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Thread: safest place on earth from pollution?

  1. #1 safest place on earth from pollution? 
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    Hey! I was just wondering where on earth is a place relatively [or the most] unaffected by atmospheric, ocean, etc., pollution. I don't need specifics, but things like 'an isolated island', 'someplace protected by winds', 'a mountain', etc. would be greatly appreciated. And in regards to the last one specifically, how safe are mountains [at an altitude that humans can still inhabit] from atmospheric pollution, especially in the case of a nuclear disaster [to avoid the fallout- can winds, depending on the location, shield the mountain ecosystems from radiation fallout?]


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    Quote Originally Posted by MrPiano View Post
    Hey! I was just wondering where on earth is a place relatively [or the most] unaffected by atmospheric, ocean, etc., pollution. I don't need specifics, but things like 'an isolated island', 'someplace protected by winds', 'a mountain', etc. would be greatly appreciated. And in regards to the last one specifically, how safe are mountains [at an altitude that humans can still inhabit] from atmospheric pollution, especially in the case of a nuclear disaster [to avoid the fallout- can winds, depending on the location, shield the mountain ecosystems from radiation fallout?]
    I am not an expert, but I have read quite a bit about pollution and I understand a bit about the physical processes. My impression is

    Nowhere.


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  4. #3  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Galapagos islands but people are not allowed to live there unless they are scientific researchers doing research, at least I think that's the rule.

    edit: nevermind apparently I was led astray by documentaries and primary school science teachers. according to wiki there is a human population of about 25,000 people there. so I think you are pretty screwed.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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    The following may be of interest because the purpose of the location is to safeguard the seed necessary for food crops from all eventualities.

    The Svalsgaard Doomsday Seed Vault
    Deep beneath the ice of a remote, arctic Norwegian island lies humanity’s last hope to restore agricultural production if any worst-case scenario ever happens. From climate change and nuclear winter to global pandemic and asteroid strikes, humankind has little trouble envisioning any number of catastrophes that could qualify as extinction-level events. But this seed bank now houses the genetic code for all of the critical crops we would need to reboot civilization.
    How secure it is? Well, here’s what I wrote about the Svalbard seed vault a few years ago.
    Physically, it is virtually impervious to disaster. Earthquakes, such as the 6.2 magnitude quake that struck nearby in February, cannot damage the underground bunker as its steel and reinforced concrete structure is even strong enough to withstand a direct nuclear strike to the mountain. Time, too, will cause minimal harm-Global Crop Diversity Trust’s executive director Cary Fowler expects the vault’s life span to rival the Great Pyramid of Giza.
    The vault uses a series of electric cooling units and enormous fans to maintain its constant zero-degree temperature. In the event of mechanical failure, however, its depth below the arctic permafrost would keep the vault cold enough to ensure adequate conservation for multiple years, even presuming the most drastic climate change-related temperature increases.
    Human-instigated sabotage is almost equally unlikely. The remoteness of Svalbard, a Norwegian island chain located about 600 miles from the North Pole, is one of the seed bank’s greatest safeguards. The closest community to the vault, Longyearbyen, has a population of 2,000, which easily makes the sparsely populated mining community the metropolis of the archipelago. By contrast, the islands are home to an estimated 3,000 polar bears, which if the armed security guards, steel doors, air locks and video surveillance all fail, can presumably provide a final line of defense against would-be trespassers.
    I think it’s safe to say that, no matter what, we’ll always have seeds.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    The more you avoid pollution the less likely you'll develop a resistance to some of it. We need to adapt to the pollution somewhat by letting our immune systems try to make things that will destroy or adapt to the pollution. By hiding away we won't ever get any resistance to anything.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    The more you avoid pollution the less likely you'll develop a resistance to some of it. We need to adapt to the pollution somewhat by letting our immune systems try to make things that will destroy or adapt to the pollution. By hiding away we won't ever get any resistance to anything.
    An interesting perspective, cosmic, but I'm not sure we will develop a resistance to nuclear fallout. I was more specifically addressing this comment from the OP:

