The North Pacific Garbage Patch

Delicious empty plasticUpdate: May 2011 – Hey, if you like my writing, you should check out my new website: Sustainable Diversity with fresh new and more in depth material!

********If you think the North Pacific Garbage Patch is important I strongly suggest you click on this link to my entry on the general state of our oceans. There are more immediate dangers to our ocean other than it being a giant garbage pool (I know! Suck! right?!)*********

********Update: 1/16/10 – Brand new article in Scientific America about the mounting concern about the dangers of BPA – Let’s hope this is the start of the ball we’ve all been waiting for to move on to a biodegradable and safer choice in packaging and containing********

Ecological disasters that affect the Earth on a global scale have been important to me for a long while now. Not because I love to see disasters or that I am a nature freak – but because I see an absolute lack of attention on these issues and I know, being a rational human being, that large ecological disasters need to be addressed – and ecological disasters involving our water is huge. Earlier I wrote an entry on the dilapidated Aral Sea which civilization hides what remains of the skeleton in countries forgotten or mocked. Ecological disasters – total and utter disasters – are a massive blind spot in the vision of civilization.

The North Pacific Garbage Patch is easily one of the top 5 blind spots of civilization. Everyday civilization cheerleads over the material benefits it has provided to humanity. Cars, money, alcohol, drugs, toys, conversation-pieces, an amazing array of food, plumbing, sneakers, clothes, the list is literally endless. From the depths of South America and Mexico immigrants team towards the United States in droves grasping for the coattails of the lifestyle civilization has provided the “Western” world for the last century. In China and other Southeast Asian countries people are willing to work literally for pennies for a chance at the civilized lifestyle – the chance to get material possessions to miraculously appear like those in the western culture.

Yet the Achilles heal of civilization can be summed up in one sentence: There are infinite desires on this finite planet. Yet Civilization is going full-steam ahead at creating a globalized world and economy. The blood of the Civilized Beast? Oil. It courses thick and hot through the veins as it is at the root of our transportation, which we all know, but it is also at the root of something less-thought-about but more prevalent than gas – plastics.

Plastic comes from oil and civilization has found no end for its uses. If we stopped using everything that used plastic today we wouldn’t have computers, cars, medical equipment, cookware, most bottles, most supermarket bags, and so much more. When you have a substance that is so depended on by literally billions of people, but yet is so disposable is the point when you have a problem – that is common sense. We are at that point. We have a problem.

The North Pacific Garbage Patch, the Toxic Soup, Pacific Trash Vortex, Garbage Island, and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch are just some names that have referred to this problem. And it’s a problem that is still in its infancy to Civilization (which always has something more important to deal with than problems – like profit). The fact that this problem doesn’t even have just one common name shows how unaddressed this problem really is. People can say 9/11 and everybody knows exactly what you’re talking about, but if you start asking people about the North Pacific Garbage Patch many will blankly stare and wait for you to “preach” to them and walk away deeming you as a hippie or environmentalist. Yet 9/11 was two (albeit tall) buildings that only affected people psychologically (outside of those who were actually victims of the attack), but 9/11 did not affect those who watched it on television (over and over and over again) physically – the North Pacific Garbage Patch is affecting us all physically.

The North Pacific Garbage PatchWhat Garbage Patch?

So what is the North Pacific Garbage Patch? Articles found sparsely across the web will all tell you virtually the same thing. Just like a flushing toilet there is a giant rotating vortex in the middle of the substantial Pacific as you can see in the picture. And like massive whirlpools the size of continents will do, they will collect debris from all 4 corners of the ocean and slowly whirl towards the center. This whirlpool is known as the North Pacific Gyre and at the center of it hundreds of thousands of square acres are covered in our plastic. Yes – the plastic you used to cover your leftovers last night, the plastic found around your vitamin water, the plastic bags you brought home from the store, and that plastic trinket you threw away last year and never thought twice about. Slowly it meanders around the gyre toward the center like a black hole.

