A Sunday Chat with Myself—Environmental degredation?

“As many know, the Chinese expression for ‘crisis’ consists of two characters side by side. The first is the symbol for danger, the second the symbol for opportunity.”  —Al Gore

There is so much talk today about global warming, environmental degradation and pollution that it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. What’s the difference between global warming, environmental degradation and global pollution, and are we, humans, responsible for all three events happening to our planet?

For example, according to The Naked Scientist, the average active volcano produces around 100 million tons of pollutants every year. Within the ash that a volcano produces is  water vapor, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride. Sulfur dioxide reflects sunlight back into the atmosphere, so it actually helps in keeping our planet cool.

On the other hand, we humans produce over 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide—the ‘greenhouse gas’— into the air. That’s 300 times more than what the average volcano produces. Obviously, we contribute significantly to global warming through the burning of fossil fuels making it a serious problem that needs our attention! But, is that the root cause of global warming?

According to one source—and other research that I’ve done in this area, tends to agree, “Astronomical causes are by far the most significant among all the various factors. Brightening of the sun, sunspot activity, precision of the equinoxes, tilt of the Earth’s orbit, and eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit are the most predominant astronomical causes, and they each have a different period length. This adds to the complexity of the climate change trends and often causes confusion and debate among scientists.” (http://www.odec.ca/projects/2009/qiao9d2/causes.htm). So much for who and what causes global warming. Now, on to the next question: pollution!

“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”  —Jacques-Yves Cousteau

And in that above quote lies our problem, it’s not global warming that we need to fear, but global pollution that will, inevitably, wipe us off the planet! According to Wikipedia, pollution includes: “air pollution, light pollution, littering, noise pollution, plastic pollution, soil contamination [and depletion], radioactive contamination, thermal pollution, visual pollution [and] water pollution.”

But, we have two other problems to deal with, one of which is our environmental degradation. According to Wikipedia, “Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems; habitat destruction; the extinction of wildlife; and pollution.” And we’re doing an excellent job of destroying our planet in every one of these areas.

The introduction of plastic into our society has been both a boon and a bust for us. I’m not sure if there are any actual statistics available on the subject, but plastics are everywhere. They’ve made our life easier in many respects, but also, because of our indifference to our environment, we’re killing life forms, and destroying our environment at an alarming rate, and, unless we change, our indifference to what we’re doing to Nature is going to be our own demise.

If we don’t start taking responsibility for our actions, and stop polluting our world, Gaia is going to lash back, and it won’t be in our favor!

About Albert Schindler

I was born on the 27th of February, 1931, on a farm near Hubbard, Saskatchewan. As far back as I can remember I had a spirit that would not stay earthbound. In junior high, I remember taking first place for a short story in which I described my terrifying encounter with a dinosaur. In outer space – that is, when the teacher wasn’t directly speaking to me, I went where Buck Rogers wouldn’t dare go. I was more of a Calvin in Calvin and Hobbes type of guy, with my own, personal, very powerful, transmogrifyer always at the ready. In my ‘teens and twenties, I pushed aside my Calvin alter ego in favour of making a living and didn’t take seriously again my ‘writer’s bug’ until my late 30s. I still saw that the world as full of exciting things to learn and investigate, which my writing reflected in the several articles and a couple of short fiction pieces that I wrote and sold, including over 30 children’s radio plays for Alberta’s ACCESS Radio. Unfortunately, I abandoned my budding writing career in favour of starting my own business as a sign painter. Now that I can officially call myself ‘retired,’ I plan to resume my writing career, only this time, writing mostly fiction. Why fiction? I have lead a great, adventurous life in which I made many mistakes (the ‘adventure’ in life), that have taught me some very important lessons and allowed my spirit to grow to unimaginable proportions, inconceivable to me while still in my thirties. In fiction, I believe, one can adventure into both the inner and outer consciousness of man and the universe to infinite levels where only the boldest dare peak. Convention holds that article writing has to be factual – oh, you can be creative in how you present your information, but ‘fact’ (whatever that means) still must have its parameters in article writing, whereas fiction is limited only by the size of a writer’s spirit, and so far, I haven’t been able to fathom my limit.
This entry was posted in Environment, Global Pollution, Global Warming, Thoughts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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