    And in regards to the last one specifically, how safe are mountains [at an altitude that humans can still inhabit] from atmospheric pollution, especially in the case of a nuclear disaster [to avoid the fallout- can winds, depending on the location, shield the mountain ecosystems from radiation fallout?]
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  8. #7  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    You don't develop resistances to atmospheric particulates. We're not talking about viruses here.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Does anyone know if the winds around a typical mountain, at a relatively high altitude [but still inhabitable by mountain-dwelling humans] would or could [depending on the conditions- which could be?...] shield the mountain land by blowing away any radiation? Obviously, there is trace pollution near everywhere on the planet, but I'm looking more for a 'safe' zone on a mountain type thing, even if there is some minor pollution...
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrPiano View Post
    Does anyone know if the winds around a typical mountain, at a relatively high altitude [but still inhabitable by mountain-dwelling humans] would or could [depending on the conditions- which could be?...] shield the mountain land by blowing away any radiation? Obviously, there is trace pollution near everywhere on the planet, but I'm looking more for a 'safe' zone on a mountain type thing, even if there is some minor pollution...
    It is really going to depend on the source of the radiation and the prevailing winds in relation to that source. The radioactive plume from Japan reached across to North America, albeit at very low levels, but it gives you some idea of the distance that can be covered.

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  11. #10  
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    I reject the implied premise that all pollution is unsafe. Vast stretches of the planet still have relatively low and safe levels.
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  12. #11  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    This is what happens when you adapt to pollution lol



    I sometimes wonder why I was allowed to watch this stuff at the age of 6
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    An interesting perspective, cosmic, but I'm not sure we will develop a resistance to nuclear fallout.
    For some reason, cockroaches are amazingly unaffected by ionizing radiation, such as from fallout. Whether they developed this in response to zillions of years of cosmic ray bombardment, or just naturally showed up possessed of it, I cannot say. jocular
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    An interesting perspective, cosmic, but I'm not sure we will develop a resistance to nuclear fallout.
    For some reason, cockroaches are amazingly unaffected by ionizing radiation, such as from fallout. Whether they developed this in response to zillions of years of cosmic ray bombardment, or just naturally showed up possessed of it, I cannot say. jocular
    Cockroaches are much more resistant than humans to radiation except when their cells are dividing. Fruit flies and ants apparently have them beat in radiation tolerance.

    It is popularly suggested that cockroaches will "inherit the earth" if humanity destroys itself in a nuclear war. Cockroaches do indeed have a much higher radiation resistance than vertebrates, with the lethal dose perhaps six to 15 times that for humans. However, they are not exceptionally radiation-resistant compared to other insects, such as the fruit fly.[24]
    The cockroach's ability to withstand radiation better than human beings can be explained through the cell cycle. Cells are most vulnerable to the effects of radiation when they are dividing. A cockroach's cells divide only once each time it molts, which is weekly at most in a juvenile roach. Since not all cockroaches would be molting at the same time, many would be unaffected by an acute burst of radiation, but lingering radioactive fallout would still be harmful.
    Cockroach - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Radiation is measured in units called Grays. Doses as low as three to six Grays were fatal to humans in Hiroshima and Chernobyl. By comparison, some adult cockroaches have survived doses up to nine-hundred Grays! That’s more than 150 times the lethal dose for humans!Cockroaches Aren’t The Champs…But get this–cockroaches are radiation wimps compared to some other insects. Adult fruit flies have survived doses of 1600 Grays, and some ant species can handle doses up to 2250 Grays.
    Insects much more resistant to ionising radiation « nuclear-news
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  15. #14  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    The more you avoid pollution the less likely you'll develop a resistance to some of it. We need to adapt to the pollution somewhat by letting our immune systems try to make things that will destroy or adapt to the pollution. By hiding away we won't ever get any resistance to anything.
    An interesting perspective, cosmic, but I'm not sure we will develop a resistance to nuclear fallout. I was more specifically addressing this comment from the OP:

    And in regards to the last one specifically, how safe are mountains [at an altitude that humans can still inhabit] from atmospheric pollution, especially in the case of a nuclear disaster [to avoid the fallout- can winds, depending on the location, shield the mountain ecosystems from radiation fallout?]
    I only wanted to inject something about adaptation and having our immune systems try to develop things , like it does with certain types of allergies, so that we could possibly find natural ways to defeat some of the pollutant problems not all of them.
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  16. #15  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    There are numerous places round the world, including my back yard, which have very low levels of pollution. These low levels are, to all intents and purposes, equivalent to pollution-free zones, in that the small levels remaining will have no effect on human health.

