Fixation on climate change has blinded us to a deadly chemical tsunami

Nov 9, 2021
coal plant
(Image: Unsplash)

Humanity’s chemical emissions are poisoning the earth and killing 25,000 people a day — and pose as much of an existential threat as global warming.

Our current preoccupation with climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic leaves our human world largely disengaged from other threats to our future that have been examined in a series of important books by Canberra science writer Julian Cribb.

Cribb’s most recent book, Earth Detox: How and Why We Must Clean Up Our Planet (Cambridge University Press), demands to be read and considered by policymakers everywhere. Professor Ian Lowe of Griffith University says:

“Future generations will see this book as the 21st century equivalent of Rachel Carson’s 1960s classic Silent Spring. It documents in frightening detail how manufactured chemicals are poisoning us and the earth’s natural systems. Every day about a kilogram of chemicals are produced for you and for every other human. About 25,000 people will die today from the effects of these chemicals. Read it and be empowered to help turn back the chemical tsunami which is drowning us all.”

And Paul Ehrlich, head of the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere at Stanford University, says Earth Detox shows that humanity’s chemical emissions pose a threat to civilisation on the same scale as climate disruption— killing more people every year now than any war in human history. From a bedrock of hard scientific evidence, he shows the way for urgent global action to stem this colossal menace to our future.

Other Australian experts in this field, notably professors Ravi Naidu in Newcastle and Alf Poulos in Adelaide, have confirmed Cribb’s analysis of the seriousness of the chemical toxicity problem, which is being inadequately addressed by societies everywhere. Perhaps the scariest point in the book is Cribb’s summary of the evidence that human intelligence is declining, almost certainly as a consequence of the widespread chemical impact on human brains.

As we emerge from the effects of the pandemic and confront the seriousness of climate change, it is also essential that we recognise the need to tackle the other threats that Cribb has documented in his book Surviving the 21st Century. Earth Detox makes it clear that every human on earth is being deeply and systematically poisoned and that governments are largely ignoring the problem. At the very least, governments everywhere should establish inquiries into the seriousness and reversibility of the damage that the chemical tsunami is inflicting on all of us, and will inflict on our descendants.

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