When Garth Lenz’s in “The True Cost Of Oil” began speaking of toxins from tar sands being dumped into the ponds of British Columbia I began to feel very uneasy. The fact that these awful chemicals are entering our food chain and reaching the bodies of human beings frightens me. These toxins are causing an increase in cancer in Canada which only proves that we, humans, are harming ourselves and are fully unwilling to admit it in order to end our tar sands mining activities and thus environmental destruction.
Lenz’s anecdote about the aboriginal communities having to eat the toxin-infested fish from the rivers left me in disbelief. I was shocked to hear that these people had no choice but to continue eating foods that they knew would ensue cancerous complications. This only enforces the fact that a large part of the world population is already unable to avoid pollution and that it must prioritize immediate survival over long term comfort.
I’ve often times heard people say that pollution and global warming are phenomena that only affect plants and animals, and that we are thus protected from it for the moment. However, we are now living in a time where the degradation of nature is affecting human beings directly. Environmental destruction is no longer a development that people can think of as an apocalyptic ending to the earth that will “eventually” happen after we die; it is affecting us now.