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utterscrub t1_ixueunv wrote

Archeologists of the future will know us as the plastic people


Chukwuuzi t1_ixuxif1 wrote

If we dont go extinct


[deleted] t1_ixv5800 wrote

Who said they're human archaeologists?

It'd make an amazing discovery for them, though. A layer of freeze-thaw in the Antarctic ice sheet, contaminated with synthetic chemicals. It'd be utterly baffling, and after a few tens of thousands of years, our only legacy.


Metlman13 t1_ixvjd7p wrote

eh, we'd have satellites in geosynchronous orbit remaining there for many thousands to even millions of years still intact, you could even be able to spot them in the night sky. Thats actually one way you'd be able to know Earth previously had an advanced civilization: those satellites would appear as bright spots in the sky, but unlike all the other stars and planets, they would never move from their position.


[deleted] t1_ixvl5i2 wrote

Or, going by history, they'd just be explained away by religion. Given that all the easy-to-reach, high power density fuel sources have been depleted, it's not unreasonable to think the next civilisation may be stuck in the preindustrial era.

Also, geosynchronous orbits are only stable on short-ish time scales (tens to hundreds of years). When talking about tens of thousands or millions of years, you've got the perturbing forces of the Moon, the Sun, and the ellipsoid shape of the Earth all adding up. I'd be surprised if any of them are still up there by then.


CorruptCashew t1_ixvzl5z wrote

Our only legacy?

They's find gigantic dams, enormous mines, extreme concentration of materials etc. Some plastivmc would be a curiositt.


Old_comfy_shoes t1_ixvpvdm wrote

I don't think we will go extinct. But we will probably reduce in population by orders of magnitude.


TK-741 t1_ixx55g1 wrote

Hard to say, but yes, it’s very likely that it’s just a widespread collapse of civilization and severe reduction in quality of like equivalent to that of the Dark Ages for many, many generations.


RandomGuy1838 t1_ixvl1zr wrote

We will, but as baseline humans. No one (or collection of thoughts roaming the collective consciousness) will in their right mind wholly instantiate into a cancer prone fleshy golem which doesn't even have a sig.03 grade brain.


squidsquidsquid t1_ixv6s4j wrote

Always think about Octavia Butler's "Adulthood Rites" when I read these stories.


ASolarPunk t1_ixw6uj1 wrote

Xenogenesis is such a great series. I liked that the the Ooankali immediately recognized it as poison, and wondered why we used it for everything. I also liked some of the humans saying we knew using plastic was bad, and some saying we didn’t.


bagofodour t1_ixwcx11 wrote

Bold of you to assume there is that far of a future.


utterscrub t1_ixwdcf0 wrote

This is hundreds of thousands of years in the future when, I assume, the jellyfish people will have gained sentience.


EscapeVelocity83 t1_ixwxroj wrote

I'm about to live twice as long as most people who existed before 1700


Wagamaga OP t1_ixu4cbd wrote

As nations prepare to meet in Uruguay to negotiate a new Global Plastics Treaty, a new study has revealed the discovery of synthetic plastic fibres in air, seawater, sediment and sea ice sampled in the Antarctic Weddell Sea. The field research was carried out by scientists from the University of Oxford and Nekton (a not-for-profit research institute) during an expedition to discover Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance. The results are published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

Fibrous polyesters, primarily from textiles, were found in all samples. The majority of microplastic fibres identified were found in the Antarctic air samples, revealing that Antarctic animals and seabirds could be breathing them. ‘The issue of microplastic fibres is also an airborne problem reaching even the last remaining pristine environments on our planet’, stated co-author Lucy Woodall, a Professor in the University of Oxford’s Department of Biology and Principal Scientist at Nekton. ‘Synthetic fibres are the most prevalent form of microplastic pollution globally and tackling this issue must be at the heart of the Plastic Treaty negotiations.’ Professor Woodall was the first to reveal the prevalence of plastic in the deep sea in 2014.


Amorougen t1_ixunpir wrote

Coal soot, radioactive particles, heat waves, plastic microfibers - what else do we have in store for Antarctica and the Arctic as well?


closetcowboy t1_ixux12h wrote

Wait till they get their first Walmart then the people will be upset.


futureshocked2050 t1_ixuzoa1 wrote

We need a ban on microfiber textiles (other than for specialty, work, hiking or camping gear) asap. We're choking on fast fashion.


AntiFacistBossBitch t1_ixwfewa wrote

There are filters for washing machines and all washing machines need to have them fitted.


futureshocked2050 t1_ixwgpy1 wrote

This is great to know; only thing is that this stuff kind of keeps making it around the world ya know?

When you throw clothes out (Goodwill etc), they often end up in African re-sale markets so yeah even though you've done your due diligence, these get 'recycled' to places where they can't necessarily do that.


blueheartsadness t1_ixw7fyf wrote

No. We need a ban on ALL microfibers and ALL plastic and fossil fuels. Period.


TK-741 t1_ixx61s3 wrote

You’re not completely wrong but there’s no way to achieve it… so ultimately it isn’t really what we need. Our society would come crashing down around us.

