Can you imagine a world without pollution?

August 14, 2022 by Joshua
in Nature

Can you imagine a world without pollution?

Seriously try.

Most people I’ve asked recently have been unable to.

I don’t think before my recent experiments and reading of history and anthropology that I could have, yet all humans lived without polluting more than a few hundred years ago. We’ve lost the ability to imagine what happened. I can’t imagine a world without pollution if we continue seeking it with more technology.


Exercise to the reader: try to imagine a world in which nobody pollutes. Not net zero carbon emissions, no pollution at all. Things that existed before humans don’t count as pollution, like fire, lead pipes, and poop. Note that thousands of years ago, cities existed with over a million people that got all they needed in and all their waste out, usually to become soil. We can’t get all our waste out today and what we do get out is becoming the largest structures humans have ever created: our landfills leaching poisons into our land, air, and water.

If we don’t stop that pollution but instead each of us contributes, it will grow without bound. I don’t see how we can avoid concluding that the right amount of pollution per person is zero. Not a little that someone else cleans up, but zero. How else can we avoid it growing without bound, much of it taking centuries to millennia to stop becoming poisonous.

Try to imagine a world where nobody pollutes. If you can’t, doesn’t that mean that every new day will be overall worse than the day before? If so, what do you have to live for?

I can imagine a world in which nobody pollutes. I’m over ninety percent there myself, and that’s living in arguably the most polluting culture in history. If you can’t imagine a world without pollution, I recommend you follow me. I’m not just polluting less myself, not just reducing pollution overall. As far as I can tell, I’m leading us to the only future I know of without growing pollution without bound. Most people can’t even imagine it. I’m close to living it and having a blast on the way.

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1 response to “Can you imagine a world without pollution?

  1. Pingback: Abraham Lincoln, sustainability, and the “King’s Solution”: the Thirteenth Amendment » Joshua Spodek

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