The comparison to the black hole falls apart when we get to the center. While matter seems to disappear forever once it passes the event-horizon of a black hole, the matter of the North Pacific Gyre simply collects forever. I’m not going to pretend like I’m the expert or that I can tell you more about the garbage patch than others, this entry is more than just simply shouting “Hey – Garbage Patch everyone – big problem!” That job has been done relatively well by few progressive newspapers, but are outshadowed by VBS.TV.

This video by VBS.TV can give you the best information on the North Pacific Garbage Patch to date. In fact I was a little disappointed when I saw the video because I had this entry planned long before the video came out. But obviously everything that is right comes from that video. VBS.TV reports on the things that our multi-billion dollar corporate media empires should be reporting on. They wreak of real people who are simply interested in sharing the world with the world. And it’s all for free.

Bisphenol A, Pesticides, and Other Delicacies Offered on Your Menu This Evening

The source of the problemSince that documentary can show you more than I could ever show you on the North Pacific Garbage Patch I want to take this to the next step. What that documentary shows is frightening to humanity. You hear them speak about the “money shot,” a trail of garbage as far as the eye can see, and how alas, it never was to be. This is because Civilization has stopped giving us a tangible visible enemy, this enemy lurks under the waves and is slowly breaking apart, but not becoming part of the environment, just becoming smaller pieces of plastic.

All of this plastic is floating to an area of the ocean that most of the world has forgotten about – an area twice the size of Texas to an area twice the size of the United States (still no serious studies done on it yet). It may be a large area but very few ocean species live there and humans rarely need to ship or boat through it. So simply because it is owned by no one and isn’t highly traveled, it has become nonexistent to us. Ultimately we have found a garbage dump that costs nothing and is extremely large to fill.

Of course the cost is nothing if you only calculate it in dollars – which is unfortunately still the ignorant way of civilization. Our plastic trash has become an epidemic changing the genetics of animals and humans as well as creating vast stretches of beaches filled with garbage. If I’m going to make the claim that it is indeed changing genetics then I should have to verify this statement. Within that VBS.TV video there is a clip at the end labeled “Extra” in which they ask a Marine Biologist which cites studies done with animals that have been exposed to bisphenol A.

Bisphenol A is a major compound found in plastics. A fact is that bisphenol A mimics estrogen, which is a hormone within our bodies. According to the Marine Biologist in the study, animals exposed to high levels of bisphenol A have had a lower rate in male births because estrogen is primarily a female hormone. In fact a team of government experts on bisphenol A has concluded that the current levels of bisphenol A found within humans today can “impact human health at current levels of exposure.

But – people are going to say what they want to say, right? After all you’ve been drinking from and using plastic your whole life and you aren’t out buying bras or giving birth, are you? The unfortunate reality of this situation is that the negative affects have already began to settle on the human race. Throughout humankind the ratio between males to females have always always always been 1:1. It’s a coin-flip. 50/50. There has been nothing throughout the course of OUR ENTIRE SPECIES that has thrown us off this virtually perfect balance between men and women. Theoretically the idea of a soul-mate exists, the idea that every man could find a woman and every woman could find a man to thrive and prosper happily ever after. But now – that is changing – and of course it would have to begin with those who never accepted plastic into their lives like we do now.

The Inuit now have a birth ratio of 1 boy to every 2 girls. The article vaguely puts “Man-made chemicals” at the root of this issue. However with our brief crash course on bisphenol A and the Pacific Garbage Patch I think we can begin to draw some logical cause-and-effect relationships.

A dead bird with a full belly of plasticsWhy? If you noticed in the VBS.TV documentary they had a researcher on board collecting the plastic in glass jars. Why was he doing this? He was measuring the ratio of zooplankton, the most basic food in the ocean, to plastic. Why is this significant? Because more complex animals like to eat the plankton. The problem is with all animals (humans included) is that we’re lazy and if there is something more convenient to eat then why not eat that instead? Why go home and cook a perfectly done steak when you can stop at McDonalds? Are you trading both taste and quality for convenience? Yes. Animals do the same thing. There is so much plastic in the North Pacific Gyre that there is roughly 10 pounds of plastic for every 1 pound of plankton. In Part 10 of the VBS.TV video he shows a sample of about 1000 to 1 ratio.

