Lists are popular this time of year. Let’s persist. One thing prompted consideration of the types of pollution we endure as we traipse through our ecosystem. Even deniers claiming that climate change isn’t anthropogenic still endorse the scatological maxim: “Don’t shit where you eat.” Polluting is just that and we’ve been overachieving in the past hundred years or so. Here’s a list worth changing in 2014. Some may surprise you.
The obvious: Air, Water, Land, Chemical
Biggest air pollution offenders are coal-fired power plants, farting cows (seriously, the livestock sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gases), transportation, agriculture. Tilling topsoil to grow corn for inefficient ethanol production causes more pollution than it saves and spraying toxins on crops sends it into the air, too. Nebraska has a high level of some of the most dangerous types of air pollution due to unpaved roads and agriculture. One surprising source: Health officials have found dangerous spikes between July 3 and 5 each year. Why? Fireworks. Do not overlook the form of air pollution you can control the most: indoor. The air inside your home is likely more polluted than outdoors and you can affect that most easily.
It is safe to say that, aside from polar archaeological reserves, there is not one source of water on the planet that isn’t polluted by man or his activities. You may not have heard, however, of the giant Pacific Ocean Gyre, a patch of garbage floating in the Pacific that is so dense with trash in some places that you can virtually walk on it. Its size is estimated at 5.8 million square miles, twice the size of the entire United States.
We throw crap out into nature or just bury it. Problem is, we’re running out of land. And I cringe each time I watch a Husker game and see thousands of red latex balloons released. They get eaten by wild birds and animals, killing thousands yearly. Nice. Several states outlaw helium balloon releases because of that. Not Nebraska. Besides, what part of littering is that not?
Humans have used or made fifty million unique chemicals, most of those just since WW II. The worst part: They’re everywhere. Everywhere. And we have virtually no idea what they do to us. Over 90 percent of them are never tested for safety but still we use them.
Beyond air, water, land and chemical pollution, there are other, obscure types of pollution at least as pervasive and perhaps more dangerous.
Radiation — Breaking News: What aren’t they telling us? United States Health and Human Services quietly ordered delivery of 14 million doses of potassium iodide by February 1, 2014. True. Radioactive emissions are increasing and potassium iodide (KI) blocks absorption of some radiation. It is currently the only thing that can be done for victims of a nuclear plant disaster. Japan’s Fukushima plant continues to spew radiation reaching the United States. Other sources of radiation pollution are all around us, too. Medical equipment, electronic devices, smoke detectors and toys give us their doses.
Noise You may not notice it but noise is all around you and impacts your health. Most comes from machinery in manufacturing and the transportation sector. All forms of life are affected. Perhaps the most insidious: the sonic pollution from military experiments wracking the planet. The US Navy and others admit to killing hundreds of sentient whales and dolphins by indiscriminate use of high-powered sound waves. Military communications blast powerful signals through the crust of the earth with no regard for known and unknown consequences.
EMF The forced adoption of bizarre lighting solutions, including compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), will boost electromagnetic frequency (EMF) pollution in 2014. Cell phones, TVs, cars, computers — almost everything electronic — emit powerful electronic pollution that causes disease.
Light Lawmakers have banned incandescent bulbs in 2014 because they are deemed wasteful. Yet energy is wasted all night, every night, by bulbs burning in huge, empty office buildings. The City of Lights did something about it. In 2013, Paris outlawed such waste. Why can’t we? TD Ameritrade and your new, “green” office building? What’s “green” about a building that won’t turn out the damn lights? And the security card is bunk. Studies have found that undirected light sources are ineffective. Aside from wasting energy, indiscriminate use of night lighting harms human health and interferes with nature to an extreme extent.
GMOs The genie is out of the bottle. Rogue genetically modified organisms have polluted nature.
Information Pollution Modern humans are obsessed with “knowing”, information being the fastest growing industry on earth. Ask google or the NSA. But we don’t need to know everything. The Tree of Knowledge didn’t yield a good outcome for Adam and Eve.
Thought Pollution Thought is the ultimate creative force. There are no neutral thoughts. Monitoring thoughts and their inherent message, negative or positive, is essential. Forget, “You are what you eat.” Actually, “You are what you think.” Or as Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
Heartland Healing is a New Age polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Visit HeartlandHealing.com for more information.