Pollution Leads to a Dystopian Future

Pollution Leads to a Dystopian Future

Is this issue really worth ignoring and pretending it doesn't exist?
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Where are we now?

It started in the year 2016 within small fishermen towns, and worked its way through the food chain to our big cities. Now, nearly 200 years later the hospitals are over populated because every week about 100 people go in trying to find help for cataracts, cancer, asthma, heart disease, and even anemia due to radioactive water. Our streams, rivers, and oceans are painted with images of dead fish and other organisms. The pollution was minimal in the beginning, until people started taking advantage of the different bodies of water on our planet. The effects are irreversible and our world is going extinct one ecosystem at a time. No one paid notice to what was going on with our planet until the problem had arrived.

As our water supply worsened, humans finally started paying attention and did everything they could to fix the issue. Companies brought in big machines to clean the water, but that couldn’t help the already contaminated fish. In the midst of fixing one issue, humanity created a new problem. These big machines introduced a silent killer into our air supply. Babies and small children grew up with hazardous greenhouse gasses wheezing through their lungs.

How did we get here?

In an effort to find the cheapest and most effective energy source, we compromised our clean Earth. The process of drilling into the ground and flushing the shale rock with high pressurized chemical fluids in order to release natural gas is called hydraulic fracturing. This led to disposing harmful carcinogens like benzene and ethylene glycol in our water supply, but that was okay in this time period because we didn’t suffer immediate repercussions. It wasn’t until a few years later we began seeing the negative effects of hydraulic fracturing. There was speculation that people in nearby towns reportedly could light their water on fire due to the amount of methane and other combustible chemicals in the drinking water.

Drinking water wasn’t the only way people were infected with deadly chemicals. Fisherman towns were some of the first to flourish and first to perish. The fish and other organisms were infested with chemicals found in the different bodies of water, almost like parasites in need of a host to survive and thrive off. The smaller contaminated fish were eaten by larger fish, which caused a higher amount of chemical contamination in the larger fish. This process is called bioaccumulation, and the harmful substances travel up the food chain infecting everything. This isn’t to say that someone would have to eat something directly contaminated by the chemicals in order to get infected. If a bear ate several contaminated fish, that bear now has fracturing chemicals running through its veins. Let’s say a hunter shot the bear for meat, cooked it up, and ate the food; now this person is infected. Humans ignored the warnings for so long until they got sick from eating fish and other animals contaminated by these chemicals and started dying off.

It didn’t end there. After people realized what was happening, it was too late for the oceans, rivers, streams, and animals that had been exposed. Fracturing companies tried putting the contaminated water in steel evaporators in an effort to boil the water away. After this, other companies brought in desalination machines to clean the contaminated water through the processes of distillation and membrane separation. Traditionally, desalination machines were known to take the salt out of water so people could drink it, but that’s not the case here. These machines have adapted to separate the clean water from harsh chemicals. The liquid is heated to a point where the clean water evaporates and then condenses before being collected. The leftover chemicals pass through a hydrophobic membrane separating it from the clean water. This process continues until all the water is cleaned and tested.

Although this seemed like a great solution, the machines used to clean the contaminated water were giving off dangerous emissions, like greenhouse gasses. People breathed in these odorless gasses unknowing of the damage their bodies would face later in life. If this is hard to digest, picture air pollution as a stalker; they are always with you, following you, suffocating you. Stalkers take a mental toll on individuals, like air pollution harms the body. Now you can try and get rid of this stalker, but it won’t be easy. Restraining orders keep stalkers away, just as bills are passed to keep companies from polluting the air. Just like stalkers defy the restraining order, companies defy the air pollution bills and regulations, and with that comes consequences.

As each day passed, a new dark cloud would surface and loom over the heads of humanity, reminding us of where we went wrong. These clouds called smog were filled with the hazardous gasses from air pollution and blocked most of the sunlight. Plants began to die, and humans were suffering if not already dead from breathing conditions.

This was avoidable?

Had people known of the serious effects hydraulic fracturing caused, we may have escaped this dreaded fate. We became a society that underestimated the power pollution had over humanity and disregarded all the warning signs until it was too late. We could have avoided all the turmoil and heartache pollution put us through, but instead we wanted cheaper fuel and suffered the consequences. If given the opportunity, could you make a change? Would you take a stance? Knowing what the future holds can be scary, but it can open up peoples’ eyes to a world not yet seen.



For more information…

Key Issues in Seawater Desalination in California: Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions/

What Is Smog?

Bioaccumulation

Hydraulic Fracturing 101




Cover Image Credit: Lifehacker

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.

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There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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