Author of stories for children, Scientist and Philosopher T-shirts & bags, comments on life, the universe and everything, photography. Conservationist, Environmentalist. Lives on the pale blue dot. Humanity must tread more lightly on the world
Category: Environmental loading
Human products and behaviours that cause a load on the environment.
Our environment is full of plastic waste. Every corner and huge numbers of drops of the Earth’s water has been contaminated with micro plastics. It may not be you or I doing this but it is our human primate species, of which we are all part of and that we are partially responsible for as conscious intelligent individuals, that is doing it. So this is my thinking of what “I”, that’s all of us “I”s consider normal part 10 and what we should do about it.
We need responsibility taxation throughout our consumption. There are few reasons to be drinking out of PFAS coated takeaway cups and not bringing our own refillable cups to a place where we purchase a takeaway drink. To curb the use of these environmentally and potentially health damaging cups there should be a tax on manufacturing them, a tax on corporations and other sized businesses purchasing them, a tax for branding and marketing them in any way as is the case here and of course a huge fining system for anyone who deposits a takeaway cup like this in the environment like this, with an additional fine on the company for allowing their branding to litter the environment. Take away cups must be driven if not to extinction then very close to it. The planet cannot afford our species convenience, stupidity and irresponsibility.
So all you fellow Earthlings happily beavering away in your small life bubbles with their narrow views of the world, the link below is a view of the state of the real world, the one that keeps our convenient life bubbles functioning, written from the viewpoint of some leading scientists working at Imperial College in London.
So what’s it got to do with that life bubble of yours based on entrepreneurs, technologists, economists, leading business people, consultants, experts, financiers, wealthy individuals, greedy corporations, spreadsheet warriors and other leaders of the human primate species? Movers and shakers making all that progress happen, the detached house, the next BMW, that cruise on a luxury liner that you so deserve. Well outside of your little world the real world is both changing and dying, not that you would notice. That’s because we are Homo sapiens and we have limited understanding of how everything works but a combination of human primate numbers and that our species are fossil fuel drug addicts, only we don’t realise we are drug addicts, has caused massive changes to the systems that govern our limited life bubbles. If you have an interest in a viable future for the species beyond your life bubble read this informative, easily understandable and visually stunning piece. https://www.imperial.ac.uk/stories/importance-of-biodiversity/?mc_cid=7841e5c7f4&mc_eid=ba8991c2a5
A fallen giant and one that is probably one of the few that fell naturally due to its age and size in 2021. Think of what the Earth must have been like before us? Before we the modern primate discovered fire and tools for bringing the natural life of great trees to an early unnatural end. There would have been the occasional crash of a titan in a forest rather than the chainsaw desecration to grow palm oil or coffee or to give some pretentious executive a truly non environmentally friendly office. Trees are part of that important system of maintaining the Earth in some sort of habitable balance for all life forms to carry on living, passing on their genes and allowing evolution to take place. Most humans though just see them as an obstacle to growth and to what we primates laughingly call progress. A progress that is probably increasing the likelihood of our own species extinction. Extinction is the norm and our current mindset is that we take nature for granted. We shouldn’t unless we want to learn a very hard lesson for not giving it the respect that it deserves.
It was going to happen before the end of May that was pretty much certain but here we are on April the 3rd and we’ve passed the 420ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere for the first time in probably over three million years. Aren’t we clever? Perhaps not. Despite a La Niña event we are seeing large high and low temperature records being broken and a very disturbed polar vortex. 2021 is shaping up well for some extreme weather events, snow, rain, droughts with perhaps some killer heat waves, forest fires and perhaps some price increasing crop failures thrown in for good measure. Welcome to the real scary amusement park of fossil fuel burning where the ride seems to be for free. Only your kids and grand-kids are going to have to foot the very, very expensive bill.
My ninth post of what many individuals have in their “I” view of the world. So here’s a thing for example of the way we as individuals think. If you have owned a car, got stuck in traffic jams and complained about the cost of fuel then you would probably consider all those things normal in your modern life, in this decade or century and your location on the planet and your financial status. Think though none of that or your way of thinking would have been normal in say 1900 and neither will it be at least potentially in the year 2150.
