Sometimes, being human depresses me. There’s so much that needs fixing. Not just climate change. Not just animal extinction. No single thing. It’s many things and mainly …

It’s us. People. 

Small canal along a mill on the Mumford.

Mumford River

We’ve poisoned the oceans and many of our rivers. Here in New England, the very first massively polluted river was our own Blackstone. From Worcester to Slatersville, Rhode Island, we built mills. Cotton and wool. Dye and weaving. Tanneries. We built dams and behind those dams were — and still are — tons and tons of hazardous waste. If you think pollution is a 20th century problem, it isn’t.

Dust bowl storm

The huge Black Sunday storm – the worst storm of the decade-long Dust Bowl in the southern Plains – as it approaches Ulysses, Kansas, April 14, 1935. Daylight turned to total blackness in mid-afternoon.

We’ve been poisoning our planet for hundreds of years and we aren’t done yet. It’s the reason we can’t remove many of the dams on the Blackstone. Removing dams would release massive amounts of poisoned earth into the rivers, effectively undoing decades of effort put into cleaning the river.

Egret and garbage in waterCalifornia has mudslides and perhaps has always had them … but I’m pretty sure all the building on the cliffs has weakened many areas. Trees and grass hold the earth and when you remove the trees and the grasses, the earth falls apart. There’s nothing to hold it.

We have built houses practically in the water. Destroyed the dunes where the birds nested. We drive dune buggies through fragile shoreline. It kills the birds, their nests, and adds more pollution.

Water trash MexicoThe ocean is full of floating plastic garbage and worse.

If climate change were our only problem, that would probably be an improvement. But we are still drilling and creating trash as if there’s a giant hole where we can put all of our garbage. With President Shithead in power, there will be more drilling, more exploding oil rigs. More tons of oil pouring into what were healthy waters full of fish and plants. Not all that long ago, George’s Banks was the breeding ground for north Atlantic fish … and now, it has been fished out. It will be years — if left in peace — before the fish begin breeding again.

Roaring Dam

Fishermen were warned repeatedly. You can’t fish forever and without giving the fish a chance to breed and grow to full size. But they all said they couldn’t afford to not fish there … and now, no one can fish there. Smart, right?

The Sahara is a manmade desert. We managed to do this in prehistoric times , long years before modern times.

Not every change in the earth is the result of climate change. A lot of what is wrong with the world is us. Humans. Digging and drilling and killing. Plowing grassland until it becomes a dust-bowl.

mudslide California January 2018

So don’t fear that climate change is the only terrible thing occurring in our world. We are capable of far more destruction than that. We’ve got lots more garbage and filth to spread around.

Before we’re done, we can totally trash the planet. I have faith in us.

Categories: climate, climate change, Dams and Waterfalls, Ecology, New England, Photography, Water

Tags: , , , , , ,

37 replies

  1. There’ just so much garage around.


  2. What a depressing subject! let’s order out — Pizza with anchovies!


  3. Sad state of affairs, for sure.


  4. The area where I live used to be called “Utah’s Fruit Way” because of all the orchards and fruit/veggie stands along US 89. Now there are two stands left and most of the orchards have been plowed under so some idiot farmer can get rich by selling to developers. Houses and more houses dot the landscape. Strip malls and big box stores are popping up everywhere. I live next to the mountains in Northern Utah (literally) and I’m watching my own housing development creep up the face of those majestic peaks. I’m glad to be in the valley, because as you said, if you remove the vegetation to put up buildings, landslides occur. Nothing to hold the soil together. Here earthquakes are the big threat, and I don’t envy those palatial home owners on the mountain. Because with a good quake, they’ll all be so much dust and rubble, probably dumped down on my own home. Man is stupid. You can’t fix stupid. You can’t stop greed and avarice. We’ll kill ourselves over something we can’t even eat.