    However, most of us are more badly harmed by a range of other factors, including lousy exercise, diet, too much smoking, drinking alcohol, poorly managed stress and so on. Get those things under control before you start worrying about the small amounts of pollution you are exposed to.
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  17. #16  
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    polution is too broad a catagory

    for hydrocarbon and co2 polution i'd bet on living in a forest(upwind of the nearest source)
    for nuclear, maybe a cave---mind your water supply, and food storage

    curious thing about the svalsgaard seed bank, how high above sea level is the floor of the vault?
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  18. #17  
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    I've taken it upon myself to make my home as filthy as possible. I discard all waste in my room, and sleep in my own filth. My children will also follow this suite. Then, once the pollution gets unbearable to most, we garbage people will rule the Earth!
    "MODERATOR NOTE : We don't entertain trolls here, not even in the trash can. Banned." -Markus Hanke
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  19. #18  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    I've taken it upon myself to make my home as filthy as possible. I discard all waste in my room, and sleep in my own filth. My children will also follow this suite. Then, once the pollution gets unbearable to most, we garbage people will rule the Earth!
    In my observation, such conduct is fairly typical of a subset of teenagers.

    Most of them eventually outgrow this phase and those that do not are not high on the selection scale of female breeding stock.

    If this were a successful strategy, you would long ago have become the ruling class.
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  20. #19  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    I've taken it upon myself to make my home as filthy as possible. I discard all waste in my room, and sleep in my own filth. My children will also follow this suite. Then, once the pollution gets unbearable to most, we garbage people will rule the Earth!
    In my observation, such conduct is fairly typical of a subset of teenagers.

    Most of them eventually outgrow this phase and those that do not are not high on the selection scale of female breeding stock.

    If this were a successful strategy, you would long ago have become the ruling class.
    There are growing numbers of female teenagers doing the same thing. And I have met many female gamers that live in similar conditions. They would likely not mind living in such conditions since it would allow them to not have to spend precious gaming time doing silly things like bathing or shaving their legs. Why do all that when you can create for yourself a hot sexy avatar to represent you in the virtual world of gaming?
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  21. #20  
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    My vote goes to nowhere
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  22. #21  
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    The only pollution free place on Earth is where every one uses cycle and employers are man instead of machine. And in this highly advanced technology world I think there is no place we can see together.
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  23. #22  
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    Antarctica was free from pollution. But was.
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  24. #23  
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    The worst pollution of antarctica is all that damned ice---feedbacks, etc and nothing grows there, where, once there were forests.
    Said to be caused by the circumpolar current, and it's location----------question: Would that change if the drake passage closed up again?
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  25. #24  
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    The latest New Scientist magazine has an article on life deep inside the Earth. That sounds to
    me like the only truly pollution free part of the biosphere, since everywhere with atmosphere has, at least, anthropogenic raised levels of carbon dioxide.
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  26. #25  
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    skeptic
    unless I'm wrong, you are referring to "extreemophiles"
    and
    while they do well there, and under thousands of years old ice, you might not find it so pleasant there

    give me a flowering meadow in the midst of a forest any day
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  27. #26  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Sculptor

    Of course they are extremophiles.
    The point I am making is that the search for an unpolluted part of the planet is futile.
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  28. #27  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Sculptor

    Of course they are extremophiles.
    The point I am making is that the search for an unpolluted part of the planet is futile.
    As is the presumption in the OP that trivial amounts of trace pollution are unsafe.
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  29. #28  
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    You are so right. Thanks for that.
    It always cheers me up to see good people like you expressing good science and rational thinking.
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