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
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
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.
SO, IS TRUTH STRANGER THAN FICTION? My answer is NO.
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
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
edit on 24-3-2013 by ibiubu because: (no reason given)
edit on 24-3-2013 by ibiubu because: