I just finished reading an interesting book that a friend passed on to me. It’s called The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. It was quite the thought experiment and there is a website that revolves around the book (http://www.worldwithoutus.com/)
And then Kirk came home and told me about a video he saw on the CNN site yesterday. It told of toxic waste and garbage dumped in fields and on roads in Southern Italy and the impacts it was having on agriculture, animals, and human health. 60-70% of all the food produced in the region is toxic. The milk contains dioxins. People’s lives are significantly shortened. Cancer rates are sky high.
We have made two trips to the Mediterranean (Greece) and both times were horrified at the attitude towards the environment…mostly indifference. Garbage is tossed into the se without a backwards glance, where it gets caught up in vessel props and coolant intakes, where it is eaten by unsuspecting marine animals thinking it is food, where it collects and smothers shores and the sea floor. Most towns have no sewage treatment, the wastes flow directly into the local streams and harbours though pipes that are hundreds, if not in some cases thousands, of years old.
As Alan Weisman shows, and as the videos demonstrate…perhaps this world would be better off without us here. In the meantim, what does it take for governments to realize that our agricultural land should be treated with kid gloves.
Back here at home we may not dump toxic waste at the end of the street, but we do something just as bad that takes healthy food out of the stores. We take prime agricultural land out of the land reserves and we build subdivisions on them.
Humans think they need everything. We think we are owed it for some strange reason. Instead of being grateful for what we have, we feel that we need more, want more. And in doing so we fuel the problems by being over-consumers or items we don’t really need and will probably discard soon after we attain them.
If we could all find a way to live a little smaller, leave a lighter footprint, give a little more. Maybe this world will have a chance to continue to support us.