Once again, so what? Small fish are as lazy as people and instead of eating McDonalds they choose to eat plastic, what’s the big deal? Aside from plastic having no nutritional value and doesn’t digest (similar to McDonalds again, har har har) plastic also happens to be a convenient spongy absorber of some of the most toxic chemicals on the planet (once again Humanity and Civilization may take a bow for creating these personal Frankensteins). What kind of chemicals? PCBs, DDTs, and many other pesticides and poisonous chemicals created from around the world. Animals consume these.

And again, the ignorant will drum, “So what!? It’s still not us that has the problem!” But that is not true. Now we have plastic and poison sitting inside of billions of species of fish, birds, and mammals because as one consumes the other up the food chain the plastic and poisons remain part of their system. And these are the same animals that we eventually end up eating. So why is it affecting the Inuit first? Because they eat directly from the ocean and their birthrate is telling us that plastic has permeated the ocean so severely that is is affecting land-dwelling animals – us – humans. If this continues we will be forcing ourselves, our children, and their children to eat the poison and plastic created by us and our prior generations for whimsical convenience. Again – there is no rate of slowing down, there is no attempt at removing plastics from our lives. We have wedded to it as Siamese twins are wedded to each other and we will influence each other similarly.

Plastic pellets, which create every plastic thing you know, are created and sold with no worry of regulations, with no worry of shutting down. The picture to the right shows us how novel plastic is – you can even purchase pellets that glow in the dark! Well how cool is that!? Meanwhile it is getting broken down into invisible chunks in the ocean and infecting life as we know it.

A New Way

What I really wanted to focus on though is a new way of thinking that needs to come from you – the individual. Nobody can rid their life completely of plastic, but first things first, people need to know that this is a serious serious serious threat to both humanity and life as we know it. We need to push news organizations to cover the North Pacific Garbage Patch and tell our governments (all our governments) to start doing something to fix it, and we need to openly know all of the problems it is causing us. Nobody within the civilized world is innocent – indeed those who are innocent, like the Inuit, are the first to deserve compensation. We need to know the scale of the problem. We need to know what we can do with it if cleaning it is virtually impossible. We need to become creative in a positive and progressive way.

How do we do that? Not like this. That is a link to a Globe-and-Mail article on the North Pacific Garbage Patch. Do you want to read about it? Do you want to learn more about it? Well too bad because unless you’re going to cough up $5, you’re NOT going to read it. And guess how many people are willing to pay $5 to read an article? None with a life, I’ll answer you that. Topics like the North Pacific Garbage Patch can NOT GET OUT SOON ENOUGH. In fact, the government should be paying people to stand on sidewalks shouting this at people.

Another good idea on what this monstrosity isAnother way to NOT be progressive about this whole thing is to skirt important issues such as this google-advertised website that seems uncharacteristically positive on the absolute permeation of plastic. It links to articles that disseminate concerns as nothing to lose sleep over. Indeed there are videos near the bottom in which they interview a woman from the American Chemistry Council shaming the media for saying anything negative about plastics and claiming the safety for all within them. She claims we must “look at all the facts” and that these products are entirely safe. Of course there is no mention of the Inuit birth ratio, the fact that BPA acts as an estrogen, and that our oceans are literally garbage dumps for plastic. In fact, if you can find out what specific individuals run that site, I’m sure we’ll quickly find connections to the plastic industry. A “factsonplastic.org” is something worthy of checking out (not always true though), a “factsonplastic.com” is something worthy of being suspicious of, profit is still the main motivation. I took the liberty to check it out myself because some of these articles just skirt the issue entirely. Factsonplastic.com seems to cite STATS.org as their “factual” reference. But one look at that site and I got suspicious again (and see? It’s a .org site), but here’s why:

