Home Up Time Bomb


bulletDuring the short period of time that I have been living on this planet, a great deal of creatures have disappeared from the face of the Earth.  Many more thousands of species are bound to become extinct before I die.
bulletMostly due to religious impediments -and beliefs that are generally inconsistent with any sociological common sense- the population of this planet is reaching alarming thresholds.   With:
bullet (1) population growth out of control in most of the developing world, 
bullet (2) the risks that are implicit in the development of nuclear energy,
bullet(3) the few -adequate- alternative energy sources available to humanity, and
bullet(4) the oil fields marching fast on the road to depletion...

...I do not like what I can foresee from my knowledge standpoint. 

 I do not want to be a messenger of bad news.  But, if I am honest with you all, what I see coming is ugly !!!  .... and that is an understatement!

bulletIt is imperative that the civilized world starts doing something soon to promote the control of our population-growth, especially in underdeveloped countries.  Religious barriers that limit women freedom to have family planning must be overcome somehow, and soon. And -unfortunately- that is not going to be easy.
bulletIf our specie is luckier than many other species of beings that did not make it, human beings might be still living on this planet -let's say- one million or ten million years from now.  At least, we should assume that is going to be the case.   
bulletI know the year 1,002,002 A.C. sounds too far away.  But, unless we destroy this planet, somebody will probably be here then.
bulletAnd not just one million years from now, but -at least theoretically- a billion years from now as well.

 The former -hopeful- statement (1 million years) is a real long shot, but it might very well be correct.  I would not bet on the latter though (1 billion years).  Does not have much statistically significant chance of attaining realization.

bulletWhat's the point with these absurd statements?  The point is that when we do something that may cause damage to the environment (being it adding heavy-metal pollutants to the oceans, destroying rain forests, decimation of species, ... or whatever) we should not just look to what deterioration has been done to our children's generation, but rather what has been done to the quality of life of futuristic human societies that will inhabit Earth many years from today.
In other words, instead of multiplying the "yearly-rate of damage" by 40 or 50 years (to see what flora and fauna would be left to our immediate descendants), we should have the discipline and responsibility to measure our acts, and look at the long term implications of our often senseless industrial developmentI propose we multiply by 1,000,000 years, and not by 50.  That would really help us visualize the depth of the damage being done.  And we will -hopefully- become more concerned with the rights of those many billions of humans who would probably be living in our soil long after we are gone.
bulletWe have been so irresponsible and careless with our planet that I would have to guess that, if the factoring to be used on our analysis were a billion years (instead of 50 , or even a million) we would have to stall our modern society to a full stop, to avoid further irreparable damage to the environment.  The way we did things, and the way we still do things in the 21st century is totally irresponsible.
bullet(a) Think about the condominiums being built right here in Florida just a few feet away from the beach.  Due to our irresponsible building codes, beach erosion will be a problem not just a million year from now, but it is a problem today. Many beaches have been encroached.  They are not allowed to move or grow, they are only allowed to deplete little by little.  
bullet(b) And while on the topic of encroaching, think about those human populations surrounding  habitats of wild animals in Africa.  Due to uncontrollable population growth, they have reached a point were those wild animals can not move any longer without causing trouble to people, and therefore becoming a nuisance to African tribes. How long is it going to take for these growing populations to get rid of these animals?  It was not easy to do that with arrows and spears, but it is quite easy to do with  high-power rifles (as they have already done to large herds of elephants in Burundi).  Do you see my point now?
bulletHow responsible is to bring industries that release pollutants into the middle of our neighborhoods?  And to add insult to injury, often the selected neighborhoods are populated with low-income families, as if they were lesser humans?
When you look at those maps showing toxins buried all over our geography you start to wonder if the Americans of the 1920's and 1930's thought that they year 2000 was too far away? That it was OK to pollute the country? It was perhaps they thought the population of America was never going to increase beyond 50 million, and therefore those landfills will never be reclaimed?

Now we have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in clean up efforts (Super Fund), and yet, the ground will never get rid -totally- of those cancer causing pollutants.

Shortsightedness !!

A couple of billion years ago, our atmosphere was non breathable.  Only bacteria and plants could survive.  There was too much carbon dioxide on the air, what was good news for plants and trees, some species of which evolved into huge "skyscrapers".  Throughout a slow process lasting millions of years plants extracted the carbon from the atmosphere, and as the plants died, with their roots buried deep, the carbon was effectively transferred from the air to the ground.  As the percent of oxygen in the air increased (and today oxygen is about 21%, and carbon dioxide is less than 1% of the air we breath) Zoology has a slow birth.

But it is only going to take 300 years or less, for our modern society to revert this process. In just 120 years we have depleted 70% of the worlds known oil reserves, and we are also burning fossil coal at higher and higher rates. 

George Bush, our "intellectually non-curious"  President!

  So, So, let's just go for 1 million years! (for that factor we need to plug to our formula, above)

On this picture published on the January 1940 issue of National Geographic could be read: WHALES SERVE AS FENDERS BETWEEN TWO SHIPS. A day of commerce in Brooklyn, NY (circa 1920's).

"A child born in the industrial world adds more to consumption and pollution over his/her lifetime than do 40 children born in developing countries." -Source: UNDP, 1998


Oh!  You can count, that there is a lot more to come on the "Environment" issue.

 For now, let me recommend you to visit the "Bering Tunnel" page (<-clicking the link).  You will see why I ask you to do that!



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