The world is a cesspool of pollution. There are many forms of pollution including visual, light and noise pollution, littering, and plastic pollution. While all of these forms of pollution are important, the most important is what I call body pollution, pollution that directly affects our health, lifespan, healthspan, and not in the least, our anabolicspan (a term that I coined to indicate that healthspan, being free of significant disease, is not enough. We should be aiming to retaining the ability to function mentally and physically close to when we were in our prime, working and playing without significant impairment, and staying vital and strong as close to your lifespan as possible).
Body pollution, to one extent or another, is inescapable as it’s all around us, in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink.
All of earth’s air is polluted, although there’s a difference in the type and amount of pollution depending on where you live. The effects of air pollution on our physical and mental health also depends on where you live but also how you live.
Some forms of pollution are much more prevalent in third world countries where for example potable water may be scarce and can be contaminated by waste and disease causing organisms such as bacteria and parasites.
Some forms are more prevalent in industrialized countries such as chemical pollution of our water, soil contamination by industrial wastes and other chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides, and air pollution by industry and more importantly by motor vehicle emissions.
Pollution of water, soil and air are connected in that pollution from one source pollutes the others. For example, pollutants in the air contribute to water and soil pollution as the pollutants settle and especially when driven by rain. Pollution in the soil can be driven into the air by wind, and into water by rain or irrigation.
Pollution is an escalating phenomenon in concert with the earth’s rising carbon footprint. There are many reasons why, including the relentless increase in earth’s population and consumption, especially in the emerging third world countries.
Pollution will increase in spite of the convoluted and politically complex attempts to decrease it. After all we’re a consumer society and there’s more of us every day that demand goods and services that now are mostly consumed by the industrial “first world” countries, consisting of a pitiful percentage of the world’s population. How can it be otherwise when capitalist globalization is taking over the world? The world population and consumerism is increasing by the minute and along with it, the rising and soon exponential need for essential and non-essential goods and services.
What Can Be Done?
Not much on a grand scale. Most plans and treatments for decreasing environmental pollution are meant for dealing with the present problems and may have had merit if population, technology along with their use of resources and the resulting increased pollution and waste, wasn’t dramatically escalating. But as it is no matter what any local or even world governments and institutions plan to deal with today’s pollution, it won’t be enough to stop the increase in the level of pollution that’s on the horizon.
However, we can do a lot on an individual level if we have the conviction to make the small and large changes that need to be made.
You can be a passive nihilist as far as the environment and give up personal responsibility to a higher power, be it government and/or religion. That way you can keep consumption, waste, and an uncaring attitude about the way the world is going as a way of life.
Or you can make whatever changes you can make to protect yourself against the effects of the rising tide of pollution. As well, you can be mad as hell and not take it anymore and go against the flow. One of the biggest impacts you can make is to deny consumerism. Everything and everyone around us encourages, compels and manipulates us to buy, buy, buy, and use more and more when in fact we need to resist the urges of rampant capitalistic consumerism that is fueled by raw greed. Your motto should be to simply buy and consume what’s absolutely essential and no more, regardless of the relentless exposure and pressure, subtle or otherwise, that we’re subjected to in all facets of our lives.
But to deal with present levels of pollution you need to also get your own universe in order by making personal changes that will moderate the adverse epigenetic changes caused by pollution. For example, you can filter your drinking and even bathing water, use natural ingredients for dealing with your personal space and property, buy organic, natural food as much as possible (even though there is inevitably some degree of pollution in anything labelled organic, if indeed it is organic, simply because of the ubiquitous prevalence of pollution) or even better produce as much of your own food as you’re comfortable doing, avoid cities as much as possible, and minimize the use of motor vehicles.