What we need now is a million different initiatives that we can apply in a piece-wise manner to collectively mitigate the effects of what is coming, while also minimizing our ongoing environmental impact as much as possible as we transition to more sustainable technologies and practices. No single solution will work across different places and communities, and not everyone will work together for the sake of the group, so we need to work around those complexities with adaptable solutions.

It’s an impossible problem to solve that we’re running out of time on, and while your perspective isn’t technically wrong, it’s far from constructive.


blueheartsadness t1_ixxera6 wrote

There IS a way to achieve it, and society will not come crashing down. We don't have to ban all plastics at the same time. We can do it one step at a time, over a period of time. Then replace it all with alternatives. Bioplastics, which are completely biodegradable and function just like real plastic, can be used instead. We don't need fossil fuels anymore. It can all be replaced by alternatives.


AnAwkwardWhince t1_ixvdfis wrote

Billionaires and stockholders don't gaf.


existentialzebra t1_ixvo9wp wrote

Are we ALL going to have lung cancer in 20 years?


WoodenKeratinocyte t1_ixwmxwb wrote

So far, no evidence that's it's harmful to human health. Luckily most plastics are inert.

That doesn't mean it's not concerning though.


TK-741 t1_ixx5emu wrote

No evidence because it’s only really become a widespread thing in the last few years. 20 years from now we’ll be able to look at what’s going on and say “yeah this micro-plastics stuff causes cancer”


ethanwc t1_ixxxs29 wrote

Are you saying evidence of microplastics or micro plastic in general? I’m sure it’s been around for decades.


amcman15 t1_ixxr6wq wrote

Yea, if it causes cancer. As concerned as the next person about microplastics but just because the science would be reactive rather than proactive doesn't automatically mean it's cancerous.


DrBrisha t1_ixuwrx4 wrote

Thousands of years from now They’ll be able to date us by the amount of micro plastics in our remains.


idigclams t1_ixv77xx wrote

It’ll be a good technique for dating archeological finds. Before Plastic or After Plastic.


small-iq t1_ixu8uiz wrote

If breathing in microfiber is bad for birds in the antarctic, I can only imagine how bad it is for all the people breathing them in directly for the last 2 years.


DoubleMakers t1_ixv9uk6 wrote

When I went on a cruise to Antarctica, we had to bring every piece of clothing we intended to wear on land to a large room where it was inspected and thoroughly vacuumed to remove any potential contaminants including seeds that may be trapped in Velcro closures. The day before we disembarked for our first shore excursion they brought in a large jar of all the crap they collected. Disgusting.


Melgibskin t1_ixvk81e wrote

Coke and Pepsi are the biggest contributors to plastics. Vote with your wallet and stop supporting these businesses


MacAttack2015 t1_ixwj11v wrote

Is this true? Should I just go Google?


bbhhteqwr t1_ixxjv51 wrote

100% true, Coca Cola was just recently named worst plastic polluter for sixth year in a row I believe


MacAttack2015 t1_ixxmw6i wrote

Makes sense, but yikes. Guess I’ll talk to the husband about buying from different brands then.


luckyhedron t1_ixxtpyr wrote

It is consumption altogether that is the problem. The writing on the wall that everyone refuses to see, the truth that always gets you labeled a doomsday cultist and a cynic, is that we are FUCKED. Your purchases at the grocery store do nothing to stop these things from being minted and then thrown in the dirt whether its bought up or not. This planet will cease to support life within your children or grandchildren's lifespans, and it will not recover until basically the face of the earth is remade through geological processes. And you can thank your grandparents for setting this all in motion. More people, does not mean more good in the world. The best thing any of us could do at this point is just die at a scale that is completely incomprehensible to any of us, and absolutely nobody is gonna vote 'yes' on that on a referendum, it's just human nature to not wanna die.


dwarfstar2054 t1_iy84sw2 wrote

It’s not just the grandparents. It’s capitalism. People go to the grocery store and they’re detached from the realities of what it takes to produce that product. It’s also propaganda. For decades they’ve said all you have to do is recycle and problem solved. Even though that’s not true and most people don’t anyways. There’s multiple angles to this. People have been set in their ways for decades and a lot don’t know any better or care to.


ALEX7DX t1_ixw16zv wrote

We really have fucked up this planet for ourselves and for countless future generations. Every one of us are responsible.


Capable_Law9463 t1_ixvu0t0 wrote

How is this shocking? Did we used to think that Antartica was isolated? Wth


MoominTheFirst t1_ixvbuyf wrote

By the time an alien probe in the future comes to our planet they’ll think the whole thing was man made.


KingRBPII t1_ixw0xi1 wrote

Breathing then in just like us!!!


EscapeVelocity83 t1_ixwxnlm wrote

I know I am..I don't worry. A few centuries ago, I'd have died 3 times by now and I couldn't have been born because my parents wouldn't have lived long enough to concieve


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DNA2020 t1_ixx9n47 wrote

Do they have low sperm count too?


[deleted] t1_ixyfqxn wrote

Scary stuff.

Proves beyond all reasonable doubt that recent industrial development has had a global impact.

If plastic production since the inception of the industry a little over a century ago can, then maybe every person on the planet on average producing seven tonnes of carbon dioxide every year also can.