, but let's say disinfecting the water from these pathogens, why are we not using UV light and ozone? Is anyone doing that, and why not? Is it not cost effective?

[00:36:44]Erin Brockovich:  Not cost effective.

[00:36:44]Suzanne Boothby:  It's a money thing.

[00:36:48]Luke Storey:  Really? 

[00:36:48]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah. 

[00:36:48]Luke Storey:  UV light seems like it should be cheap.

[00:36:51]Erin Brockovich:  People on well water will do that, but see, here again is that assumption, and at our municipal level, we take the cheap route. We talk about this all the time. We do it ass-backwards. We even show you in the book, things are just being done ass-backwards. They are. And we keep kicking the can down the road. All these conversations we're having about water didn't start yesterday.

[00:37:17] This has been decades of a system eroding, cheating the system, and taking shortcuts. And if we would invest in the infrastructure and safety first, and go ahead, and take the expensive route, because kicking the can down the line, you'll have actually saved a lot of money, and lives, and our water supply, let alone our distribution system. And I don't know why we don't do this, but we're not, and that is a huge part of the problem.

[00:37:51]Luke Storey:  And when it comes to the money, it's like we're kicking the can, right? So, we're saving the money on water treatment, water distribution, and the ultimate net effect of that, not leaving out environmental costs, but think about the medical system and the tax on that system downstream, quite literally, from what wasn't fixed at the point of access to that water, right? I mean, God knows how many, because we've only covered three of the things in the goddamn water here. 

[00:38:21]Erin Brockovich:  Well, I could take you back here real quick in response to what we're talking about right now, hexavalent chromium. I began my work almost 30 years ago with hexachrome. So, there is no oversight or maximum contaminant limits set for hexavalent chromium in our drinking water, none, because what the EPA has is a blanket chromium, MCL. And most states are at 100 PPB, California went to 50, and one third of all total chromium is hexachrome, yet we have no standard, no regulations at all about it in our tap water system.

[00:39:05] So, the State of California, when the film came out, and the state went out there and shut down their irrigation system during Governor Gray Davis's time, they created a blue ribbon panel to look at hexavalent chromium in drinking water in the State of California and set the first MCL. And freaking 20 years later, we're still doing this. So, one of the first things that happened was that panel got hijacked and infiltrated by PG&E's paid experts. So, we went wrong from there. 

[00:39:38] About five years, we finally got back on track. We got to court, everything, we set an MCL in the State of California for hexavalent chromium at 10 parts per billion, which was upsetting because what we're supposed to be doing when we set these rules is as close to the public health goal as possible. That's what we should be looking at, but we don't. But the public health goal was determined by the top five experts in this world on hexachrome, that that total public health goal would be 0.02 parts per billion.

[00:40:14] So, they set it at 10, a pretty good distance. But here's the problem to the point, what we're talking about, we just got thrown back down into court. Now, we have no MCL, again, over feasibility studies because the municipalities don't have the money to bring that hexavalent chromium in their systems down to 10 parts per billion. So, we have to go back again and we're having to work out a feasibility study on a poison in our water. And so, now, we're at ground zero again.

[00:40:48] However, we do believe what's going to happen is we're going to get back into this and we're not going to set it at 10 PPB again. It's going to be lower and it's going to be closer to that public health goal. So, money is always an issue here. And municipalities oftentimes misappropriate funds, or they don't have the funds, or they're not getting funding. So, that's the problem. And hexachrome, one chemical that we have to keep out of the water, that's one filtration system. 

[00:41:21] You can't throw a bunch of chemicals in with just one filtration system and filter it. So, if you have PFAS, you need carbon. If you have solvents, you need resins. If you have things like chromium 6, you need like a coconut shell, and it gets expensive. And as we keep talking, in Alabama, they had a huge PFOA contamination. They sued the manufacturer, 100 million dollars to put on the filtration to keep one bad chemical out of the water. So, money is a very big deal when we're having this conversation.

[00:41:56]Luke Storey:  Making sense. Making sense. Okay. 

[00:41:59]Erin Brockovich:  All of the yellow brick road. 

[00:42:00]Suzanne Boothby:  Well, I was going to say, we were talking Wizard of Oz, but now, we're also Alice in Wonderland. 

[00:42:08]Luke Storey:  Yeah. That tends to happen when these microphones are on over here.

[00:42:11]Erin Brockovich:  We really talked about writing a children's book and being able to show this in a way that they can learn what really goes on with—I can't think of anything more important for all of us, no matter what, it's about water. 

[00:42:26]Luke Storey:  Any time, which is rare, but I walk by a school or anywhere where the kids congregate, a little school park, and they still have those old-time drinking fountains, and I think about, oh, my God, all those years when I was a kid and I used to drink out of those drinking fountains.

[00:42:41]Erin Brockovich:  Lead. No.

[00:42:44]Luke Storey:  I mean, I don't drink out of it, but I just think, oh, my God, kids still use those.

[00:42:46]Erin Brockovich:  But a lot of people do and kids still do. Every one of those old fountains along the street in the parks in Chicago, they already know. This is going to take us back to the infrastructure. We're going to have to deal with that in this conversation and as a nation. 

[00:43:04]Luke Storey:  It's okay. So, the one thing that I know has been a concern that people in the health industry have embraced, I mean, we know you don't want to drink chlorine, right? You have a gut biome and you don't want to kill all the bacteria in there. But the other one is fluoride, and people are really concerned about fluoride in the water for a number of different reasons. There's one theory, and I did ask one literal brain surgeon about this, as hippie types say, man, fluoride calcifies the pineal gland, and that's like our spiritual intuitive center in the brain, they say. So, I asked a brain surgeon that, and I said, is it true? Actually, I talked to Joe Dispenza about it, too, and he's not a surgeon, but he agreed.

[00:43:45]Erin Brockovich:  I go to bed every night listening to Joe, by the way. He is fascinating.

[00:43:48]Luke Storey:  Yeah, I love him, too. I was fortunate to interview him. But anyway, I asked this brain surgeon, is it really true that the fluoride in our water ends up around the pineal gland? And he said, yeah, I've cut open a million brains and it's absolutely true. But what was interesting, he said, you'd think it's calcified like the limescale on your sink, like a hard calcification, he said, what it actually is, is kind of a milky paste.

[00:44:16] It ends collecting around the pineal gland, but it disrupts the physioelectric effect of the pineal gland, which is what Dispenza always talks about, which is how you generate a magnetic field and ultimately produce a cascade of neurotransmitters, serotonin, dopamine, melatonin, dimethyltryptamine, eventually, et cetera. So, everyone agrees that fluoride is not good for your brain, yet what I can't get around is the purpose of why it was put in the water in the first place. On the conspiratorial side, you hear, well, Nazi Germany put it in the water to dumb down the population, and then the pineal gland theory would be in alignment with that because everyone just becomes like sheep.

[00:44:54] And then, there's another school of thought that says, in the various industries, aluminum production, et cetera, they end up with all this excess fluoride, and they don't have anywhere to put it, and it would cost them money to legally dispose of it somewhere in terms of environmental impact, so they worked it out with these different municipalities where they could pour it back in the water under the guise of protecting people's teeth. And so, they're using human beings as recycling centers for this toxic fluoride waste. So, what do either of you know about the fluoride issue on the health implications or where does it come from? And how did they pull the scam to put something so poisonous into the water knowingly and tell us that it's good for us? 

[00:45:39]Erin Brockovich:  How? Going back to the winter, don't get comfortable, complacent.

[00:45:45]Suzanne Boothby:  But I will say that what I learned in working on this book is that the story of water is as much a story of waste as it is like this whole thing of like the cleaning of the water and the treatment. But any chemical that's in our water, we were just talking about these MCLs, right? The maximum contaminant level. Why do we have that? Like there should be nothing. Why would we put any toxins in our water? Well, because we don't know where to put the waste, we put it in the water, and then we try to study, well, how much could go into a human body and not hurt it?

[00:46:16]Luke Storey:  Oh, my God. 

[00:46:17]Suzanne Boothby:  That's really what we're doing. I mean, the funny thing about fluoride, like when people talk to me about fluoride now, I'm like, actually, of all the things in the water, it's one of my least things that I'm concerned about because of this list that you're looking at. But it is an interesting thing because we do know, hey, most people are vitamin-D-deficient, why don't we dose the water with vitamin D? Why don't we put in some vitamin C or put in some other stuff? 

[00:46:41]Erin Brockovich:  We can't use our water for medicinal purposes to medicate a population. Let's get serious.

[00:46:48]Suzanne Boothby:  So, the fluoride, we had too much of, we didn't know what to do, so we put it in the water. And then, we later tried to make up some story that it's for your teeth. 

[00:46:57]Luke Storey:  Right.

[00:46:57]Erin Brockovich:  Remember what I said in the beginning, the old adage, the solution to pollution is dilution, doesn't work out that way. There's a lot of active fluoride groups out there. The CDC has already lowered the level. They're going to go lower. I've been into CDC records. A lot of things are redacted and retracted. If there's not an issue, you're not going to be redacting anything. There's some great groups out there making great strides with fluoridation and getting it out of their water, and more and more states are passing their own regulation that they won't be using fluoride in the water. So, it's a problem and it's a very toxic compound.

[00:47:33]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah.

[00:47:33]Luke Storey:  It seems like in the States, we're very much behind on the public safety issues. I mean, I remember hearing about different cities and countries in Europe banning fluoride long before we did. And even when you look at something like 5G in the potential health impacts of that, there are countries in Europe, they're like, we're not having it. 

