Pollution – Global Warming, Air Pollution, Water Pollution, Noise Pollution
Ok, Global Warming is the big buzzword of the day, but lets forget the fact that arctic ice is disappearing so rapidly that the region may have its first completely ice-free summer by 2040 or earlier. Let’s focus instead on the fact that toxicity causes 13% of the global death toll in our world.
OUR WORLD IS TOXIC!
Globally, an estimated 60 million people DIE every year as a result or combination of every ailment, condition, disease, natural disaster and side effect of life known to the human race. This amounts to an estimated 107 people EVERY MINUTE. This may not be so shocking, especially as 255 babies are born during the very same minute, increasing the human population by 80 MILLION PEOPLE EVERY YEAR. However, putting the overpopulation of our planet aside, did you know that an estimated 12 million new cancer cases are diagnosed EVERY YEAR, causing over 7.6 MILLION cancer deaths every year?
13% of ALL DEATHS WORLDWIDE are the result of CANCER
Do you think there is any correlation between the toxicity of our planet and the global incidence of cancer? As the toxicity of our world has increased, so has the incidence of cancer. BUT – Don’t take it from me…take it from science:
The number of cancer cases in the United States is expected to increase dramatically over the next 2 decades, particularly among older adults and minorities, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO). The total cancer incidence is projected to rise by about 45 percent driven largely by cancer diagnoses in growing populations of older Americans and minority groups. The study projects a 67 percent increase in cancer incidence among older adults, compared with an 11 percent increase for younger adults. A 99 percent increase is expected among minorities, compared with a 31 percent increase for whites.
Is it too late? Let’s take a moment to clarify the various types of pollution that plague our world. We don’t need another lecture about how we are destroying our planet, but perhaps just to remember that living for eternity is not part of our contract. We can obsess about global warming and bicker about the details, but we all know that every day we are one step closer to death – but it doesn’t need to be self-inflicted. As much as we have the opportunity to live, we are assured of death, even though we don’t know exactly when it will occur.
Lets take a HIGH LEVEL look at all the various ways that we pollute our world. I did not go into too much detail, but I did provide links in case you were interested in learning more:
LIGHT POLLUTION (also known as also known as photo pollution or luminous pollution)
- NASA reported that as a result of light pollution, roughly two-thirds of the world’s population can no longer look upwards at night and see the Milky Way. The Milky Way is dimming, not because the end of the Universe is near, but rather as a result of light pollution: the inadvertent illumination of the atmosphere from street lights, outdoor advertising, homes, schools, airports and other sources. Every night billions of bulbs send their energy skyward where microscopic bits of matter — air molecules, airborne dust, and water vapor droplets — reflect much of the wasted light back to Earth.
- How does this affect us? The effects are the disruption of our eco-system, it effects our health and psychology not only by the effect on our production of melatonin. It effects our ecosystems and our ability to view the stars and the planets. Alas, this is just the beginning…
- For more information on Light Pollution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_pollution
- Over 80% of marine pollution comes from land-based activities in the form of toxic chemicals (Industrial, agricultural, household cleaning, gardening, and automotive products regularly end up in coastal waters), fertilizer runoff, sewage disposal, seas of garbage, and a small percentage from oil spills.
- An enormous island of trash twice the size of Texas is floating in the Pacific Ocean somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii. For more information on the Great Pacific Garbage Dump that Stretches From California to China http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=5524886&page=1
- For more information on Ocean or Marine Pollution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_pollution
- Air pollution does occur naturally but is impacted tremendously by society as we have been steadily INCREASING the amount of pollutants being released into the air (even though the average person inhales 20,000 liters of air per day).
- The effects of air pollution are diverse and numerous. Air pollution can have serious consequences for the health of human beings, and also severely affects natural ecosystems. Major primary pollutants produced by human activity include Sulfur oxides, Nitrogen oxides, Carbon monoxide, Carbon dioxide, Volatile organic compaounds, Pariculate matter, toxic metals, chlorofluorocarbons, ammonia, odors, and radioactive pollutants. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Pollution
- For more information on Air Pollution: http://www.nrdc.org/air
- Are water wars already under way? Water is already one of the MOST valuable yet under-priced commodities in the world, as we are simply unable to live without it…and it is estimated that over 14,000 people DIE every day as a result of water pollution.
- Organic water pollutants include detergents, food processing waster, insecticides and herbicides, petroleum hydrocarbons, tree and bush debris from logging operations, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as industrial solvents, various chemical compounds found in personal hygiene and cosmetic products.
- Inorganic water pollutants include, acidity caused by industrial discharges, ammonia from food processing waste, chemical waste as industrial by-products. Fertilizers, heavy metals from motor vehicles, silt (sediment) in runoff from construction sites, logging, slash and burn practices or land clearing sites, and of course TRASH (paper, plastic, or food waste).
- For more information on Water Pollution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_pollution#cite_note-death2-1
- The word noise comes from the Latin word nausea meaning seasickness…noise created by humans that is harmful to health or welfare. The source of most noise worldwide is transportation systems, motor vehicle noise (buses, automobiles, and motorcycles), but also including aircraft noise, trucks, and rail noise. On top of this we have poor urban planning putting industrial parks near residential areas, and of course as a result of the ongoing the growth of our population we are impacted by the ailments of construction equipment, e.g., jackhammers and bulldozers,
- Noise pollution contaminants are not physical particles, but rather waves that interfere with naturally-occurring waves of a similar type in the same environment. Noise Pollution is generally typified as animal- or machine-created sound that disrupts the activity or balance of human or animal life. Some other sources of noise pollution include but are not limited to car alarms, emergency service sirens, office equipment, factory machinery, construction work, grounds keeping equipment, barking dogs, appliances, power tools, lighting hum, audio entertainment systems, loudspeakers and noisy people.
- (Prior to 1970 governments viewed noise as merely a nuisance) Noise is recognized as a controllable pollutant that can yield to abatement technology. In the United States the Noise Control Act of 1972 empowered the Environmental Protection Agency to determine the limits of noise required to protect public health and welfare; to set noise emission standards for major sources of noise in the environment, including transportation equipment and facilities, construction equipment, and electrical machinery; and to recommend regulations for controlling aircraft noise and sonic booms. (http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/sci/A0835810.html)
- For more information on Noise Pollution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noise_pollution
Where do we go from here? We can start by taking responsibility for the care-taking of the world we live in. We can make changes in our life to make this world a better place for ourselves, our families, our society and most importantly for the generations to come. We can begin in our own backyard, by recycling, by being cognizant of the pollutants we feed into the world and the organizations that we support which do the same.
We have more power than we know to affect change in this world…and it starts by taking responsibility and taking action.