Death of the Human Race. By plastic or climate change?
Doomed I tell you, doomed, we're all doomed
Global warming, ecological disasters, geographical anomalies, melting icecaps, and rising sea levels are all phrases used to intimidate a concerned public. And quite rightly so.
But, global warming is not new to this planet. The Earth has been warming up since the last ice age 2.6 million years ago. The age period, named Pleistocene Epoch, was the last time that the Earth was covered with glaciers and lasted 11,700 years ( approximately ).
Since then, decade after decade, the temperature of the Earth has slowly risen. That is until mankind's appearance some 200,000 years ago. Our ancestors were the beginning of a rapid decline for our beloved Mother Earth and a sharp increase in global temperatures.
And as man has declared themselves the greatest predator and overall lord of the Earth because of the opposable thumb syndrome, it's only taken some 200,000 years for us to begin to realize that maybe, just maybe, we might be getting it slightly wrong.
Victor Vescovo, the 53 year old billionaire business man, from Dallas, Texas, journeyed to the bottom of the Challenger Deep. That is the Southern end of the deepest place on Earth, the Mariana Trench.
Not only did he see unusual fish and other nocturnal marine life, but he also saw a simple, single use plastic bag. The deepest place on the planet, never before visited by any man, woman or child, and he discovers a single use plastic bag resting on the sea bed.
Now to be honest, the makers of this tenacious and durable plastic bag must be impressed with their technology. Not only has this bag carried groceries home for a family, but it has also possibly sailed more than most humans have across the oceans. Then, to prove its' durability, it embeds itself at the deepest point on the planet and just sits there. A testament to mankind's dominance of the land, sea and air. It may have been there for a year, a decade, or even 5 decades, who knows.
Also a testament to mans idiotic, ignorant, and irrational thinking that we own this wonderful planet. When in-fact, we do not own it, but as a species, we are merely visiting it.
Plastic, any plastic, is a man made synthetic compound. Plastics are derived from many natural resources including salt, natural gas, coal, cellulose, and of course mankind's favourite resource, oil.
Crude oil itself is a collage of thousands of different compounds which requires processing prior to its final usage.
Forget single use plastics, such as drinks bottles and carrier bags for now, lets seek other plastics which do not hit the headlines as much.
Study an everyday item such as a TV, an automobile, or even a simple pen. One of the items main components is usually plastic. Why? Why do everyday items have such a high proportion of plastic in them?
We all know the answer. Because it is cheap to manufacture, pliable, durable, easily replaced, and even weather resistant. Allegedly it is also fire resistant, but every time I have seen plastic in a fire, it always melts, so for me, not so much heat resistant.
Plastic is everywhere
Plastic, in any shape or form, has been deemed damaging to the environment. If a plastic object is washed, minute plastic particles are washed away down the drain and into the rivers and oceans.
This eventually is digested by plankton, then as the food chain order increases, the plastic particles are passed on, the last on the list is man. And research published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology indicated that micro-plastics are just not in the food we eat and our drinks, but it is also in the air.
Its everywhere. No-one it seems can escape from eating, drinking or somehow ingesting their daily dose of plastic particles. Apparently adults can eat up to 50,000 micro plastic particles a year, with children consuming about 40,000. And these are only early estimates and doses will probably increase as more research is undertaken.
The dinosaurs were wiped out due to a large meteor. Man will be wiped out because we are as thick as pig poo.
Are we up to our necks in it?
Is it time to Panic?
No! That time has come and gone.
The ice caps are melting. The co2 emissions are through the roof. The rain forests are burning. The air is polluted. Space junk circles our heads and my childrens' staple diet is micro-plastics.
Unfortunately this is not a game where we can die and just re-spawn at a checkpoint. If only life were that simple. Are we really trying to be 'enviromentally friendly' now? When has the human race as a whole been friendly to anything?
Do we know how to help ourselves? It is not easy to simply stop producing plastics as all my clothes would fall onto the floor without their plastic hangers. Its not anyone's fault as to the state of the planet, it's everyones'. Don't blame governments or individual politicians, don't blame the manufacturers, but blame everyone, because we are all guilty.
Do you or I do enough to combat the growing menace of the invasive plastic? Well, I am sitting here using my plastic mouse, typing on plastic keys, using my plastic based computer, whilst putting my feet up on a plastic table, listening to music played from a part plastic music system. Also looking at my dogs in their plastic pens brightly lit by lights with plastic shades, and also listening out for my plastic phone to ring.
And to cap all that off, without even attempting to be funny, I paid for it all on my plastic credit card!! Irony at it's very best.
I violate and abuse the Earth
Environmental issues have been highlighted for decades. But not many people listened or even cared. Greta Thunberg has recently mobilized thousands of young people to strike from work and educational facilities to make nations more aware of the plastic menace.
Many manufacturers are seeking alternative packaging prospects such as weed grass for packaging vegetables, and paper bags for shopping instead of single use carrier bags. There are many new ideas coming into the world, some will never make it onto the high street, some will be great.
The end is nigh?
Today, my ex-girlfriend received a package from an online retailer. It was a large company with a name very similar to the Amazon rain forest, but for legal reasons I cannot tell you the name of the company. It was a simple single bra that she had ordered. It was packed in a colourful box. This box was then put into a much larger box with lots of paper packaging to protect the colourful box. Senseless.
For her to receive her bra, it took almost a whole tree. An envelope would of sufficed. Absolutely nothing to do with plastic, but yet another form of mans indecent usage of natural resources that we have been aware of for decades. But yet we still don't seem to care. We still abuse and violate this planet as if it were our personal toilet.
Who killed the Tree of Life?
Idiocracy is a bizarre, fictional movie but with certain possibly true undertones. As the progressive species that is mankind continues into the next century, we have left something behind. Intelligence.
Gone are the more dynamic, educated and studious elements of our society. Leaving our kind with the more horizontally inclined, intellectually challenged, and dare I say 'as thick as two short planks' type of people whom would easily consider voting Mr Bean to be president.
Is it a fictional movie? Or an insightful movie? Are we ever going to realize what we have done to this planet? Would we consider doing something about it, or should we just leave it up to someone else to do something about it?
Maybe we cannot stop the planet from heating up, but we can slow the process down.