I'm not sure how much time I have left. This morning I turned on the stove (electric) to boil some water for tea. Within about six minutes the room had filled with thick smoke, and I had not even noticed -neither did the smoke alarm until about thirty seconds later. Instead of the back burner, with the tea kettle, I had turned on the front burner by accident. On that front burner had fallen my plastic pasta strainer. (no more spaghetti for me this year)
This makes me wonder about two points.
1. How many POPs have I inhaled today? How many more can I take in before there are visible effects?
2. Even if there are no visible effects right now, is it because there is no effect, or because I have been slowly getting used to the negative effects of the persistent toxins in my body for my entire life.
3. (did I say two points?) It is amazing that I did not even notice all the smoke for SIX WHOLE MINUTES. By the time I smelled it, I looked up and the room was filled. If I had walked in the room at that moment from outside, I would have been overwhelmed. Luckily, some may say, humans are able to adapt to such changes if they happen gradually enough. But what is the difference between "adaptation" and "getting used to"? Why is all adaptation seen as a good thing even when it actually threatens our lives and health?
I wonder what it would feel like, or if I would notice a difference, if I suddenly moved from a body clean from persistent chemicals and heavy metals and their "minute" or "negligible" effects on my health and brain, into my current body -one that has been slowly collecting these toxins for thirty years. Although I don't "feel" or notice any of the effects now, does that mean there are none there? I wonder how smart I would be without a lifetime of brain-damaging pollutants having slowly built up.
Of course, next I could draw the old analogy between this and the greater environment, and how despite what science tells us, we somehow don't notice what is happening to the earth. I could talk about the frog who will sit calmly in the water as it is gradually raised to boiling, allowing himself to be cooked. I could show graphs and charts and numbers and figures and maps clearly showing the tremendous changes taking place in just the last half-century. But other people have all shown them, and they are consistently ignored because although it is happening so incredibly fast relative to history, it is happening too slowly relative to our own daily life for us to even notice... perhaps we feel as though we are "adapting".