©2017 Kari Carlisle
While the rest of the world is worried about zombies, aliens, robots, and meteors, we may need to reflect for a moment on how our world may end by the proliferation of things unseen – the very teeny tiny things that can wreak havoc on our bodies and our environment.
While we may not as individuals be able to stem the tide of teeny tiny things and prevent a global apocalypse, we still need to learn about these things and how they may affect our little section of the world. The good news is there are some things we can do as individuals to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and hopefully make some impact on our world.
Teeny Tiny Thing #1: Chemicals
Human ingenuity has created a plethora of artificial, microscopic compounds that can kill, preserve, color, and enhance through medicine, food, household products, personal products, and so much more. The world was horrified this week with the use of chemical weapons in Syria. At the same time, many chemicals are quite benign… or are they? Most of the chemicals in use today, about 84,000 total, have not been tested for toxicity or carcinogenic properties. Personally, I prefer to avoid chemicals altogether. It just seems to me that eating, breathing and drinking chemicals of any kind is not something our bodies can and should be expected to handle to the degree that we ask them to. My advice to you is eat, drink, and breathe as cleanly as you can, avoiding smoking, unnatural household cleaners, and artificial ingredients in your food and personal care products. We cannot avoid chemicals completely, but reducing our exposure will have a positive impact on our health and environment.
Teeny Tiny Thing #2: GMO’s
Genetically Modified Organisms – Are they the solution to world hunger? Can they eradicate diseases? Can they save animals from extinction? Yes, if you believe the companies working hard to alter the structure of DNA. Yes, if you continue to let the well-funded politicians turn a blind eye. Maybe yes, but at what cost? GMO’s are being banned in countries all over the world, but in the U.S., they are embraced as the scientific solution to many problems. Even if studies showing massive tumor production in rats fed GMO’s are wrong, it absolutely scares me that people think they know what they are doing with the DNA sequence and what the ultimate ramifications of altering it will be. The genome sequence is not a static thing. How genes get turned on and off, and even how they affect adjacent genes and why they sit where they do in the sequence, is not completely understood. And yet we are messing with it based on the end results. Although mutations do occur in nature, natural mutations are usually selected out in natural selection, i.e. they are not beneficial to the species. Humans are creating mutations through GMO’s that are also selected out. They must keep enforcing the mutation. I say, let’s stop this madness and let nature rule. In the meantime, educate yourself about the plants and animals being genetically modified and avoid using/eating them. I’ll get you started. The top two are corn and soy. Go organic.
Teeny Tiny Thing #3: Pathogens
From the beginning of complex life, viruses, bacterium, and parasites have killed millions and continue to plague the earth. Amazing advances in treatment have saved millions, but the fear of an antibiotic apocalypse looms. The truth is we don’t know when the next “superbug” will mutate, defy attempts at treatment, and become the next Black Plague, reducing human population to a fraction. Even if a pathogen does not kill you, it can still make your life miserable for a while or even for the rest of your life. As they say, the best medicine is prevention, so I recommend a lifestyle that supports your natural immune system. Get plenty of exercise and sleep, eat real food (not processed), consume probiotics (through fermented foods is best), promote vitamin D production through sun exposure, and avoid unnecessary antibiotic use. Or you can just hope the medical community stays ahead of things.
Teeny Tiny Thing #4: Microplastics
Oh, dear. What are microplastics, and why should we be concerned? Plastic is one of those “benign” things created by humans to make our lives better. Ha. They leach chemicals into our food and drinks, and they off gas chemicals into the air that affect our endocrine systems. But all that aside, plastics never truly break down, i.e. they are not earth-friendly. They end up in landfills and pollute the oceans, eventually breaking down into miniscule particles… microplastics. Then they don’t cause any problems, right? Wrong. They are consumed by many organisms, especially oceanic creatures, accumulating in their bodies, causing health problems, reducing buoyancy in marine life, acting as vectors for disease, disrupting ecosystems, and sometimes causing death by malnutrition. As these microplastics work their way through the food chain, don’t think it won’t affect you. Think about that next time you have a tuna melt. Sadly, humans are the very cause of this microplastic apocalypse. Please reduce your plastic “footprint.” And I’m not just talking about your plastic grocery bags (although those are very very bad). Microplastics come from clothing, cosmetics, medicines, and much more. Do a little research and come up with some plastics you can live without.
Teeny Tiny Thing #5: Nanobots
Surely, we are in no danger of a nanobot apocalypse! Think again. Remember those scientists working on GMO’s, messing with DNA that we don’t fully understand? Well, now we have scientists planning on saving the world with nanobots. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Mini robots that will be injected into living creatures, mainly humans, to attack cancer, conduct internal surgery, kill pathogens (yay, we don’t have to support our immune systems with all that hard work of a healthy lifestyle!), and generally fix all that ails us. What happens when they malfunction and start targeting healthy tissue? Add artificial intelligence into the mix, and we run the risk that the nanobots will decide to do something on their own. Of course, they will be designed to make advantageous (for us) decisions, but will we lose control of our creation? Furthermore, nanobots won’t leave when they’re done. They’ll stay in there, move from organism to organism through ingestion and bodily fluid exchange, and eventually they will be found in every organism on earth, doing who knows what. We may not be in immediate danger of a nanobot apocalypse, but be wary when your doctor informs you of this great new clinical study for your gerd.
I hope I didn’t scare you too much – just enough to take some action. We really need to take these threats seriously, because unchecked, they absolutely will eventually lead to drastic consequences for life on earth.