The article that got me suspicious was this article: Why Journalism is Failing the Public on the Risk from Plastic. So why does STATS.org say that journalism is failing the public on the risk from plastic? No – not because it’s not reporting on the giant sewage pit you can spy with a telescope from atop the Golden Gate Bridge (exaggeration guys, I dont know if that’s true), but instead it’s because they are fretting TOO MUCH about plastic. The article comes to sooth you from the aggressive media attacks on the evils of plastic. Wait, what? Since when does the media talk about plastic – the most pervasive and essential item to the entire civilized world? Well actually, Google Trends reveals that the media actually almost never talks about plastic at all, and it’s spoken far less about than Iraq – which only affects the people who are in the country. So how is the media being “highly selective and judgmental”? Well actually they were just simply reporting the findings of the government, such as the scientific study I linked above, and that Canada is considering banning BPAs. But STATS.org takes you down a dark path of twisted words and questionable logic, but that’s okay, you don’t have to waste your time reading that BS – they bold and italicize the only words you need to know: some concern, some concern, negligible concern, negligible concern, minimal concern, possibility but not a certainty, the panel then raised the Tolerable Daily Intake of BPA, not only not to ban BPA but to increase the level permitted. Those are just some of the terms they skew this “scientific” article with. They fill you with doubts and ideas that because plastics are increased somewhere that it still doesn’t have a long-term affect. All of those concerns (which the article is happy to dismiss to focus on the probability they just created using those terms) say nothing about long-term exposure to the environment. NONE of them. They all focus on the fact that if you go and touch BPA right now that you will not be infected and murdered.

So I looked at the Staff of “STATS.org” because there seemed nothing unbias about that article at all. A simple Google search of the President and the #1 result is from a website known as Sourcewatch, with the slogan “Your Guide to Names Behind the News” – interesting. S. Robert Lichter is the president of STATS.org and in the past was strongly affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute which “succeeds in placing its people in influential governmental positions.” Additionally the American Enterprise Institute is a basis for neoconservatives and is extremely pro-business (and pro-plastic! what’s business without plastic?). And still S. Robert Lichter is a paid consultant of Fox News, the right-wing news source in the media. And though STATS.org touts being used by influential news organizations S. Robert Lichter condemns Peter Arnett, who has a solid history of reporting war for what it really is – someone who taught us all what real news reporting is. In this day and age it does not take very many brain cells to connect S. Robert Lichter to the current, lying, economy-ruining, big-business, torture-promoting, checks-and-balances-avoiding neoconservatives. Yet it is his website that is the source for a website called “FACTSONPLASTIC.COM.” It is obvious that he has no desire to see plastics being treated with unbiased factual information, which is why whoever he’s affiliated with created such a deceiving and misleading website. This is what needs to change! It’s sad for humanity to allow people like S. Robert Lichter to have such power even though it is clear he has a heavy, uninformed bias.

It’s sick that we allow humans such as above to determine the life of us and generations to come of all species. This isn’t a forest fire – this is plastic – it doesn’t go away and it’s changing, poisoning, and killing everything. But one way to begin to be progressive about this is to get the word out. In the VBS.TV video the person getting the samples of plankton-to-plastic said that it’s impossible to clean or fix. But I’m going to have a little more faith in humanity than that.

Our Future? Or Our Past?A start is how simply this teenager found a way to make plastic degrade in 3 months time. Instead of never. That’s a good first step. I don’t have the answers, but it’s high time we make plastic the forefront of our attention. Logically, from looking at the pieces of plastic picked up on the VBS.TV documentary and knowing the true scale of plastic-to-plankton, knowing the “concerns” from scientists across the board on plastic, and the result of the Inuit birth rate, there is virtually no doubt in my mind whether plastic is harmful. While factsonplastics.com tries to focus on whether a baby bottle will turn your baby into a disfigured monster, the facts are it is being used as a food source by animals, is absorbing toxins, and is likely the cause behind high female birth rate.