[00:47:52]Erin Brockovich:  We do fall behind. It's because we're so industrialized and we're going to have to find ways, again, to balance the capitalism and an industrialized nation with our health, and welfare, and the future, how we have an economy that is greener, if that's the word you want to use, or safer, or cleaner. And we never do that because, over here, thanks, oh, my God, well, there's no money in the solution, there's no money in the cleanup, there's no money in taking America that way. And that's kind of the battleground that we're in.

[00:48:28]Luke Storey:  Got it.

[00:48:28]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah. And Florida didn't even make it into the book because there were so many other things to cover, and we do, there is a really great movement in this country. There are there that are really on it. But I want those people to know that you can't stop at the fluoride. There's so much more if we could keep that momentum going for some of these other chemicals.

[00:48:48]Erin Brockovich:  But we are doing, we can't keep using our source of water is a way for us to dispose of our hazardous waste, whether it be fluoride, whether it be, oh, I know there is a couple of things going on with a couple of energy companies. They're taking their coal and repurposing it as backfill, and landfill, and topsoils for the farmer. That's not a good idea. Oh, we know in Union Pacific, and the rail yards, and their creosote, actually, they're supposed to cut it with an oil. It's actually cut with extraordinarily hazardous toxic compounds as a way to get rid of them. So, I think that that might be one of the big coverups.

[00:49:32]Luke Storey:  Yeah. It makes sense why the excess waste would end up in the water, obviously not from a humanitarian or just common sense point of view, but it's easy to hide things in a waterway, right? It kind of disappears into an aquifer.

[00:49:49]Erin Brockovich:  That's what you think.

[00:49:50]Luke Storey:  Right? It just sort of becomes invisible. It's not really there. Whereas, if these companies dumping their coal, had to make a big landfill, everyone go, what the hell, why are they dumping a bunch of coal over there? Right? Or, just pools of fluoride.

[00:50:00]Erin Brockovich:  Well, yeah, that's what they're doing. And yeah. So, they have very clever ways. I've thought about this my entire career. Think about it. What are we doing with all our hazardous waste? No, we're not shooting in the outer space.

[00:50:13]Luke Storey:  Yeah, that's a good idea.

[00:50:15]Erin Brockovich:  It's on our topsoil, yeah. We can talk to Elon Musk.

[00:50:19]Luke Storey:  Exactly. Forget the 5G satellites, Elon.

[00:50:23]Erin Brockovich:  Have it flown around there somewhere.

[00:50:23]Luke Storey:  This guy over here, he works for Elon Musk, okay, put a word in for us. Okay. So, next one, oh, man, okay, one that does get a lot of attention, we've got Flint, Washington, D.C., New York City schools is the lead. And as someone who suffered-

[00:50:39]Erin Brockovich:  Yeah, we just talked about that.

[00:50:39]Luke Storey:  Yeah, I had, I don't know if it's lead poisoning, but I had really high lead levels. I worked for years. I've got it down to a manageable level. But I think it did make me a lot more dimwitted, to be honest, because once I started really detoxing the lead, I thought, shit, I think my IQ is going up, the more of these sauna cleanses and stuff I did. Is the lead just coming from the erosion in the pipes? Is that the issue where we hear about these whole city just becoming inundated with lead?

[00:51:07]Erin Brockovich:  Yeah. So, we know about the lead paint. 

[00:51:10]Luke Storey:  Yeah. I think I must ate a lot of lead paint when I was a kid.

[00:51:14]Erin Brockovich:  Well, I think we all, yeah, forgot that it could be in the water, but it is the infrastructure and the old pipelines. Now, in Flint, Michigan, now, we have a story of Hannibal. Flint and Hannibal are in the book, Superman's Not Coming. Two different ways, they had lead in their systems. Flint, they switched river water. You can't do that. We've already discussed. No two bodies of water are the same. So, when you switch a river water, you have a different water source. It's more caustic, it could be more corrosive, it could have higher Ph. So, when they switched to the Flint River water, which is a very corrosive water system, it caused all the lead to leak out of their pipes.

[00:51:55]Luke Storey:  Got it. Okay.

[00:51:57]Erin Brockovich:  And so, yes. And that same thing happened in Newark. Now, in Hannibal, they had lead in their system because of chloramines. 

[00:52:05]Luke Storey:  Okay. Then, years ago, I watched a documentary on fracking and I forget what it was called, maybe one of you might recall, we'll find it for the show notes.

[00:52:14]Erin Brockovich:  That was probably with Matt Damon.

[00:52:16]Luke Storey:  No, it wasn't a feature film, it was a documentary. Yeah. Was it called, What the Frack or something?

[00:52:22]Erin Brockovich:  No.

[00:52:23]Suzanne Boothby:  Josh Fox.

[00:52:25]Erin Brockovich:  Josh Fox, yeah.

[00:52:26]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah.

[00:52:26]Erin Brockovich:  What was the name of it? Gasland. 

[00:52:28]Suzanne Boothby:  Gaslands. 

[00:52:30]Luke Storey:  Yeah, Gaslands.

[00:52:30]Suzanne Boothby:  1 and 2, yeah. 

[00:52:31]Luke Storey:  We will put it in the show notes. Amazing documentary. But I had never heard of fracking. I just thought, oh, a racy documentary about environmental issues, so I watched it. And he had these farmers out there that are near these fracking operations and their tap water is flammable, like they literally take a lighter and light a glass of tap water on fire. And then, there are these horrific stories about all of their livestock getting sick and dying. And then, my dad lived at that time in a town in Colorado called Grand Junction, and now, he lives in Carbondale. But we used to drive back and forth from Grand Junction to Aspen on Highway I-70. And once I saw that movie-

[00:53:09]Erin Brockovich:  Goes right through Kansas, I used to go there all the time.

[00:53:11]Luke Storey:  Oh, really?

[00:53:11]Erin Brockovich:  In Kansas City.

[00:53:12]Luke Storey:  Yeah, right. Right. So, after I saw that film, I was like, holy shit, there's fracking wells or whatever they call them all over the place.

[00:53:18]Erin Brockovich:  We have two million frack pads. 

[00:53:20]Luke Storey:  And they're right next to the Colorado River. And I'm seeing, okay, like there's an aquifer of water right here, then there's the Colorado River, where does the Colorado River water end up? At least some of it ends up in California sinks, right? So, that's another one. And it's like, I see the side of industry, right? So, you see our current administration is like all gung ho on fracking because it creates jobs and it makes us energy-independent. And that's all well and good for that mindset.

[00:53:50] And then, you have the other side that's anti-fracking, which I guess could have a potential hit to the economy, but to me, the bottom line is always the well-being of the people. But how do you balance out in a situation like that the well-being of the people that have jobs now and aren't starving versus the well-being of people that are having their water be polluted because there's fracking going on in their local aquifer? So, what's happening with the fracking situation? What's your take on it?

[00:54:20]Erin Brockovich:  Well, there's a right way to frack and there's a wrong way to frack. 

[00:54:23]Luke Storey:  Oh, so you can frack for natural gas without all the chemicals?

[00:54:26]Erin Brockovich:  There's other ways to do it, yes. You don't have to do deep water injection, which they do. So, let's talk about deep water injection into those aquifers. That's causing two problems, pollution and earthquakes when we worked on this in Oklahoma. And one of the problems we have, they could take that fracked water, and bring it up, and treat it. We're not going to do that, it costs money, before they reintroduce it to the water. And one of the reasons we can't really find out what's in the fracked water and as Suzanne will light up on this, I let her talk about it is something that most of us are unaware of, and that's called the Halliburton loophole.

[00:55:04]Luke Storey:  Anytime you mention Halliburton, I know.

[00:55:05]Suzanne Boothby:  Ding, ding, ding.

[00:55:07]Erin Brockovich:  She learned a lot there. I see her light up. We'll let her tell you everything about the Halliburton law.

[00:55:14]Luke Storey:  I see Dick Cheney's face. I think of the scam of the Iraq war and all of the innocent tens of thousands of people that were killed as a result of that whole thing. 

[00:55:23]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah. I mean, basically, it's a law that protects industry. It protects the secret sauce of the fracking chemicals. It's a chemical solution that we're putting in. And if you live near a fracking site, and you start to have a rash, or you're having cough, or whatever, and you go to your doctor, not that all the doctors are necessarily so versed on all these different chemicals, but there's really no way to trace what you've been exposed to because of the Halliburton loophole. It's the same thing of why we don't like a perfume fragrance, right? It's like they took that and applied it to fracking. And so, we have no idea exactly what chemicals they're using, and that's by law. And also, fracking is also not subject to Clean Water Act, Drinking Water Act, like all these other environmental rules that we have in place to protect people, which are just really basic.

[00:56:16]Erin Brockovich:  That's why your water lights on fire. And we can't treat that if we don't know what's in it. You can't pick the right filtration for your household if you don't know what's in your water. And so, the Halliburton loophole is a big problem, but we could be bringing that water as you frack back up and treat it, so we're not deep water injecting a massive amount of surely chromium 6. 

[00:56:41]Luke Storey:  And for those that don't know what fracking even is, they're going, what the frack? We're talking about, essentially, like you would drill a well, but they're drilling a well for natural gas.

[00:56:51]Erin Brockovich:  To frack rock. So, you have to frack through that rock, and that's why you need so much water. Millions and millions of gallons is what it takes to frack one well. And they have to use chemicals for all this equipment to frack through that shale rock. And then, instead of bringing it up, and cleaning it, and running it through filters, which they could absolutely do, they just go ahead with all the chemicals that we don't know about because it's protected by the Halliburton loophole, just get deep water injected back into the system. 

