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The Curse of Science

microscope

Witchcraft and a hidden face of environmental spoilage

(2nd edition [revised] - May 2012) by A.O. Kime
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Although scientific achievements have always been glorified - as if great steps forward - it should be clear by now science has created far more harm than good… and it largely began with chemistry. Perhaps this profession should still be called the unflattering term ‘alchemy’… ages ago considered a ‘spiritual discipline’ associated with witchcraft. Witchcraft, of course, has always been looked upon as evil which prompted Henry IV to ban the practice of alchemy in 1403.

Likewise, a Roman Catholic religious order known as the Cistercians banned the practice among its members and Pope John XXII (1316-1334) issued a bull against ‘alchemical counterfeiting‘.

While we’ve all been educated into believing the results of chemistry was (and is) ‘progress’, as if a positive term, but with the out-of-control toxic waste polluting the environment - in the process destroying nearly everything God created - how can chemistry be anything but witchcraft?

Yet, inventiveness has always been necessary to keep one step ahead of the enemy. After all, societies had no choice lest be dominated by some foreign power. It’s been a matter of gaining or keeping the technological edge. However, inventiveness wasn’t just for the sake of security… most inventions were for convenience purposes and the greater result of these scientific developments.

And, clearly, conveniences (products) comprised of chemicals are the greater cause of environmental problems. But there is also another unheralded consequence. It will be pointed out shortly which should get the attention of the powers-that-be... although doubtful the profiteers would subscribe to the idea.

Profit, after all, of the unconscionable sort, has been the driving force behind the development of hazardous products. It will be the cause for the next great war... being the "profiteers versus humanity". The profiteers may have a human body but they're not human. Humans have godlike qualities.

Environmental catastrophes in the making

While chemical engineering has produced many 'useful' products - conveniences of every sort - these conveniences are being overshadowed by the dire consequences in only a few short decades. Destined to soon generate more toxic waste than society could effectively handle, the mother of all scales would say the downsides outweigh the upsides. It is clear, we are paying a heavy price for these wide range of products on the market today although it has always been the next generations that do the paying.

However, only since the beginning of the 20th century has the next generations had to pay the consequences. Before that, human existence had virtually no impact on the environment except for perhaps deforestation... everything utilized was biodegradable. But, with the advent and usage of modern conveniences and 'chemical solutions', the average person today now causes more environmental damage than was possible by the entire world in the preceding centuries. Mathematically then, depending of which century one wanted to compare, that equates to millions of times more destructive. Let each person's lifetime contribution to the landfills and pollution serve as evidence.

By the time one graduates from high school today, they've already done more damage to the environment than all the rampages of Charlemagne, Genghis Khan and Napoleon put together. Even today's 10 year-olds can do more damage in a single day than Europe's 100 year war. A single instance of an improper disposal is all it takes. The damage from an errant flush of a toxic chemical is irreversible and will affect humanity for generations to come.

While one might argue that chemical engineering has served ‘progress‘... except progress can now be better described as a ‘trash generator’. And, aside from also creating an endless list of dangerous and polluting products, chemical engineering gave rise to a new breed of unconscionable businessmen... the purveyors of these chemicals. Our culture of consumption, of course, is part of the problem. It boils down to the perpetual desire for more and better.

Doomsday machine

The long-term downsides be damned, scientists won’t waste a millisecond to break the news of a discovery or invention either. Why? For fame and fortune. It is disgusting beyond words. While safeguards usually come into play at some point, danger has become a relative matter in civilized society… being subject to the best interests of money. Government agencies have demonstrated they don’t care about the long-term downsides either… sure to issue a license for a doomsday machine if ever asked.

Of course, collectively a doomsday machine is what all the government agencies have already permitted… such as the medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of late. In the opinion of the FDA - having the elbow room of a runaway freight train - it doesn’t matter a drug could be lethal as long as the drug manufacturer advertises the risks involved. Nor does it matter what effect they have on the groundwater. Not even cocaine has such risks as those the FDA has allowed on the market.

