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The Last 100 Years

Updated: Sep 30

The name we selected for ourselves means ‘wise human’. Homo is the Latin word for ‘human’ or ‘man’ and sapiens is derived from a Latin word that means ‘wise’ or ‘astute’.

As per the Australian Museum website.

It’s hard to know where to start when talking about the environment. One realizes the importance of being inviting and not too biting. Environmentalists want climate-deniers and industrial-apologists to see things the way we see them. But when things look black from all angles — and you decide to ‘call it like you see it‘ — you’re going to inevitably chase some people away with what comes across as pessimism or negativity.

This article is going to sound pessimistic, but it isn’t. Rather, it’s realistic. There comes a time to be straight and direct.

Over the last 100 years we humans have been living as though we are last people that will ever inhabit the Earth. We may be right. Whether it’s selfishness or myopia on the part of humanity doesn’t really matter. One way or another the course must change.

We are burning through this planet faster than it can replenish itself, when for the last 10,000 years and 10 million years before that — there were no plastic water bottles here on Earth, no broken drill bits on the sea bed spouting crude oil continually into the oceans — and no cars. There were no chemical plants. There were no nuclear reactors melting down and leaking radiation into the sea. There were no commercial fishing fleets on the scale seen today emptying the oceans.

In just a sliver of time — 100 years — the oceans, bays, waterways and groundwater have become filled with toxic waste, permanent chemicals, trash, plastics, plastic residues and poisonous synthetic compounds. The problems created by humans — you and me — are endless.

Things which seem innocent — such as the desire by people to have greener and greener lawns — has caused the chemical industry to create new artificial fertilizers, the run off of which, combined with pesticides, is killing near-shore marine life at a frenetic pace. To a degree not seen since an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, ocean life throughout this planet stands face to face with it’s own extinction. This due solely to human factors. Keep in mind factories and large scale industrial fleets — for all the rapidity with which they can bring us our goods — have meant that the destructive nature of a single act now becomes multiplied upon itself by untold factors. Over-fishing, dolphin and whale slaughter, military use of sonar, oil disasters, tanker spills, engine exhaust from factories and machinery, methane gas release from the livestock — this is a runaway train. These are the consequences of industrialization. The destruction to goes on and on with the reliability of the factory assembly line.

All corners of this planet are now responsible for the release of the carbon and other gases which are now melting the glaciers and killing off by starvation the arctic land mammals. The health of these animals serve as indicators of the planet’s health. The melting of the polar ice caps is occurring at a pace that science cannot manage. Even the latest human advancements in technology cannot correct for this. It’s worth noting that there are more brilliant minds working to get their products in front of Apple’s customers than there are working on ways to save the planet — but that’s a topic for another time. For right now let’s just say this: There is no machine which can be built to clean up this mess.

The entire globe has seen the ruin and devastation which the modern era has brought, while simultaneously degrading the quality of life for people and animals everywhere. The complacency of the news media — while typical — also makes them complicit in the crisis facing the globe. Their silence on environmental issues is tragic because it robs well-meaning people of the impetus to do something since they largely don’t know the extent of what’s happening. The corporate news, for instance, has completely ignored the recent tanker ship which sank off the coast of Sri Lanka. That single disaster has permanently destroyed the coastal waters of a dozen islands and killed more marine life throughout the region than can be calculated. That single tanker has irreversibly altered the world’s oceans due to the release of, in addition to catastrophic chemicals, hundreds of tons of tiny plastic pellets. These pellets were on their way to the United States to be melted down and used for plastic bags. They will now be in the oceans currents forever.

Nobody likes this topic. But the time has come to talk about it.

I’m giving you a challenge. If you want this planet to survive you only have to do one ☝️ thing.

Wake up.

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