- Chris Malzone
The Planet & Plastic
The other day a friend of mine clued me back into George Carlin. To bring you into focus… watch this then come back and read the rest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rld0KDcan_w
Ok… you watched it all right?! Here is the genius behind George Carlin and please don’t take me for someone who is anti-earth or anything like that. Ya see… his skit resonated with me as I watch people, mostly not trained in any form of science, tell me how we should save the Planet, etc. Every time I hear such a thing, I wonder; ‘How arrogant are we to think that humans can save the Earth?!’ What exactly are we trying to save? We are literally just a speck in geologic time. If we tried to compare earth time to human time… there isn’t an easily relatable human process (yes..even a blink) that can provide the proper ratio. As George Carlin fairly accurately states; “The Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years and humans have been here for 100 maybe 200,000 years … been an industrial power for 200 of those.” Then George goes on to talk about plastic! Yes I am a firm believer that plastic is a VERY bad thing for the environment but not the environment as most people see it. Again, as George Carlin states, the Earth will eventually learn to incorporate plastic, “the Earth+Plastic”. The point I’m so slowly making is that the environment we must protect is the one that humans occupy. We don’t need to save the Earth as the Earth will be “just fine” and we give her far less credit than she deserves. She also regularly reminds us of how insignificant we are through fires, floods, volcanic eruptions, tsunami’s, etc. In less than a second, the Earth can wipe out thousands and potentially millions of us without no thought or malace. Our planet is a living functioning organism that will evolve to deal with whatever occupies it until the sun burns itself out. So what do we need so save? Us! We are killing ourselves off without even thinking about it. As one example, we are introducing Microplastics which are so small that they can’t even be caught by most filters incorporated in our water treatment plants. In an article on Livescience (https://www.livescience.com/62035-microplastics-bottled-water.html); “Tests of 250 bottles from 11 bottled water brands revealed microplastics in 93 percent of the samples, with an average of 325 particles per 34 fluid ounces (1 liter) of water.” How freaking scary is that? Makes one think twice about bottled water now doesn’t it?! The thing is that we have NO IDEA on what that does to us. What do you think will die off first? Humans or the Earth? So moving forward, maybe we should put our focus on preserving our home so that our children, grandchildren etc can also occupy AND enjoy it. I am a strong believer that our greatest adversary is ourselves. The shortsightedness of our esteemed leaders is all about near-term financial gain rather than what can be done to make a better world for those that will follow us. Remember… at our current pace, in 2 to 3 generations, humans will find the Earth more & more difficult to inhabit and will be fighting forces that we will never be equipped to fend off. Carcinogens and other contaminants in our drinking water and food supplies are on the rise. However, if humans have the ability to contribute to humanly catastrophic changes to the ecosystem, we also have the ability to reverse the damage and create a healthy balance.