***Update*** I got a couple of comments that seem literally offended by this entry – it’s like the same kind of offense you see when you pick on someone’s mom. Let me clear something up quick – I’m not saying we need to scrap everything we’ve ever progressed with and we should wait for trees to fall down naturally and live under them like cavemen, I’m not being unrealistic here… however I AM making the argument that we can do way way better than this. For example – Coal is a dirty, cancerous, and inefficient, however during the early 20th century it was the staple of industrialization. In England it would coat buildings black with soot and cause major health problems for those living nearby. Now is it WRONG for people to recognize the dangers of coal? And is it WRONG for people to want something more energy efficient and healthy? Is it anti-civilization to want something better for humanity and the world? Plastic is unsustainable, isn’t biodegradable, and has significant dangers if we continue or increase our usage. Additionally oil deposits will not be around forever – why would anyone be upset at a movement for a cleaner, healthier, and sustainable way of living? That is all I’m looking for – it’s for my health as well as yours – I’m just being greedy for all of us.

Civilization

TaipeiUpdate: May 2011 – Hey, if you like my writing, you should check out my new website: Sustainable Diversity with fresh new and more in depth material!

So here’s your situation: You are a man about 10,000 years ago. You head off into the eternal forest to forage for some plants or perhaps kill a deer or something. As you are going along your way you happen to run in to another man and luckily he is able to communicate in exactly the same way you communicate with your family and tribe. He speaks to you. If Christianity existed back then you’d be able to recognize the scenario instantly, but alas it would not come in to existence for still 8,000 more years. It just so happens that on this particular day you are feeling a little sick and it is one of the more meager times of year for food so you’re feeling a little annoyed at the lack of success and energy lately.

The man tells you he wants to show you something. You swear you see his eyes turn red for a moment but then you think better of yourself, you still know people’s eyes just don’t turn red. And from behind a tree he grabs a giant ball that looks like its made of ice. Today we might call it a crystal ball. He holds it up with majesty and tells you to look inside of it. When you approach it you realize you actually see images within the ball. A potential image that flashes across the clear ball might be of the impressive city of Taipei (above). Not just cities flash across the ball, no. People do, their clothes do, lights, vehicles, airplanes do. Everything of our modern world flashes briefly before your eyes while you stand in the middle of the only thing you’ve ever known – forest. All of the different types of widely accessible food flash across the ball, clubs, movies, parties, sports all flash silently across the ball. You don’t know what to make of half of it, but you do know that you are in absolute awe of the powers of the people within the ball.

You look up and the man winks reassuringly at you. You don’t know what to say to the incessant images of indulgences and convenience. Who are they? How do they do it? How have they conquered nature? You’re hooked, you want to know more. The man looks intensely at you seeing you are ready to hear more, “These people have powers you can’t even dream of,” he tells you. You nod slowly in agreement as you look back down at the ball seeing what looked like people dressed up in complete body costumes floating with no ground beneath them in a black void. Then the man’s voice tenses, almost snakelike he hisses, “I can give you these powers.” The intenseness of the way he said it and what he says makes you snap up and stare at him. But the man smiles idly and waits for a response from you. You want to ask how but everything is so overwhelming you can do nothing but start to return your gaze to the mysterious ball of powers. The man continues again, calmly, “I can give you these powers and much more. Not just you, but your family. I can give these powers to your family and even your tribe. To anyone you want.” The desire for it starts to overwhelm you and make you lose composure but you are a dignified person and understand there must be something he wishes for in return. The man continues, “I can even give these powers to your children, and your children’s children… and yes to even their children and their children. You don’t have to hunt tirelessly and starving through the woods anymore. You can have all the material wealth in the world you want. There are ways to heal the sick, there are ways to live longer, there are ways to travel without a step. What would you do for such powers?”

“Many things,” you reply honestly.

“Then there is but one measly thing I ask for in return,” he says offhandedly, “I just ask for your soul.”

