Humanity’s Impact

There are places on this planet that are so remote that they are uninhabitable by human beings. The Mariana Trench, for example, constitutes the deepest part of the ocean. It’s 7 miles beneath the surface and the pressures down there are unimaginable. Likewise, none of us are setting up housekeeping on the world’s highest glaciers. Not only are they too ever-changing to provide us with a firm foundation, but also they’re cold beyond all imagining. And let’s face it: You can’t get pizza delivery in either locale, and the wifi is nonexistent. So no.

Even so, humans have still managed to negatively impact these places. According to this article, the nuclear bombs that were detonated from 1945 through the 1960’s have doubled the carbon-14 levels in our atmosphere. That carbon-14 was taken into plants, which were in turn eaten by animals (including us). Those animals then pooped, and that poop entered the ocean, even as deep as the Mariana Trench, and the animals down there snacked on said poop, and now have high levels of carbon-14 in their guts. This toxic residue has also been found in mountain glaciers around the world, and those glaciers are melting, also thanks to us. So yay! We’ve conquered the world!

Sigh.

The article also talks about micro-plastics that have been produced by us, and are also found in every crustacean that has been tested from the Mariana Trench, and yes, indeed, they have been detected in glaciers as well. So we have managed to fundamentally alter the entire planet, even in places where we have never stepped foot. What a horrifying realization.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan to put this accomplishment on my resume, even though I’m every bit as complicit as you are. What a legacy. Our mothers would be so proud.

Marianatrenchmap

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2 thoughts on “Humanity’s Impact

  1. Lyn

    Just, ‘nuclear bombs were detonated in 1945’ seems like a sterile, technically scientific, explanation for such horrific, devastating acts of violence. Wonder if they also found traces of human ash that was a by-product of those two detonations. Sure, Hiroshima’s been rebuilt but it’s literally built on a foundation of bones.
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/2020/08/elusive-horror-hiroshima/
    Speaking of our mothers being proud; mine lived in Japan, 500 miles from Hiroshima, in 1945 and survived her house being bombed. She never fully recovered from ‘bombs being detonated’.

    When you realize that Fukushima is not fully contained and ocean contamination may be increased in 2022 and you read this: https://www.dw.com/en/fukushima-how-the-ocean-became-a-dumping-ground-for-radioactive-waste/a-52710277 … then figure in the plastic contaminates, you may decide to avoid all forms of seafood.(I really miss crab enchiladas) I was a pescatarian for forty years before going full vegan, so I’m probably chock-full of microplastics. And I thought I was eating so healthy.

    Science should have stopped at the enormously successful inventions of paper, glass and the wheel. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

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