The phrase “Better Living Through Chemistry” is a variant of a DuPont advertising slogan, “Better Things for Better Living… Through Chemistry.” DuPont adopted it in 1935 and it was their slogan until 1982 when the “Through Chemistry” part was dropped. Since 1999, their slogan has been “The miracles of science”. Either way, they elevated “better living” to broad public awareness by coining the DuPont slogan “Better things for better living through chemistry.” DuPont needed to revive a reputation that was in peril, having been previously labeled “the merchants of death.”
Perhaps it could become better living through some carefully selected and proscribed pharmaceuticals that support life, cure disease and prevent sickness. The recent, global pandemic and the resultant vaccine can serve as a prime illustration. The other side of that coin is the abuse of drugs, both legal and illegal. The quality of a better life can be affected by the smallest things, i.e. molecules in chemistry or the largest things such as global pollution.
The climate crisis has been exacerbated by our use of fossil fuels and the production of greenhouse gases that have fouled the air that we breathe as well as helping to produce more extreme weather patterns with severe droughts, floods, fires, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The oil, power, and chemical industries that also produce pesticides and herbicides have compromised our quality of life to the point of diminishing returns and serious damage to both our health and the environment. A recent admission by Exxon illustrates the priority of profit over people.
‘Exxon was aware of climate change, as early as 1977, 11 years before it became a public issue, according to a recent investigation from InsideClimate News. This knowledge did not prevent the company (now ExxonMobil and the world’s largest oil and gas company) from spending decades refusing to publicly acknowledge climate change and even promoting climate misinformation—an approach many have likened to the lies spread by the tobacco industry regarding the health risks of smoking. Both industries were conscious that their products wouldn’t stay profitable once the world understood the risks, so much so that they used the same consultants to develop strategies on how to communicate with the public…
Since then, Exxon has spent more than $30 million on think tanks that promote climate denial, according to Greenpeace. Although experts will never be able to quantify the damage Exxon’s misinformation has caused, ‘one thing for certain is we’ve lost a lot of ground,’ (Kenneth Kimmell, President of Union of Concerned Scientists). ‘Half of the greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere were released after 1988. “I have to think if the fossil-fuel companies had been upfront about this and had been part of the solution instead of the problem, we would have made a lot of progress [today] instead of doubling our greenhouse gas emissions.” (Scientific American, October 6, 2015)
We can and must do better with regard to our planet home because as far as we know there is no Planet B. Space exploration is in its infancy and life on another planet is a remote dream in the minds of a few. Meanwhile, earth is slowly, and not so slowly in many parts, no longer a quality place to live. Widespread famine is but one symptom of a dying population. The dwindling supply of water in many parts of the world is already having an undesirable impact on food production and prices.
In Africa, women spend 200 million hours per day walking for water.
50% of the developing world’s hospital beds are filled with people suffering from water-related diseases and one person dies every 37 seconds from water-related illnesses.
Every $1 invested in safe water yields $6.80 in economic return.
Too many people have the attitude that since this doesn’t affect me or my family, why should I care?
If you care about the future of your grandchildren or the future of the planet you can start helping now as time marches on and waits for no one.