It amazes me that those who insist on eating organic package their produce into plastic bags for checkout. You are trading a healthy body (short term) for a healthy planet (long term). Very few societies think really long term.
Dwayne Summerfield, 2016
I am not gonna lie, I am even more concerned with what I put into my body. Especially since it is becoming more and more common that many of the things we are consuming and living with are causing the major ailments of our times, like obesity and cancer.
But I also like the modern conveniences and technological breakthroughs that have raised my standard of living in specific and the general lifespan of humanity in general (the toilet being one of the greatest inventions right up there with penicillin).
The question is how does one balance the quality of life short term with the longevity of civilization long term? If I knew the answer to that, I would be rich and the entire world would be fed.
That is one of the many reasons I am doing hard keto — no sugar, very low carb, some protein, and lots of fat (the good fats). Especially with my current cancer situation, it can only help. This has also made me more sensitive to the overall condition we are placing our planet in.
An example of long-term short-sightedness is the huge expanses of plastic floating in the ocean. Dr. Ken Berry, on his YouTube channel, posted a video talking about the micro-sized plastic particles we are not seeing in common table salt.
Much of the salt consumed is sourced from sea water. A study published in Nature (The presence of microplastics in commercial salts from different countries) goes into details about the plastic contamination of our oceans, and the effect on each of us individually. Yes, we didn’t know back then what we do now. However, why can’t we as a civilization see the results of our actions and take direct and timely actions to correct situations like this. Does this mean we need to get rid of plastic: no. But we need to be smarter about what it is used for and the types of plastic used. If every water bottle was BPA free, maybe we wouldn’t be so worried about the micro-plastics we are ingesting. Maybe we would find something else that would be a problem. I don’t have the answers, but faced with the facts of the problems we have today, it seems we could at least come together and tackle these problems as a planet rather than a country.
Taking care of our planet will take care of us also. I am far from original in this thinking. Carl Sagan talked often about how this is our only planet, and R. Buckminster Fuller wrote an entire book - Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth - on this very topic in 1967; nothing new here, just a lot of folks in charge ignoring the facts.
As an aside, Mr. Fuller had also written Critical Path, a book that, among other things, outlined a way to feed the entire world - that is eliminating world hunger - in 10 years IF every country in the world pooled their resources and worked together.
From The Long Now About page:
The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996* to develop the Clock and Library projects, as well as to become the seed of a very long-term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. We hope to foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.
The concept of living for future generations is not new either. The idea of seven generation sustainability is believed to have originated with the Iroquois Indians. We have recognized many issues with our sustained survival on earth, and we continue to ignore them.