A Pot-smoking, Dudeist Priest, Zombie Apocalypse Prepper Contemplates Pollution
Reducing my carbon footprint has and will always take a back seat to my daily survival. It's not that I don't care about the environment. It's that, I will always burn wood to stave off the cold if that's the only affordable way to keep my family warm through the winter. And, since I can typically find wood without issue, every winter we add our share to the total global carbon dioxide emissions. How much so? I don't know. I don't have the scientific instruments available to gather specific data. And, if I did have the data, I sure as fuck don't have the time to sit down with it. So, figure, enough wood to keep a single fire going day and night for 4 - 6 months of the year. So far as forestry goes, that's a fair bit for one family, now multiply that by a community, and that by a province, and on until you've covered the inhabited areas of the world.
Billions of people: surviving.
Everything comes down to survival.
Dead, we cannot save the planet. Conversely, our living is killing the earth (our home) and thus ourselves. One might add, death of the planet is not conducive to survival. The difference between a sudden death (freezing) and a slow death (desertification) is time. If our long term survival is dependent upon the mass of humanity making good decisions that put the earth's needs before our resource needs, then we are
doomed totally fucked. But, should we make decisions that simultaneously address our resource requirements and the earth's needs, then we can save two birds with one stoner and survive in the process.
Climate Change is a Conspiracy
Climate change deniers can't reconcile that the physics of industry includes a shitty mess of pollution. Side effect: hotter planet. These same people complain of "dirty cities" when they travel. As if, the very act of traveling didn't create a wake of trash.
Plastics also introduced endocrine disruptors (a.k.a. gender-bending chemicals) into the food chain. At all levels of the food chain. In the oceans, plastic trash has been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, turtles, and plankton. Fucking plankton, dude. We now live in a world where we might actually come across a gender-bent five-legged frog caught in the plastic rings from a six pack discarded on a wild road trip Donald Trump took back in the coked-up 1980s.
Making the move to save the planet, back in the '80s, the plastics industry came up with a nice little labeling system that allowed recycling companies to sort plastics based on resin types. The Resin Identification Codes:
Crazy Thing About Plastics
1. mutagens in PET bottles after 1 month storage - higher levels of contaminants found in bottles left in daylight.
2. endocrine disruptors - screw with hormones
3. conclusion: in PET bottles, after a month in sunlight endocrine disruptors (antimony, phthalates) can leach into liquids
1. ocean bacteria eat HDPE 2 - plastic degrading ocean bacteria can help clean up plastic pollution
2. plastics leach estrogenic chemicals - use plastics, risk increased estrogen levels
3. two chemicals found in HDPE pipes - microorganisms in older pipes degrade the chemicals
4. conclusion: the earth's developed plastic eating critters; our plastic problem is fucking with our hormones, not theirs
1. adverse health effects known since the 1970s - including pulmonary dysfunction
2. drinking water pipes leach "significant amounts" of numerous chemicals that migrate in the pipes
3. vinyl chloride is a known human carcinogen
4. conclusion: tap water coming to the house through PVC piping contains chemicals, including carcinogens.
1. some bacteria can degrade plastics
2. LDPE plastic film used as control, found least effective at preserving pistachios during long term storage (2 months) - PET found most effective (5 months) - moisture in the plastic film bags found to contain aflatoxin a carcinogen associated with liver cancer (NOTE: this chemical is released from the pistachio, not the plastic film)
3. found very little research discussing the potential toxicity of LDPE, but plenty of novel mixes making LDPE variants, strawberry packaging variants
4. conclusion: safest of the plastics, and that's cause the dangers come from what's been packaged not the packaging
1. leachates did not show toxicity
2. evidence of leachates in post-implantation - degradation, additive leaching
3. no evidence of cytotoxicity in PPF used in bone tissue engineering
4. conclusion: long-term degradation of PP occurs when implanted in human bodies, but it ain't too toxic
1. contains estrogenics
2. can be used to deliver targeted cancer therapies and yet, styrene is a carcinogen
3. polystyrene containers treated with UV radiation can kill bacteria and bacteriophage
4. "Intestinal ischemia is a recognized risk of SPS in sorbitol." - intestinal necrosis implicates sorbitol, not SPS
5. NASA experiments include using polystyrene as glue for DNA
6. conclusion: Styrofoam has it's medical uses, but may not be so awesome for holding hot beverages
1. BPA - endocrine disruptors
2. mixed materials once it makes it to the ocean it's all mixed together poisoning the food chain
3. 10 phthalates found in various "other" plastics are endocrine distruptors
4. ABS - pulmonary, respiratory issues
5. conclusion: once the plastics have combined in the oceans, we're all at risk of exposure to endocrine disruptors
Money for Nothing
The strides we've taken and the technologies that we've discovered and/or created would have been impossible without plastics. We've made plastic leaps that opened the scientific door to even greater technologies. All areas of modern life include plastics. That our progress comes with refuse is common sense. We see it in our own digestive systems: food in, shit out. For every computer on the shelf, thousands sit at the dump. Every industry creates refuse that can be found in the ocean garbage patches and over flowing landfills. The problem is a collective one that will take collective efforts.
How do we turn trash to treasure?
We have to worry about the trash already out there as well as the trash in the production pipeline. Even so, a company must survive, just as a person must. Companies regularly make decisions based on financial trade offs. By increasing fiscal incentives for companies to use biodegradable and non-poisonous packaging, we all survive. That means, governments can use import/export treaties and individuals can use their purchasing powers to influence companies. Conversely, companies can make green packaging part of their corporate atmosphere which then influences consumers.
Solutions! Who needs solutions?
Scientists around the world are working on the problem and coming up with solutions. The earth has created solutions. We may not like them...
George Carlin jokes about the Earth + Plastics.
Open Your Eyes narrated by Jeff Bridges.
"Plastic pollution is a global problem that humans alone have caused..." — Jeff Bridges (narrator)
Take it easy, Dudes!
Follow me on Twitter: @cosmo_crator :)-~
Want some CBD Oil?
Cosmo's Cannabis Posts
- The Cannabis Talk
- A Stoner on the Oregon Trail
- Wake Me Up Before You Stone Me
- The Conditions Talk: Schedule 1 Narcotics, Anyone?
- Response to @erikaharris' "A Native View of Cannabis Dosing"
- The Cannabis Talk : The International Call for Decriminalization
[NOTE: Click here for an archive of all The Talks]