To hell with the Environment

I was rambling in my thoughts yesterday about Blog Action Day and what can I write about. Many issues popped up to my mind, ranging from posting some pictures I took for litter at Aqaba beach, to a much more articulate allegory about mother earth. But, at the end I was like: why bother?
Now, if you come to think about it, we as human beings have better things to worry about than a little more CO2 in the air or some dead fish in the sea.
First, we have to worry about those contagious diseases our brothers in humanity are suffering from. Say, cholera. Yes, cholera! Do you know how many people suffer from cholera every year? Just this year the UN announced a new outbreak of Cholera in Iraq. For those who don’t know what Cholera is, it’sa severe diarrheal disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Transmission to humans is by ingesting contaminated water or food
Another major concern is cancer. I wonder why it’s increasing day by day. Let’s take lung cancer for example, which researches show it’s linked to air pollution, and skin cancer that is linked to Ozon depletion. I still wonder why is the number of people inflicted with cancer is increasing…
How about the some 14,000 deaths in developing countries? Caused by the contamination of drinking water by untreated sewage.
Let’s also not forget about hearing loss, high blood pressure, stress, and sleep disturbance. You might wonder if these disorders have anything in common. Well, I know they are all caused by noise pollution, that much I know, but who cares for the reason anyway…
Away from plagues and diseases, let’s focus on another important issue, human heritage. I’ve just read that Venice, the beautiful city that many of us dream of visiting one day, might not be open for tourists very soon. The city is sinking. word has it that Sea level rise due to global warming has increased the water level in Venice by 23 cm in the past 100 years, and a further rise of about 50 cm is projected to occur over the next century. This is according to The American Association for the Advancement of Science. But what do they know anyway! Especially that the government of the USA has rejected the Kyoto Treaty to stop global warming several times. I guess that means it’s not really an important matter, the world won’t end over few less ruins
But, in any case, before worrying about Venice that is drowning, or the Aztec and Mayan ruins that are being washed away by acid rain, we should first worry about the human race facing the threat of extinction.
In 1992, E. Carlsen et al. reported that sperm counts have dropped by half in the last 50 years while semen volume is 20 per cent less (BMJ, 1992, volume 305). The book of “Our Stolen Future” states that the reason behind this reproductive damage is Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and endocrine-disrupting chemicals from normal, everyday plastics. So, you see the environmentalists say we might leave this world a junk yard for our children and the generations to come, but the joke is on them, because we might not have any children at all, or those generations might not survive long enough to suffer the ugly consequences. You do the math.
After all this reflection, I couldn’t help finding myself staring this final conclusion square in the face. We can’t waste our time protecting the environment. What we really need to protect is ourselves, our history and our future. No more, no less.
Originally Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2007 on


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