Monday, 21 April 2014

Post-Apocalyptic A to Z: Pollution

There's an old saying that if you throw a frog in boiling water, it will jump out, but if you put a frog in tepid water and slowly heat it to a boil, it won't notice the temperature change and will die. While Snopes says this isn't true, it's still a great metaphor. Dangers that come on us gradually often go unnoticed until it's too late. The North Korean nuclear program, for example. Who took that seriously until they did a successful test?

Pollution is another gradual danger. Sure, we all know it's bad, but nobody is dropping dead so we don't think about it. . .except we're now accustomed to buying bottled water because it's marketed as safer than tap water, and people wearing masks in big cities isn't remarked on anymore.

According to the fascinating book, The World Without Us, the most harmful thing we may be doing to our planet may be pumping vast amounts of plastic into the ocean. Tiny indigestible bits of plastic are finding their way into the systems of all sea life, and we simply don't know how that might affect them.

Out of sight, out of mind.

Why wait for the end of the world? We're bringing it closer every day.

Image courtesy Stefan Wernli.


robertlampros said...

I get grossed out when I think about the sheer quantity of refuse humankind must produce on the daily. As a result I've been saying little prayers about it from time to to time. "Dear God," I say, "please heal our unhealthy planet as you heal our sick bodies." He will, too. Square-mileage and synthetichemical bio-indegradability pose no challenge whatsoever for Him.

Donna Volkenannt said...

I think you're right about plastic.

It's everywhere and has to go somewhere. No wonder it's polluting the earth.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Maybe it's time we started to pay attention...

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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