The dawn of civilization

And that’s where our scenario ends. A deal with the devil! One of the oldest and most commonly told stories of humanity. Would you agree to it? Or would you disagree to it? Many of us who live with principles would claim to disagree to it. But let’s take a step back and look at our situation for a moment. Most people who use the internet are fully integrated within civilization. Chances are you woke up in your bed which was manufactured for you, and step on to the rug of your house and then go to the fridge to get something to eat which was already prepared for you by someone else somewhere else, then you use the toilet and step into the shower, then you get in your car and on to a road to go to a job which uses various technologies to service other people. You deal more with money than with all of nature in its natural form. Almost everything you touch from morning til night is an unnatural, man-made creation. We have officially created our own world within a world. Too cold? Turn up the heat? Too warm? Turn up the AC. Raining? Go inside, use an umbrella. We have a man-made solution for even the most whimsical problems.

BUT… is this at the cost of our very own soul?! Certainly that answer can not be positive as there are many different interpretations of what a soul is, whether it even exists, and whether it even has to do with religion or just spirituality. We can’t possibly prove that it’s at the cost of our very own soul simply for all the differences. It can be undoubtedly and unendingly argued on how beneficial civilization has been for the human race and perhaps even the world. And why shouldn’t it be? Can you imagine waking up tomorrow, flipping on the morning news to find the major headlines on all news stations: “ALL CIVILIZATION HAS BEEN COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY PROVEN WRONG”? What would happen? Would they expect us to give up our beds we just comfortably awoke from? Our houses? Our appliances? Our toilets? Our money?! Our roads? Our cars? Our governments?! Civilization is constantly unquestioned and pushed by humans for about the last 10,000 years, since the concept became notable along the ancient banks of the Tigres and Euphrates rivers. Basically civilization is popular. At the mention of dismantling it the fear of absolute chaos, loss of medical experts, thoughts of being starving and lonely out in the wilderness fill a civilized persons mind.

This is because civilization is the action of humans domesticating themselves. Why doesn’t the dog run off in to the woods to become wild? Because the owner has trained the dog since birth that to expect food, water, attention and meaning all to come specifically from obeying the owner. Surely if the dog was lost in the woods it would begin to feel desperate and worry about food when it missed his regular meal time. Dogs, too, feel the fear of becoming undomesticated when they spent their entire lives domesticated and following the simple rules of domestication.

And we still have humans on this Earth who are undomesticated. After the irritating 2004 Tsunami in which nature demanded to show off her power (which people constantly minimize) articles began appearing about how some of the tribes in South East Asia handled the attack. One of these articles focused on the Sentinelese. The Sentinelese are a fiercely independent people on an island in the Adaman Islands. Anytime their island is approached by a boat a rainfall of arrows descend upon the boat. They disdain contact from any other people or group and because of their aggressively defensive nature they have one of the most naturally preserved undomesticated cultures in the world.

This person is not shamed by her body… there was never a reason to be

This does not mean, however, that undomesticated people are bloodthirsty and aggressive people. All throughout civilized history the domesticated have come in contact with the undomesticated and many were kind, helpful, and generous. Some were not. Some complained about problems that civilized people just couldn’t understand. Instead of attempting to understand them civilized people dehumanized them, we decided to not look at tribal people as other humans, but as savage beasts, no different than the rest of the animal kingdom. Stories of cannibalism, unwarranted murder, dark magic, paganism, and insanity allowed the civilized people to either remain inactive on injustices to undomesticated people, and in fact become aggressive towards them. “Uncivilized” people like the tribal woman on the right (also from the same stretch of islands as the Sentinelese) have no problem walking around in the nude. Is it because she’s dumb? Is it because she’s savage? Or is it because she, like all the rest of the animals on the planet, have no shame about the body she was given and see it as a free liberty that she was naturally given to expose it as much or as little as she chooses? It is most likely the latter reason, the former reasons are just rationalizations for the civilized people who refuse to treat undomesticated people like people. In fact domesticated (or civilized) people are taught that naked is only meant to be thought of sexually and no other way is socially acceptable. This is such an odd concept. In fact if an alien were to visit Earth civilized people would have a lot of explaining to do on why they are so ashamed to reveal their bodies.

