Toxic Air Might be Mutating Human DNA + 4 Other Horror Climate Stories

Welcome to
Extinction Update an environmental
alarm clock today we bring you five
stories of human stupidity fucking up
planet Earth like did you know there’s a wall
of shit covered wet wipes blocking the
London Thames? Or that MDMA
is killing trees? Or that human DNA could
be changing due to
air pollution? Our world is
being ruined by gross mistakes terrifying hubris and crazy people who flush used
condoms into the sea the dooms-day
clock is ticking but don’t freak out there’s still time
to save the world probably. In recent years, the coastal waters
of Barcelona have seen a major degradation with waves of trash
appearing in the sea causing a public health problem. I’m going to meet Ely who is
a paddle surf instructor, an environmentalist and member of
a sea cleaning brigade. This is disgusting. – If this plastic was binned correctly,
it could have been incinerated. So we just bumped into a diver. What’s the worst thing you’ve found? All of the crap from the sewers
comes down on me so there’s plastic, sanitary towels,
condoms. Everything we flush down the toilet. There are health
consequences, right? Especially E. coli
bacteria which can cause gastroenteritis,
ear infections, conjunctivitis, breathing problems and
serious infections. We spent 30 minutes in there
and this is how much rubbish we’ve
been able to collect. It’s really disgusting. You could see it everywhere
and it stank. Stop throwing condoms and sanitary
towels in the toilet. Just don’t. What’s happening is because of an outdated sewage
system in the city of Barcelona, so we end up with garbage from the
drains together with our wastewater. So we’re swimming in shit. Literally. We are swimming in shit, pee, and all the products
we throw down the toilet. Bleach, hydrochloric acid.
Everything we use for cleaning. And they’re products
that are toxic for humans. How does it affect
the environment? Marine fauna is dying. In our part of the Mediterranean,
you can’t even find posidonia, which is Mediterranean seagrass. We don’t have any type of seagrass. What can we do?
Both locals and tourists? What we can do is lead more
sustainable lives. On a global level, politicians and governments
should prohibit single-use plastic. And the EU should prohibit
flushing wastewater into the sea. It has to be an immediate change and for everyone. Globally every year one million seabirds
are killed by the six million tonnes
of trash dumped into
the world’s oceans. by 2050 there could be
more plastic in the ocean
than fish. A lot of people aren’t aware just
how bad the production of party
pingers is for the environment. This is only getting worse with MDMA
consumption going up around Europe and one kilogram of MDMA
producing between six to 10 times that amount into toxic waste. I’m in the Netherlands which is Europe’s biggest ecstasy
and MDMA producer. Here in the southern region of Brabant
drug gangs are dumping toxic waste of illegal drugs
production into the local forest. I’m going on a patrol with
Forest Ranger Erik De Jonge who is at the forefront of fighting
these illegal drug waste dumpings. This road is one of the synthetic drugs
waste dumping hotspots. It causes a lot of damage
to the environment. This watercourse supplies
the city’s canals with water. Synthetic drugs have already
been dumped in it several times. Here they dumped 10 large barrels
containing hundreds of litres each. The bend was full of dead fish. Drugs waste flowed directly
towards where people live. And that’s super dangerous. One of Brabant’s worst ever
dumping of drugs happened here. It was a huge barrel and 1,000 litres
of drugs waste spilled into the soil. In a large area, the soil was dug up,
the trees died and were removed. You can still see it. These trees
have absorbed drugs waste and the leaves curl up
and they’ll die in the summer. The entire tree?
-Yes, certainly. We’re at the second dump site. Those hoses are often found at
ecstasy waste dumping sites. With hoses they transfer substances
from one barrel to another. How often do you receive an alert? I’ve been here for an hour
and you’ve received two alerts. For synthetic drugs waste,
it’s a couple of dozen times a year. Last year, it happened 50 to 60 times
and that’s only in my region. Are there peak times?
-Yes. When there are festivals?
-Exactly. Do you notice that?
-Yes, in the last three or four years during the run-up to the festival season
we see a peak in dumpings. This year, we suddenly had three, four, five
drugs waste dumpings a week. In the last 10 years,
there has been such an increase that it has become the
main part of my job. Ecstasy users are often intelligent,
highly educated young people who take a pill at a festival, but
have no idea what’s behind it. The most important thing
I can do about this problem now is to demonstrate its effects on nature and hope young people think,
“Shit, we don’t want this.” Depressingly drugs aren’t great
for the planet making MDMA produces six to ten times
its weight in toxic waste cocaine farming destroys 3000 km2 of
Colombian rainforest a year and growing 1 kg
of weed indoors makes as much CO2 as driving across
America 11 times Everyone knows that burning coal
is bad. I’m in Krakow, Poland where they’ve
got a deadly addiction to coal. This is causing severe air pollution
and smog to descend over the city. This is so bad that 48,000 Poles
die every year, because of bad air pollution. Since Krakow has some of the worst
air pollution, a study was conducted here
on mothers and newborns revealing that air pollution can even lead to
DNA mutation. 62% of kindergartens
in Poland are in heavily polluted areas and sometimes kids even have
to wear masks to play outside. I’m here to meet Teresa who specifically designed this
day care centre to protect the children from
air pollution. How did this preschool
come about? I have children myself. I thought, “How is it possible
that as a mother I find myself in one of the most
polluted places on Earth with my children” and,
“Is this all I can offer them?” I thought it would be worth
thinking about how to change it, that there must be a way. Over the years I’ve observed children increasingly getting ill. Various allergies and
respiratory issues. These are the main and
often constant problems. How do you teach children
about air and climate? When they ask questions,
they get answers. Why aren’t we going out?