[00:57:23]Luke Storey:  So, they'll just dump it back into an aquifer basically in that area, and that's why you have like a bunch of farmland that's all polluted, and people's toilets light on fire. 

[00:57:32]Erin Brockovich:  And they really do light on fire with all the chemicals. It drives me crazy. In the book, we kind of start in the year 1960 the year I was born. Yes, say it. Just age of my kids. 

[00:57:45]Luke Storey:  I'm 10 years behind you. It's okay.

[00:57:49]Erin Brockovich:  Listen, I've gotten the form where I'm like, if you're under 50, I'm not going to talk to you, but that's only because I'm jealous that I'm now 60. But where was I? We talked in the '60s. Yeah. It amazes me, Rachel Carson and her environmental work in the '60s. The Cuyahoga River in Ohio was on the front page of Time magazine because it was on fire from industrial pollution. We're still talking about this in 2020 because it's been decades that we've kicked the can down the road, and ignored, and we have a system that's eroded, that's been corrupt and hijacked. And you wonder why we're sitting here, having this conversation. 

[00:58:36]Luke Storey:  With all of these problems, and that's why, on this show, I talk about health a lot, but I'm veering more toward the spiritual shows and shows about psychology, because it's like, as much as I highlight some of these issues and help guide people toward healthier choices, the problem here is just you have humans that are running on instincts that have no faith in God, or in the Earth, or in themselves, as we talked about in the beginning.

[00:59:01] So, you have these people in positions of power that have a corrupt value system because they're afraid that there's not enough. It's this lack of abundance, this weird scarcity mindset. I think that that's at the root of the corruption and greed. So, how do you fix that? Like throw them all in jail? There's just going to be another generation of executives and politicians that are making legislature that's too loose and creepy, and people are cheating the system.

[00:59:28] It really is like a moral thing. It's just knowing what's right and what's wrong, and knowing what's right for you has to be right for everyone else or it's not right. And ultimately, you're going to lose, because your great grandchildren, you just rob them of clean water to save a few bucks in your role at Halliburton and the kickback from this senator, da, da, da, da, da. It's really bizarre. I think that spiritual solution is ultimately, in the big picture, the only solution.

[00:59:57]Erin Brockovich:  See, the journey, the one goes on, as the environment turns inward, and it's very true. We don't like to look at ourselves. It's really difficult. And I think we're getting pushed on really hard right now to turn inward. And take a look at what we're doing and why?

[01:00:18]Luke Storey:  What if we put like tons and tons of gallons of ayahuasca in the drinking water in Washington, D.C. If we need the people of power to look at themselves, I know a way. But seriously, okay. So, fracking, no bueno. But there are other ways to do it if you have people in power.

[01:00:40]Erin Brockovich:  Well, there's a right way and a wrong way.

[01:00:40]Suzanne Boothby:  And also, there's no safety protections in place. So, this is happening in a lot of industry. And I think this is another like low-hanging fruit that we could easily fix, which is that, if you're going to be working with dangerous chemicals and not tell anybody what they are, what safety plans in place for when something goes awry? Because we've seen that. I mean, you've had many communities that you've worked with where something went awry and they had no plan. And so, now, there's a chemical out in the water, loose in the drinking water, in the tap system, and there's nothing that we know to do for it. 

[01:01:10]Erin Brockovich:  Because the horse left the barn and it is way down the track, so it's going to take a little bit to get it back.

[01:01:15]Luke Storey:  Right. It's so interesting, again, going back to the water, being this great solvent, right? And it has its own agenda and it's going to find its way wherever it wants to go. It's such an interesting compound. 

[01:01:27]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah. I mean, you literally put these secrets in there, but it comes out, because it comes out in our health. It comes out. And yeah.

[01:01:36]Erin Brockovich:  We have overwhelmed the system. Nature eventually is going to clean this up. She will do what she has to, but that ain't going to be on our time. That'll be on her time. And it could take a long time. And I have always thought of it as, we are doing nothing but taking, and taking, and taking from the planet, and we don't give back. So, if you go to the ATM, you have your bank account, and you just take, and take, and take, and take, but you never make a deposit, what's going to happen? We're out. And I think that the planet is overwhelmed with all of this. And I do think it is time for us. The all or nothing argument just doesn't work, and it's unrealistic, in my opinion, for every single one of us. And how do we strike a balance? And that's the moment we're at. 

[01:02:27]Luke Storey:  The balance then is finding a middle ground between fiscally motivated people, and well-being, and environmentally motivated people, right?

[01:02:39]Erin Brockovich:  And they both depend on each other. 

[01:02:41]Luke Storey:  Right. Because all of us hippies that just care about the planet, like what are we going to do if there are no jobs? You know what I mean? You need commerce, you need the economy, and the capitalism has its flaws, but it's still the best thing going.

[01:02:52]Erin Brockovich:  But it's capitalism or it's this. And even in nature, that's her beauty. She will strike a balance. And I think as we go inward, we might be more apt to come to that table.

[01:03:06]Luke Storey:  Damn right. Meditation for all the powers that be. That's what I say. And maybe, as I said, in a more extreme, put something in their water, goddammit.

[01:03:16]Erin Brockovich:  Yeah.

[01:03:16]Suzanne Boothby:  I mean, we wrote this book to everybody, really. Like I know everybody says like, my book's for everybody, but I really tried to write and really talk to different people in a way like it's not just for the liberal. Like this is not a liberal problem. This is not like the tree huggers. Like people that work at fracking companies, maybe they're going to listen to this and take some suggestions. The water treatment people, like we want to lift them up and support them.

[01:03:41] And we have a story in the book of someone who is a hero. He looked at what was going on and he did the right thing. And I think more of us have to start stepping up into that responsibility that like, if you're going to work at one of these companies and you see something going on, it's no longer time to keep the head down, it's time to speak up. It's time to ask around and really start to take action on some of this stuff because I just think there's too many people for too long that we're just not doing the right thing.

[01:04:13]Erin Brockovich:  But we have to look at why we're not speaking up, and it's oftentimes out of fear. The whistleblowers come to me a lot and none of us want to lose our job. Oftentimes, we don't speak up in communities because someone's—I've learned very early on, part of what goes on, in my opinion, with our human psyche. I grew up as a dyslexic, so I was judged and labeled. And because I was different, I was inferior, and I felt oppressed, and I felt suppressed, and I was categorized, and I hate that, and everybody does.

[01:04:52] And I didn't like to be bullied or teased and none of us do. And somehow, we've been in that box. And I grew up coming and fighting out of it. And when I started my work in Hinkley, all of that came to life for me. That perfect storm was brewing because they too were being oppressed, and suppressed, and afraid to put their hand up and say something's going on because they'd be told to shut up, or you're a crazy housewife, or you, Erin, and your big booze running around in your short mini skirt that is from Kansas, that's a dyslexic, that's been divorced five times, it has been five times, but I'm like, oh, here it comes again, the label, the judgment, the perception.

[01:05:36] And that affects us. And I think we've shut down. And that is something that is so important to me. And opening all of this up in this conversation and the book, I want you to understand, you can understand why you should want to get involved, and that is about taking a real hard look internally that none of us like what's going on, and the judgments, and the perceptions, and the labels, and has been oppressive, and the name calling, and the bullying, and all of that. 

[01:06:06] So, we go in here and we need to know. Just because you're different doesn't mean you're inferior, and just because you don't have a science degree, or you're a doctor, or a lawyer, or a politician, or Bill Gates, or Bezos with billions of dollars, you don't have to be any of that to be a human, and to know and hear that we need each other, we need water to survive, and how we can come together, and make that happen, and strike that balance, and that won't come if we don't get into here.

[01:06:47]Luke Storey:  Yeah. It's that dichotomy of having a desire to be proactive in the world and make a positive contribution. And the temptation there is to think that you can fix all of those things that are actually beyond your control, with what you really have control over is fixing yourself, right? I love that perspective.

[01:07:08]Erin Brockovich:  And that's Rachel Carson. Instead of man trying to master nature, it is about men having mastery of one's self.

[01:07:15]Luke Storey:  Right. And to the whistleblowers out there, to speak to your invitation, like, hey, man, speak up, in my own life, there's been many times where I've been faced with the decision to fit in or have integrity and speak my mind, and I can tell you I haven't always succeeded in making the right decision, but when I have, it's like just there's no feeling like when you know you're authentic, and you know your mission in life, and you know your purpose, and when you align yourself to your values, and your character is more important to you than what other people's perception of you are, that is so liberating. The sense of integrity, it beats everything.

[01:07:55] It's worth losing any job. It's worth losing any amount of popularity. I mean, we're talking about someone earlier, and I said, man, this guy, he's amazing because he doesn't give a fuck what people think. And I find out, just like it's so inspiring, even people I don't necessarily agree with, I'm like, God, that's one quality they have. And it's the quality of integrity, where they're like, this is who I am, like it or not. I'm raising my hand, take my job, take my pension, this is not right. When you stand up for what's right, there's just such empowerment in that. 

[01:08:23]Erin Brockovich:  Very much so. And that's, here's our Wizard of Oz, your head, your heart, and your mind. I've always said, if my head, my heart, my gut aren't in sync, something's wrong. And I'm the one that has to correct that inside. And I think that goes on for all of us.

[01:08:40]Luke Storey:  Alright. As inspired as I am, we got to go on with the bad news.

[01:08:43]Erin Brockovich:  Yeah, told you. We'd be here a while. Nobody wants to invite me to a party for this reason. It's never just a simple answer, like, oh, God, don't invite her again, please.

