RANGER AGAINST WAR: Earth Day 2013: The Pale Blue Dot <

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Earth Day 2013: The Pale Blue Dot

(National Archives, Records of the Environmental Protection Agency)

“Abandoned automobiles and other debris clutter an acid water and oil filled five acre pond. It was cleaned up under EPA supervision to prevent possible contamination of Great Salt Lake and a wildlife refuge nearby.” 
--Bruce McAllister, near Ogden, Utah, April 1974
Now there is one outstandingly important fact
regarding Spaceship Earth, and that is
that no instruction book came with it 
--Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth,
Buckminster Fuller

Earth Day 2013 passed quietly yesterday, the media focused on the human-on-human destruction more to the tastes of an anthropocentric society. (For more 1970's environmental atrocities, see Smithsonian Best and Worst of 1970's.) Almost 70% of Americans though preserving and restoring the environment was an important goal when the day was commemorated in 1971; today, less than 40% think so.

Meanwhile, the brutalization of our planet continues apace. In our neck of the woods, consumption of the once-popular Apalachicola Bay oyster is down, some reports suggesting by as much as 60%. An unknown amount of the oil dispersant Corexit -- banned in Europe -- was dumped into the Gulf to make the slicks "disappear" in 2010, but in fact increasing the toxicity of the spill by a coefficient of 50 (in keeping with SNL character Fernando's dictum, "It is better to look good than to feel good.") Many people who care about their health, and who have the liberty to make a choice, have declined swimming in or eating from these waters.

The Gulf Coast doesn't have too much in the way of natural resources, but seafood was one of them until BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill cruelly arrived just in time for that year's Earth Day. On the three-year anniversary of the event, our Florida Attorney General Filed Suit Against BP Over the 2010 Spill for lost revenue in the state. 

The Environmental Protection Agency Reports: More Than Half Nation's Rivers in Poor Shape, unable to support healthy populations of aquatic insects and other creatures. 

If you can do something to help your piece of the planet stay healthy, please do it; likewise, if you can refrain from harming it, then do that.

Happy Earth Day, 2013.

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Blogger FDChief said...

While we worry about wars and rumors of wars and people shooting and blowing each other up, I suspect that we are likely to be nastily surprised by the results of what we as a species are doing to our house and home.

"Earth Day" is a sort of sick joke. I remember the original one and it was taken seriously at the time, and for good reason. Stuff like Love Canal were in the news. People regularly just hucked their trash out in the roads and streets, smokestack industry was acidifying lakes, and rivers were catching fire.

Since then we've made an amazing improvement in the "visual" problems with pollution and the running down of our living space. We've done a hell of a lot to cut back on the sorts of nasty, unavoidable ugly crap that made our country so visually troubled.

Unfortunately, we've done a lot of that by offshoring the problems. And we still have what I suspect will be the monster in the closet; anthropogenic global warming.

And, as you point out, we're still making pretty horrendous messes; the energy corporations are just getting smarter than they were back in the Exxon Valdez days.

How stupid are we, anyway? How hard is this stuff? When I was a kid I had an uncle that used to get on me about acting the fool around my family, and when I'd ask what the problem was, he'd growl "'Cause ya don't shit where ya eat."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 6:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Totally agree with you about the off-shoring and "carbon credits" ... nice bit of legerdemain, that.

I'd venture to say based on our disingenuous "never-saw-it-coming" mindset (after all, the water always comes on when we turn on the faucet) we're pretty stupid. It's hard to say "naive", because as you point out, we've seen the harsh results before; we know what's at the end of the line.

Your uncle was wise; unfortunately, most people think that if it happens over THERE, it won't impact us too badly. Facts like ocean currents and the contiguity of that water doesn't seem to bother them none too much.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 4:18:00 PM GMT-5  

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