Millennium Post

Debris of science

Even as the loss of Malaysian Airline flight MH370 is one of human tragedy, it hides behind another equally pressing problem. That of the growing burden of debris from space and aviation industries, which is crippling marine, freshwater and aerial ecosystems. As planes, aircraft, rockets and satellites break up mid-air or in the upper atmosphere and fall back on earth, mostly lost in the belly of the ocean or crashing on to grasslands, remote corners of equatorial forests or arid, desert lands, they irrevocably damage the habitats and bring in their heels extreme, non-biodegradable pollutants. By announcing that MH370 went down in the southern parts of Indian Ocean, the Malaysian government might have attempted to wash its hands of the difficult situation and give the tragedy the semblance of closure, but it has also pointed out the absolute disregard for oceanic habitat and the marine creatures whose lives have been compromised, indeed threatened, by the rude intrusion. In fact, naval vessels, cargoes, overhead flying machines such as planes, choppers, as well as human activities such as indiscriminate fishing, seabed mining and oil rigging or drilling have all severely upset the delicate balance of nature needed for optimum survival conditions. Thousands of aquatic species have been rendered extinct, thanks to human encroachment, water pollution because of incidents like industrial oil slick, which have cumulatively changed the pH level of seawaters or deposited thick layer of oil on the surface, cutting off air and choking the sea creatures to death.

Space and aviation debris is the icing on the cake of science junk endangering lives of earthly inhabitants, including human beings. The race to develop ever new ammunitions, weapons, carriers and fuel to sustain the military-industrial complex has further aggravated the situation, plunging the ecological indicators to their lowest ever. Space trash is crowding up the upper atmosphere and Earth now is being orbited by a cloud of junk from old and run-out rockets and satellites, jeopardising new ones on air as well as disastrously interfering with Earth’s electromagnetic field, in turn affecting birds on flight. High-flying trash, aircraft remains, rocket debris and other itemised deposit can very well keep the scientific community on its toes for a long time before it comes up with a feasible solution to deal with the growing menace.
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