Why do we need to put a mask on? Which we encourage kids to wear. The air is so dangerous here they had to build an
entire ecosystem for kids to play safely. We are able to remove 97%
of all pollution using this machine so the air coming in via
this system is clean. It’s free from pollution, from germs,
fungus, mould and other bacteria. We also have a smog sensor When they walk past it
they look up and check if it’s a good day
for a walk or not. How many children
do you have here daily? Every day we have around 40 kids Quite a big group of people has
a chance to avoid the destructive influence
of the polluted air. Presumably you
have lungs so you should be
concerned that 90% of the world’s
population live where air pollution
exceeds safe limits 4.2 million people
die from it each year. Smells like poo. I’m in Hammersmith, London standing on a massive
fatberg of wet wipes. It’s over 170,000 wet wipes in total and they’re not going to dissolve in
our lifetime. So how do all of these wet wipes end
up here? Millions of wet wipes end up in our
rivers every year, because they’re flushed down
people’s toilets. They basically clog up
the sewage system and when the sewage system can’t cope it discharges that excess load into the local river. So the rivers are ending up coping
with all this crap. On this small site, in
just a few hours we collected
23,000 wet wipes. And we know that it’s grown in
height by about a metre in a year. You see lots of bird prints and you
see lots of birds nesting in this area which is composed partly
of plastic. And that worries me. It’s actually quite sturdy. You could probably whack somebody
with that. Oh, it could have been on someone’s
bum. The estimated time for a wet wipe
to break down is 100 years. They break down into tiny particles
which are known as micro plastic. Our water supply in this country
largely comes from our rivers. And so we will then be ingesting
that plastic. Why do the makeup wipes say
biodegradable and flushable on the back? There’s no real regulation of wet
wipe packaging in this country. It’s like a Wild West of wet wipes. They can really say what they like. The government should ban
inaccurate labelling. We all need to move towards kind of
reusables. We all need to bin, don’t flush. And there’s also a hashtag, #3Ps. #3Ps means pee, paper, and poo. That’s all that goes down the loo. They stretch out so much and you can
see how strong… Oh god, I just flicked it in my face. This is a ridiculous problem. 400% more wet wipes have been found on
UK beaches this past decade 11 billion wet wipes are flushed down the toilet globally every year why? Stuck. Oh. Oh fuck. Use a flannel. I’m in Portugal, the most ravaged
country in Europe by forest fires. This is the area of Mação, where these kinds of fires have been
happening every single year. This year of course was no exception. Everything is burnt and still people have to live here. We’re going to meet Maria Do Carmo that lost her house in the fire. You can see how the house used to be. Do you remember the day of the fire? -The fire was coming from there.
-There? The noise really scared me. I’m 91, but I had never seen
anything like it. It was horrible. Very bad. When the fire happened,
didn’t the firefighters come? No, they never came. They should come when
we need them, right? Yes. Ah, yes. We’re going to inspect the area with
António Louro, a forest engineer that will tell us about the full
environmental impact of these fires in the region. – About 50 villages were hit. It’s a complete disaster
for the local economy, an ecological disaster
for the small animals, the birds, the game, all the wild animals here,
it’s a complete disaster. This looks like a tree cemetery. The first big fires we experienced were around 50 to 60 km2 big. These lands were abandoned, the 2000s unfortunately brought
fires as big as 200 to 400 km2. They have been getting worse
continually and cyclically. Will the fires continue to increase? Yes, even more so with
climate change, longer periods with hotter
temperatures, less moisture, creating ideal conditions
to aggravate forest fires. The ecological impact is enormous, [forest fires] lead to negative
natural selection. Forests take three to four
decades to yield politicians have four-year cycles,
often they aren’t interested in this because the result won’t
be seen in decades. We want this area back to harmony with a more sustainable landscape. As well as Portugal forests in California Siberia Greece and elsewhere are burning even the Amazon the lungs of the earth is on fire the vast majority
of forest fires are caused by humans Get your shit together FFS wild fires make up
5 to 10% of annual global CO2
emissions each year when forests could instead help absorb your human greenhouse
gas emissions. Are you depressed yet? maybe you should be but there are some things
you can do to help unfuck the planet probably the best thing
you can do is become an
environmental maniac who lives in a cave fly but it’s unlikely you will instead fly and consume less recycle eat less meat and put a shit tonne
of pressure on your government and
big businesses to act less like psychopaths maybe join a group a protest a boycott anything also let’s talk about wet wipes why do they exist? there is no need to treat
your arse like it’s the
Queen of England just wipe it with toilet paper like a normal person.


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