Plastics, plutonium, and other liabilities

Plastics are man made. They did not exist on our planet until a few decades ago.

Today millions of tonnes of plastics are scattered all over: in buildings, fields, woods, rivers, lakes and seas.

In the oceans there are around 50,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometre, killing millions of sea birds and marine mammals. The infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a kind of marine soup whose main ingredient is plastic debris. It is thought to be twice the size of France.

A number of additives contained in plastics are strongly suspected of serious damage to human health.

Experts try to set up schemes for the collection and recycling of plastics, but such schemes only capture a fraction of what is produced worldwide. And each year larger quantities of plastics are churned out by industry.

Plutonium is another horror. Quantities are small in comparison; traces are found in nature and the substance is mostly a by-product of nuclear reactions. It is highly dangerous and very radioactive for millions of years.

Countries heavily involved in nuclear activities, like the US, France, the UK, Japan and Russia, have stockpiles of plutonium. Experts had hoped to transform them into valuable fuel for a new generation of nuclear reactors, but the latter proved problematic on account of safety and economic viability. The material is now regarded as waste and the main idea to deal with stockpiles is to keep them in underground repositories (for durations that far exceed homo sapiens’ presence on the planet so far). While the idea is hotly debated, more plutonium is generated and added to the stocks every year.

Over the last decades a wide range of artificial creations besides plastics and plutonium led to major issues: fertilisers and pesticides, pharmaceuticals, genetically modified organisms, nano particles…etc.

Invariably the new technology seemed to offer tempting advantages, business got behind it backed up by finance and or government, the public was mesmerised, and dissenting voices advocating caution were dismissed as anti progress. In virtually all cases production goes on at a higher level than ever before while experts spend their time and energy in conferences and study groups muted by lobbyists who systematically play delaying tactics.

Faced with such a situation, simply unimaginable less than a hundred years ago, it’s easy to feel utterly powerless and to fall into either despair or silly denial.

No solution to the tight knot of problems is conceivable, let alone realistic, within the framework of materialist thinking.

The global multi-facets crisis forces us to contemplate another vision of existence, to consider the subtle side of reality, to open up our mind and our heart to universal oneness, metaphysics and spirituality.

Fear not, learn to dance with the Invisible Partner.



Copyright © Leo Foresta 2013


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Ian Cormack
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 18:12:07

    Thanks Leo …thought provoking as always … !!!!!!


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