And this is the point – with all the good that comes with civilization, we must be prepared to recognize the bad. This is the soul that the devil asks for when mankind decided to pursue civilization. First of all civilization is invasive. Like locusts or cancer civilization is based off of exploitation which is naturally selfish. If we look at how the world is run without civilized humans but including undomesticated humans we notice that there is no one overarching dominant species. In fact with all the science we use to look at the history of the planet there has never been a single overarching species that permeated all other living beings lives… not even humans… until civilized humans came along. Undomesticated people tend to view the world very different from civilized people and they don’t feel comfortable exploiting. The definition of exploitation is two-fold. It’s “to make productive use of” and “to make use of meanly and unfairly for ones own advantage.” Now “productive” is an opinionated word. What is productive for one has the ability to be unproductive or in fact a hindrance for another. And in the case of civilization, civilization has been productive for people who are obedient and domesticated. It is unproductive and constraining for undomesticated people and animals. Many of these tribes have fallen innocently victim to the wrath of civilization.

When the “New World” was “discovered” by the West, those civilized in Europe were not interested in making a cultural connection with the Native Americans so much as they were interested in what spoils the New World had to offer for European profit. What drives civilized people to become invasive and exploitative is approval from civilized authority figures which will grant them more power within civilization. This power can come in any form that civilization offers it but is all surrounded by money. Does anyone else ever find it interesting that we fight, kill, steal, and work for something that is completely made up and has no useful value other than to give it to other people? Money does not directly feed us, wash us, shelter us, or satisfy us with any specific properties of its own. It is a product of an obedient group of people who call themselves civilized.

One of the many slums of the world - all products of civilization

Civilization breeds dependence. What people were asked to give up for the riches of civilization – the science, the medicine, the material luxury – was their ability to take care of themselves. Slums like the one on the left just did not exist when people were undomesticated. And this wasn’t because they were anymore brutal than civilized people. Civilized people have created the largest wars in the world, have amassed more human and non-human deaths than uncivilized people, civilized people systematically kill their food with no great care given to anything but the sanitation of it (which is forgone in many parts of the civilized world), civilization has tortured more people and forced more people in to slums than uncivilized people. The reason I know this with absolutely no references is because slums, wars, systematic oppression, and dependence can only be overtly found in civilized culture. While undomesticated people fight they do not generate wars or oppression anywhere near on the scale civilization has done in its past and continues to do as a whole. If civilization were a human concept that humans were trying to “sell” to alien worlds it would probably be one of the most scorned proposals ever because of the poor track record we have.

Many will argue that areas such as slums are “uncivilized” but the fact is these areas wouldn’t exist if civilization was not around. Civilization is created by governments and leaders that demand payment, regulations, or relocations which is where slums come from. It’s created when a person or a group of people demand dependence on people rather than the land. The country tends to think it can fit in to the civilized world, and while those who caught on to the game quick all of their troubles became other people’s troubles… magnified. In fact even in the most civilized cities in the world, even in the United States, there are sections of which that reveal the victims and losers of civilization’s rules. Would these type of people not exist before civilization? They probably existed but the family members and tribe were forced to address the issue as opposed to avoiding it completely or putting it in to the hands of a system which does not handle them as individuals.

Undomesticated (uncivilized) people have a connection to the world that very few civilized people can understand. It’s the same connection the animals have to the Earth. Most civilized people will look at animals and tribal people shaking our heads in confusion and continue on with what makes sense to us… which makes very little sense to the rest of the world. To balk at this is to deny the fact that both humans and animals have survived… and survived well for millions of years without a single “convenience” of civilization.

