Pollution in Our City
Once upon a time, simple country farmers dreamed of a better life and, wealth and sophistication came through technological developments and expansion of commerce and trade. Nowadays, we are living the dream of the past. However, most urban city dwellers could only dream of having a day off from work to have time for nature trips and escapades, hiking up the mountains, diving pristine waters, trekking across vast green meadows, or even living in a farm, in their longing to escape the toxic city life and polluted environment. And then, even these tourist spots for relaxation are becoming less and less lovely. The waters turned dark and the air turned into poison. In the future, when more cities multiply, sprawl, and reach heights, will there still be a place to breath and taste life’s goodness?
City life represents the desire to live more – more wealth, comfort, and erudition. People always want more out of life. To make more, we get more, often, without consideration about giving back to nature. As more and more new products come out into market, the more we buy, waste and throw out. Nature gives us good things, but we return the favors with ingratitude and harm. Nature is designed for sharing to all living things, but we take it all as if the Earth all belongs to us. We take its trees and oil deposits to fuel cars and to make plastics, we steal food from a wide host of animals and choke them to death with indigestible solid wastes and toxins.
Cities are areas of high population density. A place needs to reach a certain number of residents to be declared as a city. With high populations of people who have big desires, wants, and cravings, cities are areas of high wealth, high consumption and consequently, high output of wastes – so huge that it cannot be contained in the city and are rather thrown out into poorer areas and less populated zones.
The rich cities in rich developed countries can afford to throw their wastes as far into the other side of the world of developing countries. They also locate their high waste producing factories to countries where there is cheap labor – exploiting both the human resources and natural resources of the cities of poorer countries. The rich cities can afford advanced technology for processing waste but it takes about a decade before new technologies reach the lower ends of the market.
Environmental education and campaigns rise from here and there. Science research and technological inventions and innovations somehow promise hope. And yet, nobody still found the cure to the root of the problem – man’s desire to receive for the self alone – or maybe, there is already but mankind refuses to recover from its illness.
Would our fate really be like that of the yeasts in a flask, with a population growth curve that exponentially grows, reaches a peak and then declines into extinction, after they have used up the nutrients in the flask and their accumulated excreta poisoned them all? Is it how things naturally happen after all or can there really exist such a thing as sustainable development? Some people still dream of a greener planet, while some people dream of the red planet. Some believe the Earth can be renewed, while some are on their way to go to Mars.
Development entails higher order, and by law of entropy, this creates disorder in the surroundings. However, mankind’s thirst for and expression of creativity cannot be stopped. Nevertheless, cities will wither and flourish as life learns to adapt to changes, and the Earth will go on turning.