Must we wait for selection to solve the problems of overpopulation, exhaustion of resources, pollution of the environment and a nuclear holocaust, or can we take explicit steps to make our future more secure? In the latter case, must we not transcend selection?
—B. F. Skinner
[one_half padding=”4px 10px 0 4px”]Pollution is an interesting topic, don’t you think? With all the environmental talk these days having turned to the matter of global warming, we have to wonder whether anyone is paying attention to actual pollution anymore. What tops that, though, at least in my heavily weighted opinion, is that we tend to think of pollution as an outdoor thing when indoor pollution is every bit as deadly. No, I’m not kidding. Your gas is shortening people’s lives, man. You need to lay off the burritos.
According to figures released by The Lancet, a respected medical journal, indoor pollution is just as much a contributor to death, 2.9 million people, as is outdoor pollution. Put the two together, and pollution suddenly jumps up to the second leading cause of death in the world, even more than smoking. No matter where we turn, there is so very little fresh air left on the planet it’s a wonder we are still breathing at all. The oxygen we need to survive is running preciously thin and every time you open your mouth you are putting someone else in danger. There, how does that make you feel? Not good, huh?
And just why do we have so much indoor pollution? Someone forgot to crack a window. Seriously. Inadequate ventilation is responsible for 53% of indoor pollution. I know researchers will try to say that it is poor ventilation in factories that are the most threatening to the greatest number of people, especially in developing nations where workplace regulations about air quality are non-existent. But something tells me those researchers would have a different opinion if they’ve ever been hotboxed in a car with three teenage boys who just stopped at Taco Bell®™. Noxious fumes capable of peeling paint come out of the human posterior. Don’t try telling me that stuff isn’t shortening all our lives.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”4px 4px 0 10px”]In an ultimate display of human stupidity, we have chosen for years to completely ignore the matter of pollution. We know it’s there. We know we’re causing it. But the people who control the money are afraid if we do things to clean up this incredible mess we’ve created that it might eat into their over-inflated bottom line. The late (thankfully) President Ronald Reagan tried blaming nature itself for causing the majority of air contaminants. While technically that charge is true, there is one big difference between natural contaminants and manufactured contaminants: nature cleans up its own damn mess, humans don’t.
Yeah, that’s right; the rebellious act of not wanting to clean our rooms as children has spread to the whole damn planet. Wherever we go, we make a mess and we don’t want to clean it up. In a way, the fact that our pollution is killing us is probably just reward for being the colossal brats that we are. One might even go so far as to say that choking on our over-industrialization is nature’s way of attempting to eliminate the problem. We ruin the air we breathe, we die, the air becomes clean again. Isn’t that the way nature works?
Of course, it’s the poor who are most likely to die from the effects of pollution, and the poor don’t have a voice in the political decisions that have turned our planet, indoors and out, into a giant cesspool of stinking corporate flatulence. Those who have the money for expensive air purification systems don’t worry about the health of those who don’t. The same jackasses who won’t roll down a window in the car are laughing about hotboxing the entire planet.
So here’s a message from the planet to humanity: Hey people, you stink. Clean up your shit or leave. And cut back on the burritos. Enjoy the picture. Thanks, Earth. [/one_half_last]