The FDA 'guidelines' on how to dispense with old medications (flush, don't flush) doesn't protect our groundwater either. In light of the impossible task of getting 100% compliance, guidelines only slow the rate of pollution. With the horses having already escaped the barn, it says guidelines are merely reactionary. In other words, if groundwater safety is an issue, then it makes little sense to allow a threatening drug on the market in the first place. Jeopardizing the many for the sake of a sale is simply outrageous. In fact, it is criminal.

While the ability to dig ourselves out of a miserable existence is godlike... but being godlike means appropriateness, compatibility and balance.

Careful we haven't been with other chemical products either... there’s non-biodegradable plastic strewn almost everywhere, in alleys, roadsides and playgrounds. Plus all sorts of hazardous chemicals are polluting our waterways, oceans and aquifers. Under the blind eye of laissez-faire, the countless chemical cocktails on the market today are spelling disaster.

Yet, there’s another concern - national survival - which hasn't been getting any attention which would strengthen the current cases against the use of toxic chemicals. It's the cost of controlling the consequences and should serve as further justification for controls. But before elaborating, let’s continue to paint a little more of the picture.

Future generations and their begging for environmental sanity

If we are to leave our offspring much of anything, that is, joys which aren't atop mountains of garbage or in polluted waterways, anything which isn’t environmentally safe must either be regulated to the utmost degree or banned outright. Of course, the needs of a nation’s infrastructure must be met until better ideas come along. After all, we must live. Agriculture, of course, is part of this infrastructure and thus the continued need for pesticides. Considering the alternative (starvation), pesticides are one instance whereby chemical engineering has proven to outweigh the cost. While the need for pesticides may always exist, biocontrols are gaining ground. Also, genetically modified crops are reducing the need for pesticides.

However, the need to banish some categories should be obvious. Toxic household chemicals commonly flushed down the drain should be one of the first to be eliminated. There are, after all, effective products our ancestors once used that aren‘t toxic. For example, baking soda has good cleaning properties.

Otherwise, it will remain a matter of the existing generations continuing to despoil by which future generations suffer. As just one glaring example, well water fit to drink is rapidly disappearing. It will be a luxury of the past… thanks to the insatiable appetite for 'chemical solutions'. While there are other downsides such as the negative effects on public health in general, of great concern, little has been done to shelve these toxic products because ‘money rules’… albeit a shameful fact. Let's call it criminal.

In addition to disallowing toxic household chemicals, throwaway products on the market are also a problem, greatly contributing to the number and size of landfills. It is a negative aspect of ‘consumption’ and, like ‘progress‘, should be considered dirty words.

A pipedream?

Let's look at this from a broader perspective… that the 'next step' for a nation's well-being is 'controlling progress'. While the first step were the scientific discoveries and the 2nd step were the resulting products, and while these steps weren’t planned, or even recognized as ‘steps’, there is a need to designate a 3rd step… a broad-based plan to control progress. After all, the best interests of humanity is at state. Only the selfish - selfish meaning "delights for me but not for my children" - would miss seeing the urgency for this crucial third step.

While environmentalists are already advocating controls for obvious reasons, the idea still needs to be effectively 'sold'. Along with the global efforts underway such as the expressed desire to ban the ‘dirty dozen’ toxic chemicals and to limit air pollution, national survival shouldn't be overlooked. The dirty dozen should not include DDT however. Like aspirin and penicillin, It's one of the few 'saving graces' for the chemical industry. These three things, at least, should save them from tomorrow's gallows.

Simply put… those nations that do the most in eliminating toxic chemicals on the market will be the survivors of tomorrow. Why? Because the financial cost of not eliminating will bankrupt that nation. Of course, a country could always quit cleaning up the messes. In short, it's either bankruptcy looming or squalor.

