“Life begins on the other side of despair.” Jean-Paul Sartre
“At this moment in history, we are caught in the hell of frenetic passivity.” R.D.Laing
“The mountains and the moors, the wild uplands, are to be staked out like vampires in the sun, their chests pierced with rows of 500-foot wind turbines and associated access roads, masts, pylons and wires.” Paul Kingsnorth~2017
“Any source of energy…enables civilization to destroy itself through the extraction of matter.” Tim Garrett ~~My Emphasis
Drowning In Toxins
We have been slowly poisoning the environment, and thus ourselves, for thousands of years. There are ancient Roman mines at least 2,000 years old that are still polluting the surrounding area. The legacy of mines, places where extraction of ores, minerals, even gems, such as diamonds, leave lasting scars and waste byproducts that will still be polluting the environment for millennia to come. Extraction may be a nice way to say, we don’t give a fuck, we’re going to blast rocks, drill wells, remove mountain tops, leave dead zones in Canada the size of the state of Florida for tar sand scraping, use children as slaves to dig for gems or gold in toxic pits, murder forests to burn for energy production, spew millions of gallons of crude oil in the ocean wiping out small enclaves that relied on local fishing, on and on; for what? Profit. Energy. Gaudy gemstones so she, “says yes”. Gold because somehow silly humans think it’s worth something.
Funny. I can’t eat, breathe, or use gold for anything other than jewelry, shiny teeth,(which are all gone mow) or to trade for capital, which in today’s economy, doesn’t seem to be worth much more than Monopoly money simply because they’ve, the treasury, have printed so damn much of it over the last few years, even before the c-virus pandemic reared it’s ugly head.
I can’t eat coal, methane(natural gas, hence, methane) or oil either. I do use it collectively(with many others) to power my pad’s TV, PC, fridge, AC, microwave, stove, and heater. Without energy we’d be tossed back to the living of 19th century, pre-electricy, days. My pad would be excruciatingly hot in the summer. I know because back in the 70’s I lived in three places without cooling. Two of those places well exceeded 100F in the afternoons, when I was trying to sleep because I worked the graveyard shift at a truck stop. The only cool part of my entire day was riding my motorcycle home in the morning. All summer long. After ’79, I said, “never again”. So I’m immersed in toxic industrial culture just like 95%, or more, of all Americans.
Last night I watched a movie, “Dark Waters”(2019), Showtime, through Amazon. It was about the Dupont chemical corporation knowingly poisoning the local residents and water supplies with toxic waste. It went much further though. The plant making the miracle material, Teflon, was experimenting on their own employees, and watching for adverse effects for the workers exposed to a specific chemical POFA, or C-8 as they called it, which turned out to be highly destructive to human, and many other higher lifeforms, like cows,rats, monkeys, and human fetuses. Their own scientists determined that even one part per billion of this chemical was too much exposure for human use.
Turns out nearly every human on the planet has some C-8 in their bodies because it can’t be eliminated. It accumulates. I’ve eaten plenty of food cooked in Teflon coated pans which my own Mom used for family meals. In my professional cooking career I didn’t use Teflon coated pans because it wore out so fast — where did it go, I ask? —so kitchens usually didn’t have many Teflon pans except for cooking eggs. I had my own set of egg pans and only my one omelette pan was Teflon. My egg flipping pans were plain aluminum which I took very special care of. A sticking egg pan on a Sunday morning church rush is murder.
Industrial civilization is a toxic culture. Our lives revolve around the manufacturing of products that use highly toxic chemicals in the process. For our fuel products; for our cars, trains, ships, airplanes, all require an oil refinery. This is a large plant that converts crude oil out of the ground into fuels such as kerosene, for jet plane fuel and lamps, gasoline, for cars and small trucks, etc, diesel, for large trucks and ocean going shipping. The people living nearby a refinery suffer higher numbers of all sorts of medical maladies; like cancer, asthma, shortened lifespans, childhood diseases. They are usually poor because the rents or land is cheaper in the immediate surrounding area. They are subject to failure when a big storm comes and floods them, maybe even causing toxic leaks from the storage of toxic waste in 55 gallon drums. With no good place to move them to. Huston during Harvey experienced some failings and leaks. Dumping toxins into rivers that flow into the Atlantic Ocean in the Gulf.