[01:08:53]Luke Storey:  The Life Stylist podcast is the right party for you because I'm ready to go hard, man. I go hard or go home. The next one is, and I interviewed Zack Bush recently, and he really broke this down in terms of the health of our soil, and how that affects the health of our bodies, our gut biome, et cetera. And I've been aware of glyphosate or Roundup, the ingredient in glyphosate being the ingredient in Roundup. And I know that it's ubiquitous. I know it's kind of in everything. But the way he described it was like, no, it's in everything.

[01:09:25]Suzanne Boothby:  Everything, Cheerios, hummus.

[01:09:27]Luke Storey:  Yeah.

[01:09:29]Erin Brockovich:  Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream.

[01:09:31]Luke Storey:  And I'll be honest here, like you met my lovely fiancee, Alyson, and she's really healthy, and feels really good, and has tons of energy, and she doesn't do all the biohacking shit that I do. She does a little here and there. She's just like, I feel good, leave me alone. And I've worked on not being controlling and getting in other people's business. But any time like some food gets delivered and there's like a grain product in it that's not organic, I'm just like sitting there, literally just biting my lip, like, oh, my God, she's eating glyphosate right now, what are we going to do when it's time to have a kid? Like, how are we going to get glyphosate out of her? I'd never say anything, but I am concerned for all of humanity with this glyphosate issue because it's everywhere and it's so incredibly destructive to all life. So, I know a bit about the soil piece of glyphosate. Where is this in the water game?

[01:10:23]Erin Brockovich:  Well, it's certainly in the water game, especially down in Florida, because they're out there using the glyphosate, and spraying in all the weeds, and the kelp beds, and everything in the water for mosquitoes and controls for like that. So, it's definitely in the water. We have those algal blooms in Florida. There's starting to be a lot more association with the glyphosate spray, and the composition of the water changing, and more algal blooms. There's more and more studies coming out about the dolphins and the glyphosate going to the algal blooms, getting into the dolphin, the ecosystem.

[01:11:02]Luke Storey:  So, this is all that runoff in the Midwest coming down and eventually getting dumped into the Gulf of Mexico, right?

[01:11:08]Erin Brockovich:  Yes. So, I've been of late a company that just started with sensors. You remember Twister, the movie, Twister, and they put all the little sensors, went up in the tornado? So, they've been taking sensors all the way up to the north Canadian border, and they put them in the water, and they're following them. And as the sensors go through, they're sending messages to their computer, and they'll see the sensors making a bend, and all of a sudden, alarms go off, massive benzene. 

[01:11:43] So, they'll look and they'll hone in where the sensors are turning and right there is a big shell, manufacturing facility. And they have all their pipes and they go straight into the water. So, the sensors are picking it up, but they're following them as they move through from there all the way to the Gulf, and what they pick up, and what they're being exposed to. It's actually fascinating, so you can almost see it in the computer as they go. It is an x-ray and you can see what's going on inside. So, technology like that inspires me, though, so we can find these problems, trace these problems, and begin to change, and correct.

[01:12:21]Luke Storey:  Next one is geoengineering. Now, I know some people freak out when I bring this up, especially if you use the word, chem trails.

[01:12:28]Erin Brockovich:  Chem trails, I get a lot of emails.

[01:12:28]Luke Storey:  Let me just say this, alright? I was born in 1970 as I said. I grew up in Colorado and California. My whole life, I love to just lay on the ground and just look up at the clouds rolling by, right? And for most of my life up until about 1996, '97, we get clouds, sometimes more, sometimes less, but they were clouds. Then, I started noticing here in LA, we looking up in the sky, and there's tic-tac—well, you also had contrails because I'd watch a plane go by, and there'd be a little trail behind, and it was fun.

[01:13:01] You'd watch it disappear and it was kind of hypnotic. Then, in the mid '90s, I started seeing what appeared to be really low, these giant plumes of smoke or dust in these tic-tac-toe patterns all over LA. And at that time, I thought, hmm, that's weird. Why would a plane leave LAX and just go across LA a million times all day long? They're not going anywhere. That's not a flight pattern. Anyway, eventually go down the rabbit hole and find out there is this thing that's now become quite real and not even that conspiratorial of geoengineering. So, for whatever reason-

[01:13:37]Erin Brockovich:  Cloud seeding.

[01:13:37]Luke Storey:  Yeah. They're putting things into the atmosphere. 

[01:13:37]Erin Brockovich:  They want to make it rain.

[01:13:37]Luke Storey:  What goes up must come down, right? So, I'm thinking about, shit, I don't know what it is, aluminum, barium. A lot of people have different ideas. 

[01:13:44]Erin Brockovich:  A lot of it's all of that. 

[01:13:45]Luke Storey:  Metal particulate, and some nuts have gone out there, and scooped some of the dust up, and they test it, and it's this or that. But I just look up, and I go, okay, that stuff's coming down, where is it going to go? It's going into the waterways. So, is there any indication that this is also part of the issue and that all ending up kind of in our water system?

[01:14:08]Erin Brockovich:  It could become more of the conversation. I've had a lot of people email me about it. I think there's some more studies coming out. I think there's some more clarity about cloud seeding and what's in it. And definitely, we would experience fallout. So, what started as, I think, everyone thought could be one of those conspiracy theories, is it doesn't surprise me because I've already seen, things get hidden from us. That's just the way it is. And they may be doing something that they think is for the greater good, and then it's kind of like how the EPA works, we do it, and then without understanding what we're doing, 10 years later, it's, oh, shit, Houston, we have a problem. We just poisoned everybody. So, I think that we're learning more about what the truth could be.

[01:14:50]Luke Storey:  Yeah. I think that when I started to research it, I don't know that I ever try to get in touch with the EPA, but I, I guess, followed some people that did. And I don't know if they still deny it, but for years and years, they said, you're imagining things. There's nothing in the sky. This is the EPA. From that moment on, I'm like, alright, the EPA is completely kaput, and corrupt because you're in charge of environmental protection, and you're telling me with my own two eyes, my whole goddamn life, up until 26 years old, I never saw this phenomenon, even though there were plenty of planes flying around. It's not like planes changed. 

[01:15:27]Erin Brockovich:  It's been a major gaslight on all of us because I stood there looking at two-headed frogs in green water, and they're like, oh, that's the standard. I'm like, bullshit. I see it. No, you don't. Yes, I do. It's a gaslight. It's frustrating.

[01:15:46]Luke Storey:  It is. Well, here we go. We're getting this out there.

[01:15:48]Suzanne Boothby:  And one of the first things I learned from Erin that she does in the field, I mean, observation, right? This is, we're getting back to just basic scientific method.

[01:15:56]Erin Brockovich:  Occam's razor.

[01:15:57]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah. What do we see? What are we feeling? The water is coming out, it looks dirty, are we going to drink it? Because I remember that time I was on vacation in Fort Lauderdale and I sent Erin a picture of the tap water, and then I'm like, should I drink that? And she's like, no. 

[01:16:13]Erin Brockovich:  No because we know the problems down there. 

[01:16:15]Suzanne Boothby:  But it had a sign next to it that said, don't worry, it's like a thing we're working on, you can drink the water. And so, it's like we're constantly, I think, in our culture right now, having to sort of decipher from what is going on in our body, what feelings do we have versus like what is being told to us and really trying to figure out what's the truth. 

[01:16:35]Erin Brockovich:  And that's the part of the wakeup. I share when I talk about, I grew up in Kansas, I was always outside, and I'm tuned into my environment. You can feel the air pressure changing and lowering, especially before a tornado comes. Observation of, I don't know, 80,000-foot thunderhead over there. It's really muggy. Still, all of those things lead me to events coming.

[01:17:04] But when the tornado sirens go off, it never dawned on me, well, let me call the weather channel and see if it's an F3 or 5, because frankly, I don't give a damn, I'm going to safety. If we all read Headline News or municipality tainted with rat poison, are you going to call the National Institute of Health and go, well, they say that we can have four parts per trillion of that and minus five, do you think I should drink it? Who gives a shit? It's a poison, it's a poison, it's a poison all day long, and I'm not drinking it.

[01:17:34]Luke Storey:  Yeah, me either. Well, I already covered glyphosate, but this is probably a huge one here, so I don't have much time, we'll have to go into it, but there's a lot of—there's these documentaries we see now that are, everyone needs to be plant-based, and if we only eat vegetables, we would save the world, and then you have the other side of this thing that is about regenerative farming, which really makes more sense to me because it's more in alignment with what happens in nature.

[01:18:02] So, there's kind of this warring factions between people that produce meat products and eat them, and people that produce plant products and eat them, and the plant products people seem to think that this is the only way to save the world, and the more conscious forward-thinking, that old paradigm, meat-producing people say that that is the most natural way to go. When it comes to the water, what's producing most pollution in terms of the different farming models? 

[01:18:31] What types of food are we growing that are ruining the water more than others? And is there any indication that this new—well, it's not a new movement, but really, the original movement of regenerative farming where you're using animals and plants in synergy, mimicking the cycles of nature as being the best way forward? Either of you have any point of view on that?

[01:18:50]Erin Brockovich:  CAFO farming, big, massive operations, big, big, massive operations are creating big, big, big water issues. And again, it's almost like we talk about how do you get the elephant out of the room, like one bite at a time, one bite of the apple at a time, going down to those smaller operations. And that blend, as you said, it is a nice goal because the big CAFO farms are creating huge problems, the newer problems, nitrification problems. Overnitrification causes massive water problems, algal blooms. We're seeing it happening all over, not just in Florida. It's the first thing that comes to my mind.

