The fight for the environment can go humanity sideways


The American comedian (now deceased) George Carlin said: there is no reason to worry about the poor environmental condition of the planet, there are no problems with the planet, the planet integrates everything, including plastic, perhaps the person himself exists in order to produce plastic and add him into the ecosystem of the planet. This, of course, is sarcasm. But the panic about the allegedly imminent environmental disaster looks ridiculous.

As for the threat of “global warming due to human industrial activity”, this is most likely a fiction, a way of political pressure on geopolitical competitors and economic blackmail of developing countries. Despite the actual ban in the global liberal media to cover the problem from different points of view, many serious scientists cautiously express the opinion that a person can hardly change the climate, the climate of the planet changes itself, cyclically, due to natural causes.

The ice age did not come because a person began to settle in the Northern Hemisphere and predatoryly consume natural resources. The planet was not going to freeze homo sapiens like cockroaches. Although there is definitely something in this idea. But for the stand-up, and not for serious science.

We here in Russia do not feel any “global warming” at all. Only global cooling and a new ice age. Tell us about the “global warming” for the residents of St. Petersburg, whose warm sunny summer lasts two days a year (well, if it falls on the weekend).

Following the “global warming”, the goal of the “crusades for ecology” is plastic – its production, consumption and disposal. Plastic has become the enemy number one or number two for humanity. And it cannot be said that the problem does not exist. We really produce a huge amount of plastic, use it primarily as a package, and then throw it away. Plastic fills dumps growing like yeast, plastic enters rivers, seas, oceans and causes the death of a huge number of living things. And just, frankly, ugly.
If today you come to the resort in any “only slightly touched by civilization wild nature landscapes”, then instead of the golden beaches and blue water promised by the brochure and Instagram photos, you can meet floating garbage bins, consisting mainly of plastic, along the coast. In a five-star hotel, early in the morning, before vacationers wake up, specially trained people will clean the beach. And in a three-star, you may have to get to clean water through packages and plastic bottles floating on the shore.

There is a problem with plastic; it is not thought up (unlike “global warming”). But what are the suggested solutions? Produce less, consume less, use other types of packaging and so on. And let’s try to think openly what plastic has become for humanity in the 20th century and remains in the 21st. We are surprised to find that the invention and widespread adoption of plastic was a huge step forward and even the salvation of civilization.

The invention of plastic can be compared with the invention of ceramics, dishes from first unbaked, and then baked clay. At the dawn of the history of mankind, more than 20,000 years before our era, people began to manufacture ceramic products, including utensils. Thanks to the dishes, people were able to cook better on fire and keep food, food became better in quality and more accessible, people were able to live longer, give birth and raise more children, humanity began to grow. There were other reasons, but ceramics played an important role.

Plastic also pushed humanity into a new era. Plastic, not nuclear bombs, is the main invention of the 20th century that has changed our way of life. First of all, it concerns the packaging of food and water. Plastic packaging is the cheapest, lightest, practical, durable, impervious to pathogens.
The fight against plastic has a distinct class and imperialistic, post-colonial aspect. After all, the countries of developed capitalism, the countries of the West, will be able to find some kind of alternative, observe sanitary standards with minimal use of plastic, and so on. But for the “third world” the ban on plastic could be a disaster. It is in the Third World countries that plastic saves people from extinction due to epidemics; only in plastic packaging can many populations receive clean water and nothing else.

Thanks to plastic, mortality in “developing countries” has decreased, and there has been less disease and suffering. And we have on one side of the scale the suffering of children of poor “colored” peoples dying from illnesses and poor nutrition, and on the other side of the scale there is the suffering of a rich white tourist who winces when he goes into the water on the beach through floating plastic garbage.

The solution to the problem of plastic should not lie in the sphere of prohibition and restriction of its use. And in the development and widespread adoption of practices for separate collection of waste and recycling plastic, its processing and reuse. After all, plastic is not only harmful garbage, but also useful, valuable raw materials for industry.

Maybe for our descendants, deposits of ancient plastic will become minerals, and they will wonder why we were so stupid and impractical, why we simply threw out the most valuable material, instead of using it again and again.
Thanks to the individual plastic packaging of food products, it became possible to transport food anywhere without risking spreading the disease with food. But not only in the plague of the “Middle Ages”, but also in recent times, epidemics were among the main threats to humanity. In 1918, about 50-100 million people died, that is, between two and five percent of the world’s population, from the Spanish Flu pandemic. Among the reasons called unsanitary conditions, food insecurity.

Are we ready now, having refused plastic, again to face mass diseases, with general dysentery and other “joys” of the so-called natural, natural being?

The fight against plastic has a distinct class and imperialistic, post-colonial aspect. After all, the countries of developed capitalism, the countries of the West, will be able to find some kind of alternative, observe sanitary standards with minimal use of plastic, and so on. But for the “third world” the ban on plastic could be a disaster. It is in the Third World countries that plastic saves people from extinction due to epidemics; only in plastic packaging can many populations receive clean water and nothing else.

Thanks to plastic, mortality in “developing countries” has decreased, and there has been less disease and suffering. And we have on one side of the scale the suffering of children of poor “colored” peoples dying from illnesses and poor nutrition, and on the other side of the scale there is the suffering of a rich white tourist who winces when he goes into the water on the beach through floating plastic garbage.

The solution to the problem of plastic should not lie in the sphere of prohibition and restriction of its use. And in the development and widespread adoption of practices for separate collection of waste and recycling plastic, its processing and reuse. After all, plastic is not only harmful garbage, but also useful, valuable raw materials for industry.

Maybe for our descendants, deposits of ancient plastic will become minerals, and they will wonder why we were so stupid and impractical, why we simply threw out the most valuable material, instead of using it again and again.

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