Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Not Science Fiction

We are experiencing one of the worst droughts in the past 100 years; and possibly the worst drought in our history. Swamp gas, once trapped under miles of Antarctic ice, is beginning to escape, warming our mother Earth even more. Satellite images suggest Greenland's glaciers are melting at least 30 times faster than they were a decade ago. Quiet rumblings amongst the world's largest food companies are getting little to no press, but they are concerned as food costs increase.

This is not science fiction, or a short story by Bradbury, for this is the news in its truest sense, in an unbiased and empirical fashion. Under new laws intended to reduce foreign oil imports, now 40% of the US maize (corn) harvest “must” be used to make biofuels. And with the third consecutive warmest year we have ever had in our nation’s history, crop yields have already been reduced significantly. The European Union is passing legislation and moving towards biofuels to reduce carbon emissions as well.

Farmers and those in the timber industry are “getting in, while the getting is good.” The Amazon Rainforest is vanishing at an alarming rate of over 6,000 square miles per year; and “selective logging” has caused a 25% boost in “greenhouse gasses.” Another 6,000 plus square miles of the Amazon Rainforest are clear-cut annually for cattle grazing and the farming of domesticated animals. And let's not mention what our beloved Starbucks and coffee industry is doing to our environment.

China’s rise to global power has done wonders to our mother earth. Sixteen of the world's twenty most polluted cities are in China. China's economy has grown twentyfold since 1965, and its focus on economic development at unparallelled speeds has led to widespread disregard to our collective environment and mother earth. 

China suffers from the twin problems of water shortage and water pollution. More than one-third of China's population lacks access to clean drinking water; and approximately 70% of the country's rivers and lakes are polluted, with roughly two hundred million tons of sewage and industrial waste pouring into Chinese waterways annually. Not to mention, desertification in China has lead to the loss of about 5,800 square miles of grasslands every year; roughly the size of Connecticut.

But back to water for a moment: Less than 0.01% of the water on our earth is suitable for human consumption. The real number is closer to 0.007%, but I didn’t want to scare you. And plastic; plastic is toxic, and it has been embraced and is used everywhere for everything. And this plastic, all these bags and wrappers; are in our air, in our water, and in the food we eat. At least 46,000 pieces of plastic litter every square mile of every ocean on earth, and a swirling vortex of trash twice the size of Texas has spawned in the North Pacific. It is a plastic continent, that people can walk on and boats cannot motor on through.

Did I mention there are less than 250 Gorillas on the planet? The earth has been blessed with abundance, which humanity has taken advantage of. But with 21,894 plus living species becoming “extinct” each and every year; how much longer will our earth continue to be abundant? And what is happening to our Earth, is happening to our species. More than 15 languages die out each and every year; the average working vocabulary is now a mere 250 words; whereas in 1950, the average person had a working vocabulary of over 500 words. And what about “technological waste?” As we embrace every generation iPad and iPhone; as we continue to be forced to purchase new computers each and every year; where is all this going?

In the United States, beginning with George W. Bush, and continuing with Barak Obama; we are being led down a road to our ultimate undoing and demise. We are continuing to perpetuate mediocrity, and create false heroes with destructive legacies. Change has become the new “non-change,” and it can be argued that instead of receiving more of the same, what we are currently receiving is a far greater evil.

There is already a global shortage of food in many parts of the world and our homeland. Food prices are going to go through the roof in the very near future. Gas prices are going to go through the roof in the very near future. Our economy and housing markets will continue to struggle; and the divide between the rich and poor; will only become greater. Crime is going to go up. And “new laws” for our benefit, ultimately limiting our freedoms, will continue to be railroaded through our House and Senate.

As we let go of the tangible; as we watch our newspapers, books, and magazines disappear; and as we allow our command of language to atrophy; we will notice that those with an economic advantage, will have access to the “best” news sources now behind Internet "pay walls." As we embrace social networks; and continue to share pictures and thoughts about of our every bowel movement, we are in essence monitoring and policing ourselves. And very real laws, will come about, that will hold people accountable for “crimes;” that do not yet exist and will be as simple as taking something out of context. As we allow cameras to police and ticket us; big brother is indeed everywhere.

Specious reasoning, false logic, and passionate crusades for individual causes have gotten us this far. Biofuels are not the solution; and never have been. Our President, our global governments are giving it to us dry. And what is seen as innovation is in fact very old. Cars that run on Biofuels for example are nothing new and were proudly showcased during the 1964 and 1965 New York World’s Fair.

The answer to our global problems is clear, but that will be left for another News article. As well as a discussion about "Saudi Arabia" and the most sophisticated "desalinization" machines in the world. In the future, he who controls the "water" will control the world.

-Vincenzo Scipioni, is the Author of  "Silent Pages, Loud Thoughts, Short Stories" Available NOW. If you enjoyed this article, please "Check out Amazon" to read 5-Star Reviews and purchase this modern classic for only $15.98. 

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