Exponential Growth - thanks to civilization

Civilization also carries another curse, the darkest curse of them all. It will end. While there are probably thousands of analysts attempting to predict the 3rd quarter income of Exxon-Mobil there are comparatively few who are assessing the future for viability of civilization. In fact all the long run predictions for civilization are negative. It took mankind (and civilization) all the way up until the 1800s to reach a population of 1 billion people. By the 1960s it was 3 billion, and only 40 years later it was 6 billion. This is what is known as exponential growth. When does exponential growth become not viable? As the graph to the right shows – very quickly. Civilization has allowed people to continue to survive who naturally would be deselected to survive from nature. And this is why civilization considers nature its arch-nemesis. Who am I to say you don’t deserve your cancer treatment because nature would have intended you to die? Myself included, many of the people I love have survived due to the fruits of civilization. However that does not mean we are allowed to ignore the problem it poses. Certainly I’d be a fool to ask for you to give up any beneficial thing civilization has given you. “Nice try,” you might say, “but this is still the reality that I live in, and whatever the animals and uncivilized people do to survive, I do something different.” But one day the Earth just will not be able to support our man-made empire designed to forgo nature.

Some claim this is the point where mankind goes off to live in space. Hunting for another world to populate and live on forever… or something. This needs to be addressed: the human race is going to have an end eventually. Everything will have an end – you, me, the human race, life on Earth, the planet, the sun, even the Milky Way. Even if humans could get along long enough to lift off in to space being able to travel to another planet that might support not only life, but our life, will be quite a distance to travel. We will have left behind every thing that we have ever known – from the seasons, to how long a day is, to deer, Africa, even what our weight is. Everything would be left behind and we would have to survive first in a dark, cold, non-producing environment surviving on whatever meager meals could be prepared for uncountable years on a space ship. Others claim that religion will come rescue all the faithful and finally teach all those people who believed in other religions because they had family members and cultures that believed just as strongly in their religion as you did in yours a solid lesson in eternal punishment. But this situation is also unlikely due to the lack of proof that any divine being has ever handled this Earth.

Civilization isnt always noble

The truth is even civilized people are very connected to this planet. We still relax from a cool breeze, we enjoy parks, many people have a favorite animal or pet. We belong to this planet and this planet belongs to us. Unfortunately civilized people have a hard time understanding that this planet is a planet that needs to be shared in order to not be cruel and everything against good human nature.

So what is this post about? It’s not about throwing everything away and going tribal. We’ve reached a point where that would not be a workable thing as civilized methods are so prevalent it’d be easy to manipulate people again quickly. As being products of civilization we have an honorary duty to make sure we don’t abuse our powers just because we won’t be punished by a man-made authority figure. Perhaps another sprawling suburb will ruin that much more habitable land for nature as well as suck more power and water. Maybe we can put all our differences aside as a global civilization and agree not to have anymore than 2 kids (preferably less). It’s important to focus on the positive aspects of civilization – literacy, knowledge, health, compassion, liberty, the ability to work as a team… but not use them for the bad parts of civilization – relocation, genocide, control, power, oppression, disease, destruction.

Sometimes the line is blurred and hard to see. But when you focus honestly about it and truly listen to opponents perhaps a decision can be made that is agreed upon by all while it may not be the cheapest and most convenient for any one person. This site will have many examples in the future on aspects of civilization that we should be focusing on making more acceptable to the planet, and perhaps regaining some of our communication which we have since lost with the planet. We had ancestors just like the Sentinelese with the ability to understandThe dusk of civilization the Earth on a level we rarely bother to attempt within civilization. This leads us to disassociate ourselves from the Earth and make up things such as imaginary Gods that have given us the power to manipulate things with the ability that only nature has been able to before. The truth is however we do not carry the wisdom to create like nature creates. The sun, water, plants and the atmosphere all do their part, because of the properties of the Universe, to keep us surviving because we are products of these things. There is no mystery about that and since we already have the proof that these things exist, perhaps these specific things that give us life and allow all of us to experience this planet should be appreciated more, because even if you are religious every last thing on this planet was created by your ruler, so maybe these things aren’t as worthless as many people assume.

Civilization and its obsession with material wealth, its ability to put diversity, nature, and uncivilized people second, as well as its upshooting population it is unable to sustain is a deadly mix when it becomes too powerful. Do you think we have the ability to pull back away from war, oppression, unsustainable actions, in return for more understanding of the planet that created us… or not?