Saturday, 30 May 2015

Graveyards of nuclear submarines....

Consumerism and nuclear proliferation have converted the world into one vast waste dump yard. With evolution of humankind its increasing reliance upon inorganic way of life is threatening the very foundations of the organic planet earth. The quantum and degree of waste is directly proportional to the complexity of human life. In simpler societies, the most of the waste was organic and was recycled back to the earth without any toxicity. As society developed and progressed, the amount of processed waste increased which had higher content of inorganic material which was not readily assimilated by mother earth. 

Earliest societies lived closer to earth, in mud houses…defecated on earth…waste mostly food leftovers was given to cattle or strewn on the ground. The waste was bio degradable and hence posed no environmental risk. Gradually with development, the defining inflection point being the industrial revolution, the complexity of waste changed. Industrial scrape and refuse became a watershed in the history of waste. Large scale production of steel, textiles...led to discharge of various effluents like hazardous chemicals, gases, lead...from the factories, mills into the land dumps, lakes, rivers, seas, atmosphere... 

Along with urbanisation, there came the concomitant disposal of human waste. This waste compounded in complexity over time during past few centuries... excreta, food, paper, bottles, tin cans, plastics, electronics... The earlier urban conglomerates had open drains which were most harmful for our health and living conditions with overpowering stench...even today many old cities have open drains...

Next the was the problem of final disposal of these waste from drains etc...these often discharged into lakes, rivers, streams, seas, land dumps...which in turn increased the toxic levels of these water bodies and land...leading to diseased fish, animals, birds who fed on these waters and land...finally carrying the poison into humans who fed on the fish and used the water...thus the poison multiplied in the atmosphere, land, water and in our bodies and other living creatures...

Atmospheric pollution is reaching alarming levels especially in Asia. India and China have some of the most polluted cities in the world. Cars, factories, coal fuel...contribute to this hazard which is threatening living conditions. Rising migration to cities is also aggravating this crises. 

Several cities have started segregation of waste into food, paper/dry, plastics/glass...but its not easy to discipline all to follow the rules. Segregation of waste at source is the only way to recycle waste properly converting food etc to compost, paper / glass and plastic for further recycling..even in some advanced countries like USA they do not have at source segregation of household waste... 

Humankind’s insatiable hunger for energy has now lead to unthinkable levels of contamination of the seas, land through oil spillages, train accidents...and newest hazardous element of the block to join this waste race is deadly radiation from discarded nuclear rods of nuclear plants..the nuclear arms race between the nuke powers has now lead to new dilemmas resulting from disposal of the aging nuclear submarines..basically nuclear waste like rods and submarines were supposed to be buried in deep sea much below sea bed...

The other scourge emanating from our fascination for modern life, insane consumerism is indiscriminate use of plastics....the use of which has compounded geometrically over the past half century...and thereafter electronics...now plastic and e waste disposal is also becoming a global problem. Many countries have resorted to disposing off the plastic in rivers and seas which have affected marine life. Several species have dwindled. 

Humankind’s waste has now reached space. Several old satellites and old space stations are floating debris in space. Some of them will pose problems in future to space flights...but the most frightening waste problems are the several nuclear submarine graveyards of the developed nations littered in the oceans along with the millions of tons of plastic. Anthropocene  humans have reduced the planet to a graveyard of waste through their throwaway lifestyles. 

Post Covid World

Covid has suddenly thrust the planet to the inflexion point. It is a final wake up call for humanity. Civilisation has been on a suicidal ...