[01:19:30]Luke Storey:  Got it. Okay. 

[01:19:32]Suzanne Boothby:  It's also like we were talking about with fracking, like there's a right way and there's a wrong way. And I think when it comes to farming, you've got these big factory farms. We talk about Tyson in the book. I mean, they are such a horrible environmental offender. I mean, there's like a whole page of the book that's just like lining, here's where they were sued, here's where they were sued, here's this violation, here's this thing. And all that stuff, when you get into hog and chicken production in particular, there's waste and the waste gets into the water and the communities feel it. We talk about Tonganoxie, Kansas. They thought of huge chicken plant that was going to be processed and planned-

[01:20:07]Erin Brockovich:  They ran them out of the rail.

[01:20:09]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah. 

[01:20:09]Luke Storey:  Really? 

[01:20:10]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah. 

[01:20:13] I like it when the good guy wins.

[01:20:14]Erin Brockovich:  Angry mothers, they're on the move.

[01:20:14]Suzanne Boothby:  The company comes in, and says, oh, you're all going to have jobs, but the truth is, it's also going to create a ton of pollution, and they were going to put it right next to the school. And yeah, the mom's really rose up there.

[01:20:25]Luke Storey:  God bless the moms. So, okay. So, that's in terms of water pollution. In terms of the-

[01:20:34]Erin Brockovich:  You left out TCE, there's a lot of things. 

[01:20:37]Luke Storey:  I'm not done.

[01:20:38]Erin Brockovich:  Okay. I'm just checking now.

[01:20:39]Luke Storey:  I got my list.

[01:20:40]Erin Brockovich:  Like, whoa, wait a minute, we're not done.

[01:20:42]Luke Storey:  No, I got my list. Sometimes, I backtrack. There's a method to my madness. So, in terms of pollution, okay, the the big CAFO farms, and I'm assuming on that note, many of the monocrop industrial wheat corn, but we would call like vegetarian, it must be good for the planet, a lot of that production is probably full of pollution, too. But in terms of water consumption, I recently watched another documentary that was about the kind of the water wars in California and they went into the Central Valley.

[01:21:15] And I was astonished to see not only how they're warring over the aquifers, and this guy has a property over here, and he's stealing water from the aquifer that he doesn't have rights to, and that whole part of it, the territorial thing was really interesting. But I was shocked to find that almonds were one of the worst offenders in terms of just water waste and consumption. 

[01:21:33]Erin Brockovich:  Yeah, because they need so much water.

[01:21:35]Luke Storey:  And I'm thinking, all these hippies going to Whole Foods, buying their almond meal, but I'm like thinking, oh, we're saving the planet because we don't eat a burger. It's like, well, I don't know which is worse. So, in terms of the hierarchy of water waste or our nut trees like almonds, some of the worst, in terms of like the calorie output that's going to feed the planet versus how much water is being wasted.

[01:21:56]Erin Brockovich:  That is very true of the almond trees. And I see certain places throughout California, one of the first trees in Hinkley that I noticed was dying was the tamarisk tree. And they suck up a lot of water. So, a lot of places in California have actually been removing the tamarisk trees for that reason because they're taking the water. So, almonds are a problem, certain trees, yes.

[01:22:19] And they say these almond orchards should be maybe more in the south where they're naturally getting a lot more water than California's because we're certainly having water issues and a drought and water right problem. You may not know this, but LA Southern Municipal Water District just lost their backup aquifer out by Bakersfield because it's so polluted, you can't use it anymore. So, we're in trouble if we start losing our backups, then we have a drought.

[01:22:48]Luke Storey:  Alright. I'm out of here. I'm going to let [indiscernible] . One more reason. It's been 31 years, for real. 

[01:22:54]Erin Brockovich:  I think about that too. I'm like, do I stay and I help or do I bail? And we have some issues and this is where we—I know you're going to go there, but there are things that I think we have to decide legislatively and I think there's ample room for us to, we are dealing with antiquated laws and legislation. And there is plenty of room for us moving forward to perform. Like lead and copper rule, people don't understand the lead and copper rule states that you only have to test for lead in the municipal system once every four years and you can average your samples. It's a great way to miss a number.

[01:23:36]Luke Storey:  Wow.

[01:23:37]Suzanne Boothby:  That's why we so many lead outbreaks. 

[01:23:39]Erin Brockovich:  Oh, my God.

[01:23:39] And so, we need to and seeing Congressman Dan Kildee is working hard to get reform to lead and copper rule, and we have thousands of rules like that. 

[01:23:49]Suzanne Boothby:  But when you talk about the almond trees or agriculture, I mean, that's water scarcity issues, which is, again, something we didn't even have room for in the book.

[01:23:57]Erin Brockovich:  Well, again, it requires so much water.

[01:23:59]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah, like we have this whole scarcity issue happening, but on top of that is the toxins. And like a lot of these trees are getting watered with toxic water. So, this is why I was crying at night, working on this.

[01:24:14]Luke Storey:  I'm sorry.

[01:24:15]Erin Brockovich:  No, she would. There was day she'd talked me off the ledge and days I talked her out the ledge.

[01:24:19]Suzanne Boothby:  Yes, it's true.

[01:24:20]Erin Brockovich:  It's overwhelming. It's overwhelming.

[01:24:22]Luke Storey:  Honestly, sometimes, I want to apologize to listeners of the show because there's always some bad news, but we are going to move into solutions. But before we do, there is one less thing. Okay. We did fluoride. We did lead, ammonia you did, which is on my list, fracking, glyphosate, geoengineering, the one thing we didn't cover, which you indicated, was TCE. 

[01:24:48]Erin Brockovich:  Trichloroethylene. Well, we didn't cover all 40,000-plus chemicals. I wouldn't want to do that to you today.

[01:24:55]Luke Storey:  I'm going for the big dogs here, the low-hanging fruit.

[01:24:58]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah. 

[01:24:58]Erin Brockovich:  Trichloroethylene, it's a solvent widely used by industry and we're making some progress. So, we do talk about trichloroethylene in the book and what happened at Camp Lejeune and by ATSDR's own admission, which is the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, they operate under the CDC are they're a part of CDC, states that up to one million returning soldiers and their families from this one base could have a risk of exposure to this trichloroethylene, which is a known cancer-causing compound, and they've already seen a lot of death.

[01:25:41] One thing that we need to look at, and I'm careful about this simply because I'm a military mom. I have two children that served. My son, by the grace of God, home from Afghanistan. But our Department of Defense is one of our worst polluters. And this TCE had been heavily used with the dry cleaning facilities at Camp Lejeune. And the well that supplied the housing was poisoned and they told no one. And Jerry Ensminger, who's probably one of the greatest guys I know, we talked about him in the book, he's taking this all the way to the Supreme Court just to get recognition from the Department of Defense that this chemical be on their list in the VA. 

[01:26:25] So, if these people are exposed to it, they can at least get treatment. It's been a horrible fight. They still haven't cleaned up. They have all these exemptions. And he came home and his six-year-old daughter died in his arms from leukemia, and they kept a secret. I think that's the biggest blow for everybody at all, the secrets, whether it's DOD or these companies keep, is very disturbing. So, trichloroethylene is widely known to be highly toxic. It's a degreaser.

[01:26:55] It's been used by Lockheed, Boeing, across the board, all over this country. But to my point earlier that I made on Superman's Not Coming, and we don't have to wait for some federal oversight in Minnesota. Where 3M is, they have a huge TCE contaminations. A community had enough. They rose up. They got the media involved. They followed the story. And the governor, a few months ago, banned the use of TCE in the State of Minnesota. That's the right way to go.

[01:27:27]Luke Storey:  That's so awesome. And no rioting or looting necessary, just pissed off moms.

[01:27:34]Erin Brockovich:  Oh, they're amazing. I'm telling you, just get out of the way and let them on through because they're relentless and they don't tire. We talk about sticktoitiveness, I learned from my mom, propensity to follow through in a determined manner, dogged persistence, born of obligation, and stubbornness, and that is precisely what they are. They were determined, dogged, persistent, stubborn, and they're going to get the job done. And they don't care if it takes seven years, or eight years, or two years.

[01:28:01]Luke Storey:  Well, I think in that situation there personally, you always think about kids, right? Those are what we really want to protect. Well, really, the unborn, and then the newly born, and adolescents. But I think adults-wise, personally, even though I've never been in the military, when the military gets fucked over, it really pisses me off because these are kids coming out of high school oftentimes that actually have an earnest desire to serve the country, and protect, and help the rest of us, whether or not these wars, I don't believe in the wars anyway, they never seem to have a good reason for it, and they're kind of a scam, but nonetheless, I think most people in the military are very well-intentioned and they just get screwed over. And when they get poisoned and they're neglected, it's like, God, that really says something about your country, you know what I mean? Not that anyone should get screwed over, but it's like, dude, this is the front line of the entire operation here.

[01:28:57]Erin Brockovich:  For their perception as my son's service of duty to their country, and love for their family, and all of that, and then, you poison them on their own soil and they make it home from a war, that's a real blow.

[01:29:10]Luke Storey:  That's brutal. Well, I'm glad to hear there's some progress being made there.

[01:29:14]Erin Brockovich:  There is. And with the TCE and we hope more with the Department of Defense, and it's a real game in there. And when it comes to these soldiers and we just really need to be transparent about some of the chemicals. And we don't give anyone a standing chance. We're sitting ducks if we're not told the truth, and that seems to be the misgiving that if we tell the truth, we're going to flip out, it's not telling the truth that I think causes us to just flip our shit.