Why’s that? Our descendants, assuming we don’t become extinct before that year and remember there’s always the mathematical possibility that we will so please don’t scoff, would hopefully be more enlightened than we are and some of our ancestors have been. They would consider the driving around and intentionally polluting the lungs of other humans and filling the environment with microplastic pollution something of a horror story. We know that we need to change drastically in so many ways but there are 7,800,000,000 of us human primates currently alive today and many are in the “I” is normal mode of thinking. So what would an enlightened “I” think this is normal look like? It would be considered normal to live in a clean and safe town and city environment where most of the things that “I” require are within 15 minutes of walking or cycling. This is already starting to happen but we are a long way from converting everyone. Paris is making huge strides through the efforts of Anne Hidalgo and Carlos Moreno. So the question is do you care how our descendants see us? For many “I”s they probably just don’t care. https://www.ted.com/talks/carlos_moreno_the_15_minute_city?utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_campaign=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_content=button__2021-01-25#t-459254
Take a look at this Christmas card and the small specks on the table. That’s glitter, it’s plastic, it’s pollution. It’s from the oil industry. Those small specks and countless billions like them are out there in the environment on the highest mountains and in the deepest ocean trenches and they are in you and I. They were found in the placenta of women having given birth in Rome. That means ladies that if you haven’t had children yet you’ll be passing on the microplastic in you to your future kids with all the potential adverse effects on their endocrine systems and other functions. There’s also the possibility that nanoplastic and microplastic particles could be able to pass the blood brain barrier. We really have messed up this planet big time and we therefore need to change. Don’t believe me, just do a search. Or perhaps you would rather not know and pretend everything is fine when it’s not. If that’s the case you are abdicating your responsibility to future generations and the environment.
In the next couple of months we will almost certainly break through that little round number of 420ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere. It’s just a number and it will increase but we ought to remember why that number is so high because its consequences are going to be far reaching. Part of the reason is the humble potato, not the potato itself but the snack food crisps derived from them. It would make sense to ship potatoes where they are needed but to cut them up, fry them, put them in a plastic bag full of air, put a number of plastic air filled bags in a box and ship a large number of boxes to wherever may make monetary sense but it’s an environmental disaster. Crisps, like many other products need to be made locally, sold locally and consumed locally. Economics must not be allowed to destroy the environment and our shared future. (Yes, this was in an airport, Geneva and it was me with a packet of British crisps which I’m sure the Swiss are equally capable of making.)
I don’t know if this start up is still going but it does highlight the utter stupidity of the human monkey species if it is. We face a climate and resources crisis and we want to do what? Ship Swiss air to other countries. Truly this is fruitcake economics. Any intelligent alien species visiting Earth would not contact us for fear of catching the insanity that plagues us with our limited myopic thinking.
With a title borrowed from Talking Heads this article is in French unfortunately for those that are not French speakers but it highlights the environmental poisoning that our dream houses are doing to the natural world. While it might seem normal for you or I in our tiny life bubbles imagine the house scaled up for 7.8 billion people. That’s a lot of pollution.
My eighth post of what many individuals have in their “I” view of the world is also number 7 in my Environmental loading category. They are very related in many ways. So just to repeat, there are 7,800,000,000 of us human primates and still growing rapidly by the day. We all rely to a certain extent on our “I” experience, what seems normal to us but in terms of what’s been normal for the planet throughout time and would actually work if it was normal for all those 7.8 billion+ others like us certainly cannot be “normal” without destroying our shared life support systems.
So we all hear about or read about people who want to live or do live ecologically sound lives with low environmental impact or as in the case of this BBC article want to move away from it all and all those other annoying human primates, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56359865. Now that’s all very nice for “I” but what does it really mean in terms of environmental loading. It means that if a lot of people do it then it’s an environmental disaster. If 7,800,000,000 and increasing number of human primates live off-grid there will be no off-grid for the wolves, bears, zebras, hippos, lions, elephants and any other creatures you care to think of. We have already killed countless numbers of them as the human population soared over the last couple of centuries to almost eight times its number. Not only have human numbers grown by almost eight times in those two centuries but in many cases life expectancy has gone up and in many cases they have electricity, flushing toilets, mobile phones etc and not only that but cars and motorways to connect them to places that were once wilderness two centuries ago. Take a look at us, the human primate from the “we” position and you will see that we are too many and we have taken and continue to take too much.