Undoing scientific advancements should now be viewed as important as were advancements during the 20th century. In short, the pendulum has swung too far. We are now drowning in a sea of chemicals and gadgets.

More specifically, extremely tight controls and/or bans are crucial to maintain a nation’s edge in economic and political power. While the cost of maintaining countless landfills and dealing with polluted aquifers are just two examples of what will undermine a country, all of them are about shortsightedness. There is nothing godlike about being shortsighted either.

While shortsightedness has produced many great comforts, pleasures and satisfactions during the past 100 years, but each year the toll extracted increases exponentially.

Toxicity versus big money

Conveniences aren’t the only thing contributing to the landfill problem however. Along with everything else toxic, including the innards of electronic gadgets, some landfills now contain coal ash (hazardous waste) from a accidental spill by a facility operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The clean up cost to TVA is estimated to be 1.2 billion. But, it affects the whole nation. These type clean up operations will only continue to grow in number and cost and why it will prove financially unsustainable. If ever done, the cost will also be high for constructing and maintaining a site for nuclear waste... but at least nuclear power is still logical and is still serving mankind. Besides, nuclear power has already escaped Pandora's box... we already have nuclear waste.

Not logical to any degree and not serving mankind is non-recyclable trash, throwaway appliances and contaminating chemical solutions. So, it isn't about banning everything - it's about banning everything illogical. For this, one doesn't need to be godlike to see.

However, a dilemma... how to curb the public appetite. With success in reducing demand by publically expressing the rational for the bans - in the most desperate tone of voice - and often - resistance from the manufacturers would lessen proportionately. They wouldn't try so hard to protect a slow-moving product.

Although any red-blooded American hates the very idea of mandates, being ‘un-American’, as much un-American as government-run health care which equates to a socialized state, one might look at it this way… laws against defacing public property are already on the books, commonly viewed by everyone as logical and necessary. In short, it's nothing new or radical.

Nor should such controls be deemed in conflict with free enterprise. After all, no company should have the carte blanche right to produce products which threaten the environment. Criminal in every respect, it would be absurd to consider such a business 'free enterprise'. Since it shouldn’t have been allowed in the first place, it shouldn’t be considered a radical idea. Although being left with less effective products, we can learn to live without them. Ultra-clean toilet bowls, for example, certainly aren't worth contaminating our fresh water supply. Nor is getting rid of aunt Lilly's carpet stain.

So who's to blame for all this? Nobody really, likely few knew ‘progress’ was capable of such perils. Even during the 1950s it wasn‘t clearly evident... but with hindsight being 20-20, we now need to build a braking system for this out-of-control machinery.

Stepping back from the abyss too bold a concept?

If governance is about controlling matters for the good of a nation - such as dealing with threats - then it is time to recognize the dangers posed by the continual use of toxic chemicals. Although human and creature survival is the greatest reason for protecting the environment, it should also be recognized as being a matter of national survival.

While controls over toxic substances already exist, accidents routinely reveal their ineffectiveness. So too, floods and fires. The only protection from a contaminating spill is not to have the contaminate in the first place.

Thanks to alchemy (witchcraft) it amounts to having a tiger by the tail. Perhaps a Hippocratic oath for scientists (I shall do no harm) would be a good beginning point. Likely though, it will take criminal prosecution.

While there would be a significant job losses due to these bans at first, green technology should soon offset these losses. And, in re-allowing a business atmosphere for the family farm to exist - having been purposely and effectively eradicated by the USDA for globalization purposes - would more than offset these job losses. There were as many as 4,500,000 displaced family farmers since 1935. It's a chance for many to re-capture this grand lifestyle.

Of course, re-recreating an atmosphere conducive for other small businesses - which were also displaced by the globalization agenda - would also add jobs... more jobs than before the drive towards globalization. After all, globalization is a job-killer. Productivity (in order to compete worldwide) says so.

In closing... what else but alchemy can explain all this degradation? What else but witchcraft?

A.O. Kime

Last modified: 03/06/16