The Fear of Growing Up

The information we need is out there.

If there is something positive to the media at our fingertips nowadays, it is that they can be employed to seek out facts. One of those facts is that Christ was not born 2022 years ago, nor was he born in December. Another fact is that the human race has been around for millennia, so why are we celebrating 2022?

The decision of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government to no longer have Friday off was taken to make the country more business-friendly, as was the decision to celebrate Christmas and New Year by our ancestors, whoever they were, Western or Eastern. Business is business.

Business depends on people like you and me, and people like you and me, according to scientific theory, are supposed to be among those who have been naturally selected to survive over the years. Those of us who will have a chance to celebrate 2022 this year have survived Covid-19, mental and physical health problems, regional conflicts and wars, poverty, and hunger. But will we survive global warming?

We do not need to be scientists to think for ourselves, to look up the information we need to make choices in life. But many of us choose to do business, and not all choices are business-friendly. For business’ sake we believe that technology will save the day, and for business’ sake we refuse to think that maybe, just maybe, we could be wrong.

The fact is that history is replete with stories of civilizations which thought they were invincible. Ancient Egyptians thought they were embalming themselves for the next life, but unfortunately for them, their bodies (along with their prized possessions) have been exhumed from the journey.

If we dig deeper into human history, we will realize how 2022 is trivial. We are much older than that but maybe we are afraid to acknowledge this fact.

You will not find “the greatest showcase of human brilliance and achievement” at Expo 2020 in Dubai because basic knowledge of chemistry should have led us to understand that the metal salts and explosives in the planned New Year “celebratory” fireworks undergo chemical reactions which add dangerous gases and aerosols to the atmosphere and release greenhouse gases.

A single fireworks celebration can result in a 120 times increase in strontium in our air. Strontium, a heavy metal used to produce the bright red colors in fireworks, has been linked to many serious health consequences, including birth defects, damaged bone marrow, inhibited bone growth, anemia and impaired blood clotting.

The UAE news outlets, whose reporters have yet to acknowledge our existence in spite of us reaching out them, have reported on the scheduled fireworks and predicted rain this weekend. One newspaper in particular, The National, has reported on both in the same article, and included a call by the authorities on the public to “celebrate safely”.

The environmental impact of fireworks emissions are not confined to the air, pollutants travel far from their origin and are washed out of the air by rainfall to accumulate in, and pollute local water bodies. Happy New Year.

For more on a fireworks free new year check out ahlanwasahlan.org/2022.

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ahlanwasahlan.org

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