So, now that the election is over Aside: although, how would you know with Palin’s face popping up all over the place…Geesh, doesn’t she know it’s 15 MINUTES of fame, not 15 MONTHS…I digress. my thoughts naturally drift off to topics wherein I’m a little more capable of making a stand, namely the environment. Bolstered by a helpful comment (Thanks Gleemonex) on my last environmental post, I thought I’d share this latest article from the New York Times regarding pollution in Asia. Referencing a report from the United Nations, this article talks about brown clouds that stretch from the Arabian Peninsula to the Yellow Sea. These clouds are a mix of byproducts from automobiles, wood burning stoves, and coal-fired power plants among other things. As well, these clouds, at times, blot out the sun.
BLOT OUT THE SUN!?! Seriously?! Okay…well, 10 to 25 percent of the sunlight available on a given day, but still. These clouds are sometimes a mile thick. Think that’s not a lot…go outside right now and walk a mile, I’ll wait. Okay, good you’re back. Pretty far huh? Now you see what I’m talking about. So, not only is most of the Asian continent breathing this stuff in, when it rains, this soot mixture falls down into the potable water supply and is ingested. Now, I know some of you are thinking, but it’s Asia, how does that affect me?! Some of these brown clouds have been known to “migrate” as far as California. A little scarier now right? And there’s not border patrol for clouds. We can’t just stop them at the port and say “Sorry folks, we’re full up with pollution right now, you’ll have to wait a few days or go back to your home country.” So it affects the health of humans on several continents as well as the health of several species of migratory animals.
The point is that all of this pollution is anthropogenic. This means that we, as humans, are creating our own destruction. By that logic, one would think we would be able to alter our destiny and figure out a way to eliminate, or at the very least reduce, the causes or creation of this pollution. Failure to do this will result in this being a very dirty, very lonely planet.
So, the next time you fire up your car, think about whether or not you can make that same trip on your bike or your own two feet. And when you decide to leave the lights on in your house or turn the heat up, consider the coal necessary to power those activities. Every decision makes a difference.
See you in the funny papers!