Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 310: Freedom from Pollution is a Human Right

Before the Air Pollution Control Act of 1955, ...
Before the Air Pollution Control Act of 1955, air pollution was not considered a national environmental problem. Duh?

In the past 10 years I have lived across Asia and Italy.
We used to read news about how much China was dishonest about its Pollution data and how hard it worked and works to prevent public disclosure, this is a fact, they make no secret about not wanting their pollution data to be public knowledge, in fact they made environmental data a State secret.

Beijing lawyer Dong Zhengwei told chinadialogue that the refusal (to disclose the latest findings about soil pollution) was probably due to the fact that pollution is severe, hard to manage and will upset the public. 
Soil pollution can impact the human body via food, groundwater and the air, affecting human health and homes – the public should have the right to know and supervise.  

Pollution, hidden or disclosed, is not just a problem affecting developing countries, obviously if polluting everything is our accepted way to growth, it's a given that those that have already 'developed' themselves have already polluted, we have had a pollution galore in the past 50 years in the world, America has led the way, doing pollution just as everything else they do, big and without reserves or scruples.

In Italy we have air pollution levels so high that at times we are forced to shut down car circulation on the week end, of course this is not a solution, but it is a signal of something wrong, of the point that we are living on the edge of what is an 'acceptable air pollution' level of the very thing we need to breath that keeps us alive and so we cannot claim we did not notice that we were dangerously close to just suffocating and killing ourselves to make sure we can keep this insane consumeristic system of abuse going, because it's too tiring to even think about how we can change it all as we get it at some level that ALL of it has to change, we can't save bits and pieces here and there of what we designed without taking Life into account.

I wrote an article on the Ilva case in the south of Italy, our own Bophal environmental disaster, a plant that has killed as many people as those that it has hired in the past 20 years and it's still allowed to function because shutting it down would mean leaving  20.000 people without a job, this is a very important point to consider about pollution, we have connected environment, health and work in a Trinity of disaster, where we are continuosly asked to choose, do you want a job? Lose your health, do you want your health? Give up your job! Do you want to save the environment? You CAN'T or many will lose their jobs and then their health.
Isn't this a lose-lose situation??

Why isn't Life the first and indisputable value for all, around which we design everything else, then no one would have to make those kind of choices, we would take care of the environment as a given  because it supports the Life of All and operations, manufacturing or jobs that do not fit into this first indisputable and undeniable requirement will have to cease to exist, it's that simple.

Of course to take this uber-radical approach, we have to redesign the system in a way where Life is supported always and anyway, then no one will even think to design a factory like Ilva or the one Union Carbide set up in Bophal, they would obviously be against the Law as an infringement of Basic Human Rights, not just in Europe but all over the world.

Why do we need a Global Solution and we need everyone to get together to support one? Because Self Interest and Greed at the very top levels of our society don't hear reason when a Law is passed in support of the environment that may bring down Corporates ' profits, why do people think production has moved to non-unionized, pollution-welcome countries when the Law of their own country had made it clear to them that it was no longer acceptable or excused to pollute in the name of Money? Because they could.

Sometimes we seem to look at world problem like they were some natural events occuring by their own will, many Economics text will attempt to only talk in the future about 'when production moved to cheaper-value added countries' we'll remove the details and this is how we keep repeating the same mistakes, as we pretend to edit away what we really do to replace it with what we want everyone to believe we do, forgetting to notice that we live in a physical world where the consequences of our actions are measurable and yes, we have been distracting ourselves from them, we created whole industries to entertain ourselves so we can go and watch a better world on screen while we dismiss the worse world that is deteriorating and happening under our wasted watch, hoping things will change by themselves.

But they don't go away, consequences are patient, they have all the time in the world to wait and see, what will it be, rid this planet of the pests we have become, the parasites that suck the blood of the earth, the air out of its lungs to turn it into poison while we dirty the waters in every way we can imagine -just by patiently waiting for their own self imposed demise, or will they manage to make a U turn, get back into the driving seat as self responsible human being and return dignity to Life, the planet and themselves with it?

This planet doesn't need us, everyone should be clear about this point, we have not yet contributed to anything of value so far but death and destruction.

We can change, believing in our justified destructive human nature is just a cop out, we our change is required to create a world that reflects the better, ego-tamed human beings that can bring forth a better world for all and as we stop accepting and allowing the pollution of ourselves by our own Minds-run-wild, that keep telling us all is fine and no action is required on our side, we can stand as a 'Peace' of The Solution to bring about this much needed change to create an environment where Life can be born for All.

Equal Money - to reconsider this world as a place where we have both the right and the responsibility to Life and to Living vs surviving, granting Life to All so that we can have Life as Self as All as One. 

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