    • When I lived in Israel, they put up a bunch of beautiful buildings on the slopes of the mountains of Safed. They are more or less the foothills of the Golon. They were selling for very short money when they first went up and they had incredible views of the Sea of Galilee (the Kinneret) below. But you know, ALL of Israel and Jordan are on a very active earthquake fault. Safed (pro: tsvat) has been flattened by quakes, as recently as the 1930s. Those building were doomed.

      The buildings didn’t wait for the quakes. They were so poorly designed that the winter rains made them literally fall apart. Cheesy prefabs. The rain-facing side of the buildings peeled away from the rest of the construction and fell into the gorge. Talk about a great view: THAT was some view, what with no wall.

      Men are stupid. But even stupid ought to be able to learn from experience … or am I not giving stupid enough credit?


  5. Oh, don’t worry, the Earth has many ways of hitting the reset button and putting things to right. Whether we humans will survive that reset… well that’s another matter entirely. Stupid humans (I refuse to be lumped in with them because *I’m* not doing these things) won’t destroy the planet itself, but they’re doing a damned good job of making it inhospitable for human habitation.


    • I am positive the cockroaches will survive. I’m not sure about the other creatures. But earth will reset — as long as we don’t strip away the atmosphere. As long as we leave something with which to rebuilt.


  6. And now, there are just simply too many of us…..


  7. Reblogged this on From Sandy Knob and commented:
    Prime ways we have messed, indeed destroyed “our nest.” Great pictorial evidence in this one… SAD.


  8. Just to up the ante a little – what we’ve done to other people’s countries as well as to our own we are well on the way to doing to our single, shared air supply and our oceans and have nearly done to the ‘final’ frontier’ – Space.

    There is already so much space junk orbiting our planet and now New Frigging Zealand is starting to send up multiple mini satellites at a time at a much cheaper cost than NASA can, joining India and China beside Russia and the USA in the race to pile yet more circling bits of rubbish around our planet.

    By the time we are ready to start sending our populations off world to ensure our continuing survival as a species there may well be no safe way to get a manned craft through all the debris without it being hit by millions of high speed particles, or large objects, punching holes through it. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Some days are darker than others. I sincerely hope that’s true and that the days aren’t just getting progressively bleaker. I’m a pessimist by nature, inclination, and a certain distrust that comes from suspecting Pollyanna people to be from another planet…or cyborgs, or something equally alien, but even I hope that we can change. I hope it for myself. For the world. That said, I do not disagree with you.


    • We (humans) seem to be doomed to “one step forward, one and half backwards.” We clean up some litter, then decide to frack the earth. We are greed incarnate and until we discover that no one actually needs to get continuously richer, that there IS such a thing as “enough,” the world will keep paying. I just hope we give it up before the earth gives up on us.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Personally, I am planning on riding a nuclear rocket to the end-of-the-world party. I’ll be wearing a bandana, waving my cowboy hat and whopping it up all the way down.

        *Now we find out how many young people know about black and white films like Dr. Strangelove.*


  10. I do agree, like is such an inappropriate sentiment. You nailed it and I agree with you. It’s no better here it may just take us a bit longer to totally trash the place.


    • You live in “fragile water country,” so if you get it right, you can trash it much faster than you think. I’ve been watching the planet turn to grunge since before the first “earth day.” I’m not seeing all that much progress.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. There needs to be a button for “I can’t like what you’re saying while totally agreeing with you.” But I guess that’s what this little box is for. I’ve given up on the news — much to the Big T’s relief, since i’ve now stopped shouting at the TV 😀


  12. Well said. You’ve nailed us. And we think so much of ourselves while we’ve been busy with all this mass-destruction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And people who really should know better somehow “forget” about anything environmental as soon as it’s convenient. I get so depressed just looking around at all the garbage along the roads and the rivers. Are we incapable of learning? Because it sure looks like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. A very ironic act, pushing “like” on this one, Marilyn.

    Liked by 1 person

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