A lot of toxic waste is illegally dumped. For a company to maximize profits requires some shady dealings with less than savory characters. Those that will do the disposing of 55 gallon barrels for a price. They could care less about the environment. They are usually far cheaper than legitimate disposing services. Then there’s the waste nobody will have anything to do with because it is so lethal. The things only company chemists — that signed non-disclosure contracts before actual employment began — know about, horrifying ways to die conveniently packaged in a 55 gallon drum, like the photo above. So they are stored near the chemical facility. Forever. There are literally 1,000’s of drums of the banned, highly toxic, DDT down in the bottom of the Pacific Ocean somewhere off the coast of LA, California. This has been a recent discovery from an unmanned submarine exploring for minerals. It was easier to do that than to figure out how to render it harmless.
The list of toxic items is endless. We are drowning in our own civilization’s waste. There are many dead zones around the planet where nothing lives instead of lush forests, or pristine wetlands. Where a mountain top once was lies a dead, bald spot highly prone to washing down to a river during a rainstorm. Or the US Gulf Coast after the Deepwater Horizon Oil disaster back in ’10. Or in Alaska in ‘89, after the Exxon Valdez tanker collided with some rocks killing countless non-human residents of the entire ecosystem which was wiped out because we so badly need the oil from the pipeline constructed back in the 70’s in upper Alaska to the Valdez port. Is crude oil toxic? Just ask the poor turtle in the photo below. \/
This is where things get sticky, pardon the pun. I really don’t know what to do because the ones, the industrial processors, are powerful conglomerations of multi-national enterprises with deep pockets and very good lawyers. They can keep lawsuits from going to trial by dragging out various motions to suppress evidence almost forever. This usually works against the little guy because $500+ an hour lawyers are costly and they don’t have the millions to spend on good enough attornies to take on the polluting industry giants.
Then there’s the corrupting influence of big money on the regulatory agencies. The EPA is a good idea with inadequate funding and not so great legal representation. Surely some corruption is involved also. Because the good lawyers with degrees from prestigious schools are hired by big industry, with great benefits packages and salaries, not the government with far lower pay but decent, but not great, benefits.
Industrial civilization will continue on with its toxic culture, poisoning every living thing on Earth. Until it doesn’t. Until it all comes crashing down like Humpty Dumpty, never to be put back together again, or until a new species arises out of the ashes of this industrial civilization. When Earth has had time to cool back down and grow a new crop of children, as she’s done for eons.
I just hope a new clever species has more sense than hubristic, vain, humans, able to live within their means. To learn not trash Earth with another round of toxic, industrial culture. To live with nature instead of destroying it for stupid profit and fancy, bourgeois trappings; like multiple houses or big cities that require importation of the surrounding territory, destroying it in the process.
We have to greatly pull out of the toxic environment industrial civilization has created, now. There’s nothing sustainable about cities, large crop growing operations, even electric cars or wind extraction turbines. They all require mining. A most destructive practice that leaves death in its wake. They also require infrastructure that requires fossil fuel for the energy required.
So the next time someone talks of green this or green that explain about all the toxins created by extraction processes. Or the dead birds and bats from wind farms. Or forests from the murder of trees thus murdering entire forests that take thousands of years to return to a real forest again. For profit, for energy, for fancy boxes for the dead. Planting trees doesn’t make a forest, nature does. A forest’s life is measured in millennia, not decades. Electric cars still need multiple mining operations, petroleum, a plant using electric power to run, electric power to charge the batteries, multiple infrastructures to keep it all going. Sustainable? Hardly. There is nothing industrial that remotely exists as ‘sustainable’. Nothing. Solar panels, wind farms, dams, nuclear power plants, they all have their own unique destructive processes to bring to operational status and ongoing operation.
Solar power cells require as much mining as electric cars. They aren’t any less destructive than gasoline cars and trucks, a ‘green’ myth. All to keep capital flowing steadily upward. Find “Planet of The Humans” on YouTube and watch it, it blows to roof off of ‘green’ energy. This is what’s killing us all. The toxic culture. Like death recently in Atlanta. All a part of the whole.
I’d like to see people to choose life. It will mean giving up many trappings of industrial, bourgeois, civilization for a long term survival plan. If not, a most miserable future awaits. It’s here already but most folks won’t look out of their bubbles to see it. It can get far, far, worse. So start today. Quit flying unless your job requires it. Don’t ever even get close to an abominable cruise ship, they, along with the container ships, are some of the worst polluters on Earth. If one isn’t willing to do this people won’t survive the next 100 years or so. Stop having kids. Perhaps one child per 10 people until the Earth’s human population drops below 2 billion.
It starts with a personal decision to decide if we want to keep alive some of the most amazing forests and non-human people, like elephants, wolves, lemurs, fish, frogs, butterflies, bees, clams, coral reefs, all spectacular forms of life we’re in the process of destroying, including our own species. Make the wise decision and be kind in the process. Stay safe, Peace, The Ol’ Hippy