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The Last Gasp: Is Truth Really Stranger Than Fiction?

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posted on Mar, 24 2013 @ 03:27 PM
One the the first books that I ever read was "The Last Gasp". I was interested in science and it had a cool cover...

It came out in the 1983 and was re-published in 1990 in the UK. The author is Trevor Hoyle who is an admirer of Philip K. Dick. There were movie plans in the works, but they never materialized. The book is about a man-made apocalypse and is summarized in the following:

In The Last Gasp, British marine biologist Gavin Chase uncovers a potential global disaster in which the world is being drained of its oxygen supply as forests and oceanic microscopic plant life, the main suppliers of the planet's oxygen, dwindle away. When Chase and two other scientists attempt to notify the government and scientific community, they stumble upon a secret Russian-American plan to launch an "environmental war" in which three quarters of the earth's population would be exterminated in order to provide oxygen for the remaining population. Comparing Hoyle's writing to that of Aldous Huxley, Washington Post reviewer Carol Van Strum commented that, "The Last Gasp reads more like a documentary thriller than science fiction." She also noted that it was a "landmark in the emerging field of eco-fiction."

So, why am I posting this in the Fragile Earth Forum? The pollutant that causes the death of the microscopic plant life is dioxin. So what is Dioxin?

Dioxins and furans are some of the most toxic chemicals known to science. A draft report released for public comment in September 1994 by the US Environmental Protection Agency clearly describes dioxin as a serious public health threat. The public health impact of dioxin may rival the impact that DDT had on public health in the 1960's. According to the EPA report, not only does there appear to be no "safe" level of exposure to dioxin, but levels of dioxin and dioxin-like chemicals have been found in the general US population that are "at or near levels associated with adverse health effects."


As there are a myriad of theories about the environment and what is causing massive animal die-offs and human cancers, Dioxin and other Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP's) are often not considered. The EPA has this to say about POP's:

Some POPs have been used or released in Alaska and other northern regions by military sites, smelters, pulp and paper mills, power stations, mines, and other sources. Others have rarely or never been used locally.

POPs can enter Alaska and the Arctic in several ways, too. The first indication that Arctic pollution could originate elsewhere came during the 1950s, when pilots noticed a haze in the North American Arctic that was eventually traced to sources in the lower latitudes. Since then, scientists have discovered that POPs can reach Arctic regions via air, water, and, to a lesser extent, migratory species.


So what is the microscopic plant life that POP's are killing? In fact it is likely the phytoplankton - the one-celled plant life that produces 1/2 the world's oxygen. In the process, they consume carbon dioxide. Here's a link to National Geographic on these special little organisms.



It may be as simple as our own pollution/waste killing other living things in addition to causing more diseases in humans.

Has the accumulation of POP's resulted in a significant reduction of phytoplankton? Has this led to reduced levels of dissolved oxygen in our water causing massive die-offs of marine life? HMMM, something to think about. You wouldn't detect anything wrong with the animals since no evidence of POP's could be found.

Is the dramatic increase in cancer and other terminal diseases in the last 50 years a result of POP bioaccumulation in our food supply? Even the Inuit Indians in remote parts of Alaska have Dioxin in their food supply. If you eat today, chances are that you will consume a certain amount of Dioxin.

I'm still researching, but I thought that I would present this now as I would like to hear what other ATSers have to say about this. Thoughts? Comments? Please don't throw anything


ibiubu (Just for Clarification, it's an acronym, say each letter, I Be I You Be You, thanks)
edit on 24-3-2013 by ibiubu because: (no reason given)

edit on 24-3-2013 by ibiubu because: (no reason given)

edit on 24-3-2013 by ibiubu because: Clarification

posted on Mar, 24 2013 @ 04:20 PM
reply to post by ibiubu

Klebsiella Planticola.

Dioxin might be bad, but we came pretty close to smoking us all with that little guy.

posted on Mar, 24 2013 @ 04:26 PM
Very good evidence on ONE of the ways we are screwing up the environment. Add to this the concentrated chemistry coming from the sewage plants with their Pharmacutical drugs and unnatural concentrations of hormones that we pee out and things just start to unfold. It is the quantity of many chemicals that are considered non toxic that is the problem. S&F for your awareness. Welcome to the world of crazies, those who think that the environment of the world that supplies our foodchain is just as important as us.

posted on Mar, 24 2013 @ 04:43 PM
reply to post by watchitburn

Never heard about that one. Making "super" bacteria to eat things is quite similar to making pesticides that kill things, in principle that is. The type of approach that can and has in the past backfired. Thanks for the reply.
edit on 24-3-2013 by ibiubu because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 24 2013 @ 04:46 PM
reply to post by rickymouse

LOL part of the craziness! Certainly there are a host of factors involved with all environmental trends. Dioxin and other POP's are only part of the equation. I do believe that their impact is major. Thanks for the reply.

posted on Mar, 24 2013 @ 05:08 PM
PCB's and other POP's are the source of major clean up efforts on the Great Lakes. Here is a project that is happening very close to where I live.

Sheboygan River Legacy Act Cleanup

EPA is beginning a $30-35 million Great Lakes Legacy Act sediment removal project. About 160,000 cubic yards of sediment contaminated with PCBs and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, will be removed from the river. Workers will remove about 1,800 pounds of PCBs and 37,000 pounds of PAHs. Another benefit of the dredging will be greater depth in the Sheboygan River, improving navigation.

Sheboygan River Clean Up

Many rivers have been or are being dregded to remove POP's (namely PCB's). I fish the rivers and Lake Michigan. I'm very concerned that disturbing where the chemicals have settled will cause massive fish die-offs in Lake Michigan and the rivers that feed it.

edit on 24-3-2013 by ibiubu because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 24 2013 @ 06:34 PM
if there is any truth to this it could only be because the powers that be must know how to restart life on this planet. we need to do whatever it takes to stop them!

posted on Mar, 25 2013 @ 12:15 PM
reply to post by tinhattribunal

While the nefarious parts of the novel are quite interesting, it truly is not my point. I found it ironic that the novel happened to identify one of the most harmful pollutants ever created by man. This is a significant issue that is perhaps the greatest threat to all living things on this planet. The effects are subtle, and may take generations to manifest depending on the exposure level.

The following is more information on bioaccumulation that is started with phytoplankton...

Bioaccumulation is followed by biomagnification. Lipid soluble compounds are first accumulated to microscopic organisms such as phytoplankton (plankton of plant character, e.g. algae). Phytoplankton is consumed by animal plankton, this by invertebrates such as insects, these by small fish, and further by large fish and seals.

Likewise, in America, the populations of bald eagle declined because of POPs causing thinning of eggs and other reproductive problems.[47] Usually, the failure has been attributed mostly to DDT, but dioxins are also a possible cause of reproductive effects. Both in America and in Europe, many waterfowl have high concentrations of dioxins, but usually not high enough to disturb their reproductive success.[46][48] Due to supplementary winter feeding and other measures also, the white-tailed eagle is recovering (see White-tailed eagle). Also, ringed seals in the Baltic Sea are recovering.

And for us humans...

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified TCDD as a human carcinogen (class 1) on the basis of clear animal carcinogenicity and limited human data, but was not able to classify other dioxins.[21] It is thought that the presence of dioxin can accelerate the formation of tumours and adversely affect the normal mechanisms for inhibiting tumour growth, without actually instigating the carcinogenic event.

Dioxin and Dioxin-Like Compounds
edit on 25-3-2013 by ibiubu because: (no reason given)

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