[01:29:47]Luke Storey:  Yeah. In terms of the different countries around the world and the different states in the United States, what are some of the safest, and ones that are doing it right, and making the progress versus some of the worse. Like I guess starting with the world. I mean, America, I'm assuming, is better than a really highly polluting country like China, or India, or some of these massive, well-populated countries. Where do we stand kind of in the global stage in terms of contamination of the water?

[01:30:18]Erin Brockovich:  Well, we have a national water crisis. There's no question about that. But we do have some of the safest water in America. But we're really teetering on a slippery slope because we have infrastructure issues, because we're not dealing with the issue. We're not being prepared for the changes that are coming that are here on not having the safest water. I think for me, what's disturbing is there's many smaller towns and locations in the area.

[01:30:46] And we talk about Martin County, Kentucky, and certain places in Texas where they don't have running water or they don't get it for five, 10 days at a time. So, are we already flipping Third World? Is that already here? Then, there are municipalities that are trying to do everything right. And this is, again, where we can make a bigger difference in our own backyard with our own city council within our own states for we, the people, to push for what's going to be our priority.

[01:31:16] California tries to do well. It used to be, so goes California, so goes the nation. They're the first ones to make an effort with the chrome 6 in our drinking water. You do see in Minnesota, they're making an effort with one chemical, the TCE, and keeping that out of their system. We see some municipalities even in Long Island that are trying to do the best because Long Island was a dumping ground and we have a lot of problems up there. Every filtration, every solution, every way they can look at, they're making those efforts.

[01:31:51] And then, there's a lot that aren't. One thing that we need to look at is we have about 40 million Americans on well water, which is a system off the grid. And I'll tell you, eight times out of 10, the worst contaminations we find is in well water because it's not monitored by anybody or anything. And the homeowner really needs to be certain that they are testing at least yearly for pollutants in their water.

[01:32:15]Luke Storey:  Perfect segue, because when I'm looking at houses and they're on a well, I was like, yes, I'm not dependent on the city. But then, I know, because I'm a water freak, I'm going to have to get the world water tested. So, that's really good information there. Moving into kind of the microcosm of our relationship with water outside of activism, and I've done shows on this, wouldn't have to go too deep, but it seems if you are in a position where you have a local-ish spring, to go get your spring water, be a good idea to have that tested in the event that that water is—some are better than others. I know the springwater I drink from Live Springwater and delivered in California from Oregon, shoutout to them. They sent me the lab results, and it's like, wow, it doesn't get much cleaner.

[01:33:04]Erin Brockovich:  Now, parts of Oregon definitely have problems, but they do have aquifer water. They have springs. Colorado is the same. So, there are a couple of places where—

[01:33:13]Luke Storey:  Do you have a lab that you would recommend if someone wants to get their well water tested, or if they're a springwater drinker like myself, they can get it tested for safety?

[01:33:20]Erin Brockovich:  Well, it would depend where you're at because different states have different labs that will come out and do different types of testing. Someone do the EPA protocols of 1050, which is a big sweep. Some will. It can get costly, but it's definitely worth it yearly, if not once every two years, getting your water tested, just so you have that background, so you have a platform. Obviously, call the health departments. They're going to come out and they're going to want to look for E. coli bacteria.

[01:33:49] You're not going to get much else, but you need a suite, because many of these wells, and my sister's on well water and they live up in Silver City, New Mexico, she's basically off the grid, but they rely on well water and they have a massive, massive mine not very far from them. So, we have to remember, water doesn't get polluted in an aquifer, and it sits there, it moves. And so, I've just talked to her again, you have to test your well again.

[01:34:17] So, you have a baseline of what the water is like, and not just the acidicness, or the Ph, or any of that, bacteria is, of course, yes, but beyond that, you could have, like we're dealing with, the PFOA and the PFOS, which is the Teflon in the Scotchgard, which is the largest-emerging contaminant throughout the history of this country. It's just everywhere. Those things pop up pretty fast in well water. We have that happen in Hoosick Falls, New York. 

[01:34:48] We talked about that in the book. This is a visual on this chemical. It took the children of that town to put their PFOA blood levels on a placard card, and wear it around their neck, and march on the their state capitol to get Governor Cuomo to change the statute so they could move forward in their lawsuit against the company that knew—visualize that, America's children, and that's their message, my PFOA blood levels on a placard card worn around my neck, and that's how they identify themselves.

[01:35:32]Luke Storey:  Brutal. Okay. So, we're going to have the water we're drinking on a regular basis tested. 

[01:35:38]Erin Brockovich:  And well water. 

[01:35:38]Luke Storey:  And well water, yeah. And when it comes to testing, there's a lab, and I'll put it in the show notes, but I did find a good lab at some point that's quite thorough that I think they're the ones that I got from the Live Springwater testing. 

[01:35:51]Erin Brockovich:  And they're around, so it depends. I can't answer that question, just generally, depends where you live. 

[01:35:55]Luke Storey:  I'll do a little more research and we'll put it in the show notes, which for this one are going to be quite extensive. But what I find interesting about water testing is, every year or so, because I buy my water from the Department of Water and Power in Los Angeles, and they send me their water report, and they're always so proud of how good the water is, and I'm looking at like the base detectable levels of what's allowed of all this shit, I'm going, that might be fine for you, I ain't drinking that stuff. Like you got to be kidding me. It's just insane.

[01:36:22]Erin Brockovich:  But that's a fact. Just because there's a guideline or an MCL does not, in fact, deem or render that it is safe. We'll go back to the Chrome 6 and the MCL at 10 part per billion, but the public health goal is 0.02. Let's talk about this real quick. I've just found my spot to jump in here. We were just talking about PFOA perfluorooctanoic acid, PFOS, they would be known as Teflon, Scotchgard, firefighting foam, this is pervasive in the environment as glyphosate. 

[01:36:54] It's everywhere. Decades ago, the manufacturer, 3M, notified the EPA that this chemical was a very bad actor. The agency knew. So, noted, we'll set a guideline for this chemical in drinking water. They set it at 400 parts per trillion. Don't know where that number came from, they pulled it out of a rabbit's hat, but it's 400 parts per trillion. So, we go. So, all the municipalities can run this through their system up to 400 parts per trillion. 

[01:37:30] And mind you, any chemical that's below that number, they don't have to report. So, you could have 399 parts per trillion in your water, but as long as it's not 400, they don't have to report. So, EPA commissions a study, this is how they work, and one study for one chemical can cost millions and millions of dollars. These studies take a very long time. They can take 10 years, 12 years, 15 years, 18 years to conclude what a chemical does in the environment.

[01:38:02] Here's this first moment where I'm like, why would you not do a study first to show what it does before you put it into the environment, but that's not how we work. Chemical lobbyists are very, very strong. These corporations are very, very strong. So, that's how it goes. So, guess what happened about five years ago? Well, this is a moment where I believe science is catching up with policies. This one chemical causes cancer and a variety of diseases. I think 12 of them are listed. 

[01:38:35] So, they notify the EPA, and the EPA is like, oh, shit, Houston, we have a problem, but we're going to have to take that 400 parts per trillion, which is a guideline. Now that the study's done, what are we going to do? We'll reduce it to 70 parts per trillion. And then, all the municipalities are screaming their heads up because they're like, we don't have the filtration or the money to reduce it to 70 parts per trillion. You told us we could run 400 parts per trillion through the system.

[01:38:59] And then, what happens to me is everybody emails me. I live next to this base that's been using this chemical, I just got a notice from municipality. It's in our system. Is this why my son has testicular cancer and he's being treated in Switzerland? Is this why my wife died from kidney cancer? Is this why my daughter has thyroid cancer? It just like blows up. What are we possibly thinking? The system is ass-backwards. This isn't a one-off, this is how it works. In the system first, then we commissioned a study, and we'll find out 10, 12 years down the road what the hell we've just done.

[01:39:30] That one chemical explains a lot. And so, we're now setting state by state, some are down to 12, New Jersey, because they have PFOA, PFOS everywhere. CDC is looking at doing it much lower, could be around five. So, here we are, let's say it's 70 parts per trillion, you don't even know the outcome. We're running something through the system. Don't think that guideline or that MCL, because it's set, deems it safe, and if it's below it, and you still don't even know it's safe, they don't have to report it. That one messes with you. That is an eye-opener. That is a wake-up call. A false sense of security. 

[01:40:18]Luke Storey:  On a personal level then, you're taking matters into your own hands and really being in charge of your own water is really important, which, of course, I've been an advocate for for a long time. On that note, there's something that's always troubling to me, and that is bottled water for a number of different reasons. Okay. A, what aquifer or spring did it come out of, or did it even come out of an aquifer or spring, or is it just municipal water that's been filtered? How has it been filtered?

[01:40:47] How did they know what needed to be filtered? And then, of course, the plastic pollution and all of that, single-use bottles and whatnot, ending back up in the water in the ocean, landfills, et cetera. But the issue there for me is even if you're really picky about water, like I tend to be, any time anyone buys a bottle of drink, from a bottle of wine to a beer to the healthiest organic kombucha juiced carrot, a juiced cucumber, anything that is constituted from water, you don't know what the source of that water was. And so, even if your drinking water is on point-

[01:41:23]Erin Brockovich:  You got to know your source water. It's very important.

[01:41:23]Luke Storey:  Yeah, man. It's like you go into air one and you buy any number of drinks in there for $8 to $12, and one of the ingredients is going to be water. If you're lucky, it will say filtered water. Even then, I'm like, well, by whom? By what medium? But some of them just say water. If it just says water, I'm like, that's tap water. Otherwise, anyone in marketing would know, let's put in our ingredient deck, at least, that it's filtered water. Best case scenario, you'll find the reverse osmosis water, then you know, at least, it's been stripped, and then they make a drink out of it.

