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CENTRAL VIEW for Monday, December 13, 2021

by William Hamilton, Ph.D.

Middle ground: A War Against Global Crapping

Christmas is always a good time for people of goodwill to come together in a spirit of harmony and cooperation. For example, some people think "global warming" is caused by humankind. Other people think human-caused "global warming" is merely a scheme to transfer the material wealth of the developed nations to the Third World.

Nothing written here is going to resolve that debate. But there is a middle ground. How about we all declare a War Against Global Crapping?

Global Crapping is something we can see all around us; especially, in the inner cities where litter covers the streets and sidewalks. Our oceans have entire islands of plastic debris floating and swirling round and round. Hazards to aquatic life and to ships of all kinds, as well.

Agricultural pesticides and herbicides drip down into our creeks, streams, rivers, and out into the oceans. Antibiotics fed to animals and humans find their way downstream, as well. Outdated human waste disposal systems pollute the land and the water with dangerous bacteria. In the Third World, and in America’s major cities, many of the natives and America’s homeless defecate wherever they please.

Recall, historically, armies in the field die more from water-borne diseases and malaria-carrying insects than from bullets and cannon fire. So, in a macabre way, the absence of sanitation, clean drinking water, and control of malaria are crude, but effective, means of population control. Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) used to worry that population growth would overwhelm Earth’s agricultural resources and we would all starve to death. He need not have worried. Humankind is perfectly capable of keeping its numbers down, either by human error or by sloth.

What brings all this to mind is Dr. Andrew Weill’s book: Mind over Meds. While Dr. Weill is a firm believer in using advances in medical and pharmaceutical science when appropriate, Dr. Weill makes a compelling case that too many humans pollute their bodies with unnecessary drugs and, consequently, the environment, as well.

A nice feature of a War Against Global Crapping is that everyone can play a role. Not by silly legislation banning plastic drinking straws or doing away with plastic grocery bags, but by the proper disposal of all items made by humankind. The environmental benefits of recycling glass and plastic are beyond dispute.

Meanwhile, humankind needs to be mindful of the Law of Intended Consequences. While the proponents of wind, solar energy, and electric vehicles are well-meaning, the manufacture and disposal of electric car batteries pose an environmental threat of untold proportions. Moreover, electric vehicles cannot be manufactured, used, and kept running without the support of fossil-fuels. Rachael Carson did not intend for her 1962 book Silent Spring to assign millions to malarial death by causing the banning of mosquito-killing DDT. So, as we move forward in the War Against Global Crapping, we should be ever-mindful of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Suggested reading: Mind over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own, by Andrew Weill, M.D., 2017.

©2021. William Hamilton.

©1999-2022. American Press Syndicate.

Dr. Hamilton can be contacted at:
P.O. Box 2001
Granby, CO 80446

Email: william@central-view.com

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