The Oder river in Poland has died and is poisoning millions

Poland has been fining its industries a whopping $100 a year while turning a blind eye and keeping things quiet as they literally destroy all wildlife and poison the humans that live along the Oder. Mercury levels are so high they’re quite literally off the scale.

Saw this on Reddit. Just horrifying. Humans are scum.

As I age, I’m definitely shading over into misanthropy. There never seems to be much reason to think well of humans, except for music.

Maybe that was our entire purpose…the universe needed some good music. Now we’ve given it a body of work, and we’re no longer necessary.

Me too. The Matrix dudes were right. Humans are a virus. If we didn’t have to keeping fighting Fascists and cared for one another and this planet without prejudice, and eliminated greed as the driving force of life, I would think much better about the human race.

Some of the blame has to go to Moscow, as the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe created an environmental disaster of epic proportions from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Of course, plain old greed is part of it too, but the challenges of building a post-Soviet economy in a deeply conservative culture probably didn’t help.

What? The Soviet Union collapsed over thirty years ago. They didn’t time travel to dump a ton of mercury into the river, which it sounds like from that thread is what happened.

Environmental degradation like that doesn’t happen over night. The cultural norms that resulted in the mercury dumping are a part of the legacy of fifty years of Soviet occupation, where the Russians treated all of occupied Europe as their dumping ground and where the local societies had little choice but to plod along with outdated and dangerous industrial practices.

Not saying the Poles today aren’t to blame as well; of course they are, But then, too, after the fall of the USSR the perceived need to catch up to the West no doubt drove a lot of corner-cutting.

tl;dr the historical context helps explain why an otherwise sensible and modern nation like today’s Poland (ok mostly modern and sensible) did stuff like this.