The Desire to Pollute

Pollution is an aspect of life that goes unnoticed by most. It is everywhere, be it a smoke stack from a factory or a cigarette. It is easy to not recognize all of the ways that people pollute the world, but also themselves. After working on quitting smoking cigarettes (not a wholly successful adventure), I began to ponder how the billowing smoke rising from the top of the factory stacks was very similar to the cigarette in my hand. Both pollution and smoking cigarettes can be avoided. It would make most sense if these activities were not permitted. As a culture, we know the harms that can arise from both yet we still allow it to happen. Over time, as pollution increases, the health of our environment decreases, must like with smoking cigarettes. The more you smoke, the more your overall health and immune system decrease.

Both pollution and cigarettes are shocking similar in both cause and effect. In this case, the cause being the perception of needing/wanting something; the effect being the harm done from that action. It is quite interesting if one thinks about it this. As a society, we have become so accustomed to having “things”, and that without them, we refuse to believe that we can function. However, generations before us have lived without the technology we are afforded today, as well as the goods being produced from a factory (such as the one in the glitched image), or the cigarettes pursed between the lips of many.

Through this manipulated image, it is my hope that viewers begin to see how interrelated the world is. How even the most dissimilar things can actually be quite similar. How such a want-based society has actually confused “wants” with “needs”. The world is a very interesting place. Each day that the world spins, comes another advancement. Whether the advancement be in technology, social issues (such as gay marriage or the treatment of young Black men and women by police enforcement), or even climate protection (hello eco-friendly everything), nothing in this world ever stops. We are a universe of consistent progression, and through this progression comes a lot of power. It is my hope that we, as a society, will be able to better appreciate the things that we take for granted. That we will understand the magnitude of all that has been afforded to us, and that from this, we will better respect the world.

I am clearly guilty of disrespecting the world, as well as the environment, through my contribution to pollution. Yet, I, like everyone else, has the opportunity to change. Realizations like this can serve as the foundation for change. We, as a society, do not need to pollute the world in all the ways that we do. We just need to begin this process of reversing the damage done by first curbing our unnecessary wants. Just as pollution has gotten worse and worse over the years, from the implementation of many new technologies and such (things viewed as “needs”), we can fix this process by evaluating what is truly necessary to have in the world, versus what is just wanted.

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