Pollution Sucks

Pollution Sucks

Recently, I'm finding that I'm reading, thinking and writing a lot more about environmentalism. I feel deep respect for those who are concerned about a myriad of environmental issues, although I find that some of their concerns are misplaced. In a world where hedonism and selfishness form the basis of many peoples personal philosophies, it's reassuring to know that there are still people who are genuinely concerned about others and our collective future.

Hypocrisy is inevitable, and many concerned citizens and activists are not immune. Recycling, using energy efficient bulbs, and driving hybrid cars might make us feel good about ourselves, but, on a grander scale, these have very little positive impact on the environment. Industrial pollution is the greatest source of air, soil and water contamination. True, driving a Prius reduces emissions, but the real cost of driving a car is far greater than we can imagine. The industrial waste produced while manufacturing and disposing different components of an automobile is mostly invisible to us. The human costs, conflicts and wars over resources, labor abuses, and health consequences are also disguised. We are efficaciously disinformed about the scale of how bad things really are.

Sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, herbicides, pesticides, pathogens, hydrocarbons, heavy metals, detergents, and fertilizers are just some of the pollutants that are wreaking havoc on the environment. The rat race dictates that no single government can take action and jeopardize its economy. The real culprits, multinational corporations, who have a stranglehold on governments, are fending off any meaningful regulation, and waging disinformation campaigns to suppress any reaction from concerned citizens and activists. If the environment is not sustainable the way we are heading, and all indicators seem to suggests so, then we need to immediately stop this spiral into omnicide. The idea that "civilizations self-destruct" is not just a plot for a science-fiction film, it is real. We are in deep trouble!

What can be done? I'll leave that for future posts.

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, a.k.a. Rio+20, wrapped up last weekend. To the dismay of environmentalists, the attendees, affirmed, recognized, underscored, urged, acknowledged and reaffirmed without making any decisions or commitments. Greenpeace called it "a failure of epic proportions". Others called it, "the longest suicide note in history".

Song of the Day: It's The End Of The World - R.E.M. (1987)
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