Something particularly anxiety-producing happens when one shifts attention from humanly caused damage to nature to environmentally caused danger to human health. Peoples’ responses to the effects of environmental crisis become much sharper and more urgent, when they, not ecosystems or biota, are the victims. More important, perhaps, environmental damage of this sort expresses itself in the most fearfully intimate manner; it induces destructive change inside and not just around human beings. Exploring environmental health risks makes for a sense of crisis far more claustrophobic than what even severe ecological deterioration produces. Expansive feeling for nature seems no consolation at all when the body’s basic well-being is attacked. When one considers environmental impacts on human health, one quickly feels that, though apocalyptic visions of the imminent end of nature are out of date, people today dwell more deeply and disturbingly than ever before within a form of environmental crisis. As Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers point out, for example, no human

being anywhere today remains free of residues of human-made toxic chemicals in his or her body. Researchers wishing to do epidemiological studies confront the lack of “an uncontaminated population for comparison. No young person alive today has been born without some in utero exposure to synthetic chemicals that can disrupt development.”1