[01:41:56]Erin Brockovich:  Most bottled waters, their tap water gone through reverse osmosis, some are springs, but you have to be careful with springs. Sometimes, there are contaminants in that or they'll have another issue. And you have to be careful with bottling, how long it's been sitting, any bacterial buildup. We all know about the plastics. I travel constantly, and it's a convenience, and sometimes, you have to rely on bottled water. I tried to look for glass.

[01:42:25] Well, I can tell you a couple of things on some of my worldly travels where I'm not going to drink the water. I can assure you I can go good 16 days without a shower. So, I'm not getting in the water and I can survive on beer as long as I pop it, and I know it's been sealed to brush my teeth with and to gargle with because I'm not drinking that water because I don't know the source. 

[01:42:53] But Suzanne brings up a great thing, and for those of us who travel, and have all of these questions, and you can overwhelm your mind, it's the power of observation, a common set of skills, that intuition that I get often. And I know most of us, I think I'm going to pass on that situation, because you, oftentimes, can be in a place where you won't know where your source water is. And any headwaters or source water definitely, where kind of watching as it goes down, is going to run through a whole source and a whole plethora of situations where it could have picked up low level of contaminants.

[01:43:29]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah. And we talk about and it's kind of a triage situation with bottled water. Like the people of Flint, it saved many lives, being able to drink that bottled water. 

[01:43:36]Erin Brockovich:  We saw a lot in Virginia with that.

[01:43:38]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah, people that don't have access.

[01:43:39]Erin Brockovich:  That big contaminant that came down. I mean, it's amazing to watch. So, if there's a pollutant upstream, what the municipalities do is they close their intake valves in the river and they just let the pollution run by, bye-bye, pollution. So, if the person down the stream doesn't close those intake valves, they'll suck it up.

[01:43:59]Luke Storey:  Wow. Damn.

[01:44:00]Suzanne Boothby:  But it's important to know, too, because I think so many people, like in the beginning of their journey, thinking about water, okay, realize, okay, the tap water is rough, I'm going to drink the bottled water, but the truth is the municipality can make the water much cleaner and cheaper. And so, this is where that activism component comes out. Like it's better if you can kind of get to a city council meeting, talk with your municipality, get the water because they can make it for much cheaper. You know, even a dollar-bottle of water is much more expensive than these guys that are using massive amounts of water.

[01:44:32] And if we can get the right treatment techniques and get the infrastructure to be updated, that's the best-case scenario. That's really the heart of what we're trying to say in the book, because this is what these systems are here for and that's what they're supposed to do. And like you were saying about the water report, you're supposed to get it every July. And so, you can type in any city in this town, your city water report, and you should be able to find it. And if you can't, you also need to call them, and talk to them, and ask them where that report is. 

[01:45:03]Erin Brockovich:  And it's really important, too, and this is super, super important. We'll be looking for chemicals in the water, but keep an eye on your trihalomethanes, keep an eye on your chlorination. I mean, these are big factors that could be leading to not only a toxic situation, but bacterial as well. And so, watch out for those trihalomethanes. And we teach you in the book what to look for, how to read a water report. I have several people that sent me over some today, and I'm like, oh, no, this is no, no, no.

[01:45:36]Luke Storey:  When it comes to the filtration, even when I think about moving somewhere out of LA where I might not have access to really pristine springwater, and I think, oh, man, filtration. So, there's a couple of companies I recommend, I rep them on my website. There's one called PristineHydro. They make a travel case that doesn't have a reserve tank. It's an RO system, but there's no holding tank.

[01:45:59]Erin Brockovich:  I'm familiar with that.

[01:46:00]Luke Storey:  Yeah. And then, there's AquaTru, which we were talking about earlier that's a countertop, kind of like a Brita, but a more badass one that's not a piece of shit like a Brita.

[01:46:09]Erin Brockovich:  It's reverse osmosis.

[01:46:11]Luke Storey:  Right. And then, there's a whole house filter company called Ophora out of Santa Barbara that are just extremely fastidious about their whole process, and they'll do your whole house. It will cost you the price of a small house to get it done. Do you have any other recommendations in terms of different brands? I know you signed off on the AquaTru.

[01:46:32]Erin Brockovich:  Yeah. I wouldn't do any filtration that you can't filter your water if you don't know what's in it. Because like if you have PFOA, it needs a carbon. And if you have TCE, you'd more of a resin. 

[01:46:47]Luke Storey:  If you're doing a reverse osmosis, will that take everything out?

[01:46:50]Erin Brockovich:  Yes. Because it's running through different layers of chambers of carbon, and resins, and coconut filtration. So, most of any low-level contaminant that could be in the water, it will remove ammonia, chlorination, so you are getting better, cleaner water.

[01:47:06]Luke Storey:  Right. But if you're just working with one of those little countertop Brita or pure filters, you're just-. 

[01:47:11]Erin Brockovich:  It's just not doing anything, especially if you don't know what's in your water. You may just have overchlorination and it will work just fine for reducing chlorine and odor. So, there's just not one filter that fits anything. Now, some states are starting to do some interesting stuff. And in Texas, and I'm watching how this is going to go, encouraging people putting in reverse osmosis systems on their homes and the state will give ginormous tax breaks.

[01:47:41]Luke Storey:  That's good legislation. That's smart. See, that's a win-win. I like that because they're saving money.

[01:47:49]Erin Brockovich:  Right. I think we can start getting there, especially now that the conversation is being had, knowledge is power. I know all of this is frightening, but what I've learned and I want everyone else to learn, you don't have to have a PhD, or a master's degree, or be a doctor, a scientist, or anything else to be aware, to care about water, and to understand, that has a direct impact on your health and welfare, and your families, and your community. 

[01:48:14] And as we finally get through this, I don't know, maybe we are in that wakeup point where we start making better legislation like that. We start seeing more governors like the one in Minnesota. And if we can do it federally, and state, and a local, but we're always waiting for it to trickle down. I think the change is going to start right here and work its way up.

[01:48:35]Luke Storey:  It's a bottom up thing, yeah, because I guess this is the Superman, right? You're waiting for the right president to be elected, and you're thinking, they're going to come save us. It's like the QAnon thing, Trump, he's actually the Kennedy. I don't even know the QAnon thing really, but I saw some pretty far-out theories, and I'm like, wow, and even part of me is like, oh, maybe it's true, but it just doesn't work like that. It works with the three of us doing what we're doing, having a conversation. Someone listens to this, they take one small step at the local level, et cetera, et cetera.

[01:49:08] And then, you have this kind of groundswell of activism, and if not activism, at least someone taking their sovereignty, and going, alright, I'm going to keep track of whatever water is coming into my body and into my kid's body. And like, there is your start. And then, maybe that kid grows up with the knowledge of like, wow, you can't just trust all water. It's really important. We're made of it. And you've got a kid that's like teaching the rest of the kindergarteners that he's in school with, like, hey, guys, you really want to drink out of that fountain? My mom said, right? So, I think this is all good stuff.

[01:49:39]Erin Brockovich:  Knowledge is power. And we talk about that in the nine steps, in getting curious, separating fact from fiction. And we end our nine steps with congratulating yourself for having the courage to, again, this is that moment of not trying to master nature or even our government, the rather one self, that's where the best protection and the implementing will come, from you to your family, to your community, to your city council, and all the way up.

[01:50:15]Luke Storey:  I love it. Alright, ladies. Well, we're going to wrap it up here. 

[01:50:18]Erin Brockovich:  Did I hear an F bomb coming out of there? Slightly.

[01:50:24]Luke Storey:  Every time I do an interview, I'm like, this one will probably be about an hour, and it's just like, I don't know when I'm going to learn, no, 90 minutes minimum, probably two hours, but we do have things to do. So, I'm going to cut it. And I feel like we've left people with some hope and some direction.

[01:50:38]Erin Brockovich:  There is hope.

[01:50:39]Luke Storey:  Obviously, they can get the book. They can read all of these horror stories, and also, get those nine steps, and start being proactive. But before we do get out of here, I have one last question for both of you. And that is, who are three teachers or teachings that have influenced your life or your work? Like you're teaching us stuff, you're inspiring us, who inspires you?

[01:51:01]Suzanne Boothby:  Sure. Well, I studied with Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way person. And her work writing morning pages every morning has been a huge thing in my life. And it's a place that I can go to with whatever's on my mind, and it's a very like cleansing practice for the mind, and it really helps me with my creativity, with my ability to write, with my ability to be with people. So, I always give her a shoutout because she's just a wild, awesome woman that really taught me a lot. 

[01:51:32] I'm trying to think, I mean, Rachel Carson, obviously, for both of us is a huge influence. Silent Spring was a book based on one person writing to her about DDT and how it was going to kill the birds. And when I first started talking with Erin and heard that there were hundreds of people emailing her every day, I thought, wow, we really have a problem. But Rachel was certainly a trailblazer as a woman, writing in a mostly male-dominated science world. And so, I really-

[01:52:03]Erin Brockovich:  Not much has changed.

[01:52:05]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah, exactly.

[01:52:06]Erin Brockovich:  Yes, there's still hope. I know that was being cynical, I apologize. 

[01:52:11]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah. Gosh. And I mean, I have a lot of like spiritual and teachers, I'm trying to think of just one, but I don't know. Do you have somebody that you want to go to? 

