Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Disaster Ennui

Throughout history, people have lived in difficult times.

In biblical times, a great flood, perhaps due to melting following an Ice Age, is thought to have inundated many ancient cities leaving them forever silenced beneath the ocean waters. In 79 AD, the thriving populace of Pompeii suffered sudden and inescapable death from the eruption of the Mt Vesuvius volcano. From 1340 to 1771, the Black Death swept through Europe, killing one third of the population. In 1931, more than a million people perished in a series of floods in central China, the worst natural disaster in recorded history. World War II saw the annihilation of millions of people in what was a horrific time to be alive. During the Cold War of the 1950s and 1960s, people lived in fear of a nuclear holocaust.
Black Death street scene from the 1300s depicted in artwork.

So due to natural disasters, disease, war and the threat of misused technology, human beings have had a lot to keep them awake at night for thousands of years.

Today, nothing has changed. We still have natural disasters. We still have emerging diseases. We still have war. And we continue to misuse technology. It seems the latter, however, is what might offer us the worst insomnia during the 21st Century.

Natural disasters, diseases and wars are terrible—but, forgive me, they tend to be localized and finite. Technology, on the other hand, has a way of invading every corner of the Earth, is often invisible and can have a lasting effect. Three pervasive problems that will affect our health this century, and perhaps beyond, are electromagnetic fields, genetically modified food and nuclear radiation.

If you had told me 20 years ago that society would allow untested, potentially lethal technologies to become commonplace for the sake of profits, I would have considered that prediction a bit histrionic. After all, technology has brought us many advances in medicine, transportation and everyday conveniences. It's not all bad by any means. It's all in how you useor misuseit. Whenever the abuse of something promises premium profits, that's where human nature can trump society's welfare. 

Who would allow the indiscriminate broadcast of electromagnetic fields through cell phone towers, electric blankets, fluorescent lighting and more? These fields have been shown to induce abnormal growths and cognitive problems, particularly in children.

Who would allow genetically modified (GM) produce and livestock into our food supply? Studies have shown serious health risks associated with GM foods, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.  

Who would allow nuclear radiation to contaminate our world? The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was knowingly built near four major earthquake faults. The US Environmental Protection Agency continues to release new data showing that various milk and water supply samples across the US are testing increasingly high for radioactive elements such as Iodine-131, Cesium-134, and Cesium-137, all of which are being emitted from the ongoing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear fallout. That means in the next 10 years, we will experience a cancer epidemic beyond anything we have ever seen.

Food guessing game: Is it GM or radioactive?
The problem is, it is difficult to get away from these things. Cells phones are everywhere, as are wireless broadcasts. Our government is refusing to label GM foods as is done in Europe, so the only way to try to avoid them is by buying organic. But even organic foods are being contaminated by the carelessly scattered DNA of GM plants, such as GM flax. GM flax was never approved, but its DNA is contaminating crops in 35 countries around the world, according to the Organic and NonGMO Report. Radiation from Japan is raining down on us from weather patterns that have carried it over the Pacific and across North America.

You can’t see, feel, taste or smell any of these assaults to your health, but they are there.

Science fiction has long warned us about technological threats, but such stories were always comfortably relegated to the realm of fantasy. They can no longer be contained there. What adds to the challenge is that our leaders appear more concerned with corporate profits than with the safety of the populace. And the major news media are owned by those same corporations. It makes one wonder, are our leaders purposely trying to thin out our population or are they all just greedy sociopaths?

So what do we do? Do we live in the comfortable denial of reality television and antidepressants? Do we band together to try and fight overwhelming odds? Do we sit in shock and wait for the inevitable? I don’t know.

Throughout history, people have lived in difficult times. Now it’s our turn.


  1. The human race had been stupid since always.. just see the world in the way it is right now, what have changed in thousands of years ? nothing, that's the answer...