the age of pollution

Anton Sherwood (
Fri, 6 Mar 1998 20:52:18 -0800 (PST) writes
: I think humans, particularly scientists, seem to think
: that they can control nature itself.

Really. Can you give an example of some scientist
who claims to control the weather?

: This dangerous perspective is responsible for the
: misuse of advancements in science which have led to one of
: the worst eras of earths history, in terms of pollution.

One of the "Draco's Tavern" short stories, by Larry Niven, features
an alien who has been roaming the galaxy at relativistic speeds for
over a billion years realtime. She says, "I was here once before.
Then, too, there was a high civilization. But they knew they were
doomed: a green slime was spreading over the oceans, changing the

Humans have done nothing remotely comparable to the pollution
wrought by green plants (though we'll soon have the ability to
match it, or at least to match some of the lesser catastrophes
like the Chicxulub event).

But for the sake of argument let's restrict the question to *human*
history. Has pollution _per capita_ gotten worse? Increased pollution
is mainly due to increased activity, imho, not to increased science.
Surely it is (if anything) the *opposite* of scientific hubris to think
that your activities will not affect the world - i.e. that you can use
the world as an infinite waste-sink, without causing pollution.

: where's my coffee.

to which 'gene adds
> where's my vodka.

Pollution begins at home! Where's my bong?

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\*