[01:52:25]Luke Storey:  You can pawn one of yours off on there.

[01:52:29]Erin Brockovich:  Mine is definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, generally, over the course of 20 years, watching moms, and their love and protection for their family, for themselves, and how they rise up, and believe in themselves, it's always amazed me. And everywhere I go, Roberta Walker in Hinkley, California, has inspired me. Working with Suzanne and watching her as she went through the book inspires me, and seeing the moms of Hannibal, and the moms of Tonganoxie, Kansas. 

[01:52:58] Every time I go, I could almost start crying because they're very inspirational, and they show their courage, and they believe in themselves. And it isn't easy, but they set out to get in the game, and they're going to stay in it, and they understand they may get pushed back, but they get back up, and they do it again. So, there's countless moms, my mom. Without a shadow of a doubt, my mom was my greatest cheerleader, taught me about sticktoitiveness, I just can't say enough about my mom and her believing in me that helped me believe in myself, especially with dyslexia.

[01:53:32] My father, my dad is an interesting guy. He worked for industry. He ran the pipelines for Citigroup, and he used to sing me songs about water, and tell me, watch the water trickling down the stream, enjoy it today, or someday, it might not be seen. I often wonder what he knew when he implanted that. And he taught me that the greatest gifts we have is our health, our land, our air, our water, and our family, and the importance of integrity in telling the truth.

[01:54:03] And when we don't do that, we lose respect for each other, and then all is lost, my father. And a great surprise to me of one of my mentors is my youngest daughter, Elizabeth. So, my first granddaughter was born with a syndrome called Emanuel Syndrome. And a piece of chromosome 11 and chromosome 22 break, and they create a 47 chromosome. There is less than a thousand in the world and most of them fail to survive. They have organ failure, cleft palate, they don't walk, they don't talk, they don't thrive.

[01:54:40] And when we got that diagnosis and I saw my daughter's face, I'd never seen anything like it. She's like, oh, hell to the no, not this child. And Beth has never missed a beat, never missed a step, never given up hope over and over again has been there. Every therapy, she said, mom, I know her. She can thrive. She has no organ failure. She will learn to walk. We can teach her to walk. Last year, Grace, in her little Special Olympics won 100-yard dash. 

[01:55:16] And this is a child that I watched my daughter never stopped believing in and stayed with her through it all. Grace is starting to talk. She is going to thrive. And at some level, I truly believe that has come from the sheer power of Elizabeth's love, and determination, and belief for her daughter, and she has become quite a surprise to me as a real unsung hero and inspiration in my life, not to mention my granddaughter, Grace. 

[01:55:51] Very cool, the power of the human spirit and the power of love. I will never stop believing in us. And I know we're going through a whole lot of times and things seem really dark, but I think as we wake up, and we start to look at ourselves and our planet, and forgive ourselves for our mistakes, but find that way to take the fork in the road and turn the tide. I think we're going to do it.

[01:56:22]Luke Storey:  Amen, sister.

[01:56:23]Erin Brockovich:  I really do.

[01:56:24]Luke Storey:  Thank you. What a beautiful ending. Thank you very much. Yeah, it's really great to sit down-

[01:56:29]Erin Brockovich:  Some of my heroes.

[01:56:31]Luke Storey:  Yeah, I love it. It's funny, because sometimes, I ask that question, and I think for a long time, I went, who are some of your inspirations, your teachings, et cetera, that our listeners might be able to go study. And people, they always don't do it. They're like, oh, my mom, Jesus, whatever, I'm like, no, no, no, I'm talking about like a book to read, so I'm going to stop phrasing it that way, because these are really some of the best answers, the ones that are really personal like that. I thought you'd say, oh, Joe Dispenza or something like that.

[01:56:59]Erin Brockovich:  Oh, I love Joe Dispenza. but no, I did have a teacher affect me, Kathy Borsoff greatly. Again, but through the power of teaching and believing in me. As I said, I'm a dyslexic. I always failed the test. She came up one day, and she said, you always know the answer in class, what's going on? You fail the test. I said, I have dyslexia. She never missed a beat. She goes, hmm, that's interesting. So, if I ask you this test, give it to you orally, will you know the answer? So, I said, oh, hell, yes. She goes, I'm going to scramble it. I'm like, yeah. 

[01:57:30] She gave me the test, I knew all the answers. And again, she said, well, you know what, just sometimes, people think differently. I think you know plenty. She said, so here's what I'm going to do. For the rest of the semester, we're just going to give you your test orally, and she did. And not only did that change my self-esteem and my belief in myself, but it changed my GPA. And so, I'm forever thankful to her. But I don't know why we all think we have to be in this so-called box. She was open, and forgiving, and believing, and was rooted in what she saw, and knew that I could learn, and was willing to make negotiations to get me through. So, I did have a great teacher, Kathy Borsoff.

[01:58:18]Luke Storey:  Awesome. God bless Kathy, wherever she may be. 

[01:58:20]Erin Brockovich:  Yeah. And God bless moms and dads, and again, wisdom and things that they can impart. So, yeah. Like the book, Superman's Not Coming, I hope that it will inspire others. 

[01:58:33]Luke Storey:  Those watching on YouTube or elsewhere, the video version of this podcast, here is the book, I recommend you get it. Any other websites we need to know about, any links you want to throw out? Of course, we'd put them all in the show notes, but in case one's listening right now, and they're like, oh, I want to dive in.

[01:58:47]Erin Brockovich:  Links for the book? 

[01:58:48]Luke Storey:  No, just links for your site, anything you guys are doing, you want to shout out social media, following, et cetera. 

[01:58:54]Suzanne Boothby:  Brockovich.com, right? 

[01:58:57]Erin Brockovich:  Oh, duh, yeah.

[01:59:05]Luke Storey:  Thank you.This is kind of how this works, Erin. 

[01:59:05]Erin Brockovich:  I usually run around. Yeah, you can always email me, erin@brockovich.com. My website is brockovich.com. I have a podcast, Superman's Not Coming. I'm really happy for the book. I am a little excited about a future thing, I have a television series that I am executive producer of, it's inspired by me, but it's about everybody. And I've learned that there is no I, it's always a we. 

[01:59:33] And ABC bought this series and Katey Segal is playing Rebel, which is the name of the series with Andy Garcia, and it's going to be a great platform where, as we've done here today, entertainment has its space, right? These conversations of where people can look at that and not always being the stress of someone else or an expectation, and go, gosh, I could do that. Is that really happening? Oh, my gosh, let me look that up. That helps us ask questions of ourselves through film and television. So, I am looking forward to the show. It's called Rebel. 

[02:00:15]Luke Storey:  Cool. Congratulations.

[02:00:16]Erin Brockovich:  It's a good name, Rebel.

[02:00:17]Luke Storey:  Damn. You're up to a lot of good stuff.

[02:00:21]Erin Brockovich:  Rebel was a cause. So, I think that's it.

[02:00:23]Luke Storey:  Alright. Awesome.

[02:00:23]Erin Brockovich:  I don't know what else to do.

[02:00:25]Luke Storey:  That's it. Let's call it. Thanks for joining us, ladies. Great to meet both of you and spend some time. And I look forward to following your work.

[02:00:32]Erin Brockovich:  Well, we're going to be curious where you land and find that prestige water.

[02:00:38]Suzanne Boothby:  Yeah, I know. 

[02:00:39]Luke Storey:  I've got my eye on Sedona right now. 

[02:00:42]Erin Brockovich:  Sedona is lovely.

[02:00:43]Luke Storey:  There is a great spring there and I have not had the spring tested, but the town's been drinking that spring for God knows how long and everyone seems to be pretty healthy there. 

[02:00:52]Erin Brockovich:  Sedona is very spiritual, I love Sedona.

[02:00:55]Luke Storey:  I'm pretty outdoor, I'm dressed conservatively in my jeans and t-shirt today, but I'm pretty new agey, so I think I'll fit in, but we're going to give it a test run, and to escape the election fallout in Los Angele in November.

[02:01:05]Erin Brockovich:  You're going to take a break? 

[02:01:06]Luke Storey:  Yeah. And so, we're going to see, we're going to pretend to live there and see if we like it.

[02:01:10]Suzanne Boothby:  Do you have a TV, you can watch the news? 

[02:01:12]Luke Storey:  I'm going to bring my computer and do some work. I won't be able to resist the news. I like to think, I'm just going to ignore it, but I can't. I'll have to keep track. It's just, we're in unprecedentedly, if that's a word, weird times. Like it's never been stranger. 

[02:01:26]Erin Brockovich:  That's funny you said that word, did you see that skit on Saturday Night Live?

[02:01:30]Suzanne Boothby:  Oh, yeah, I did.

[02:01:32]Erin Brockovich:  They used that word. 

[02:01:33]Luke Storey:  Unprecedentedly.

[02:01:33]Erin Brockovich:  Yeah, they didn't pronounce it correct, and then they were corrected.

[02:01:37]Luke Storey:  Is that actually a word? I don't even know.

[02:01:38]Suzanne Boothby:  Unprecedented.

[02:01:38]Luke Storey:  Unprecedented, goddammit.

[02:01:38]Erin Brockovich:  And they said unprecedented. 

[02:01:44]Suzanne Boothby:  Yes, which is actually a perfect term for that.

[02:01:46]Erin Brockovich:  Look it up.

[02:01:47]Luke Storey:  Alright. Alright. Alright. We got to get out of here. Thanks, ladies.

[02:01:50]Suzanne Boothby:  Thank you. Thank you.

[02:01:50]Luke Storey:  Until we meet again.



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