Everybody knows that today is the expiry date for the Trump-Clinton campaigns. We’ve been expecting this for many painful months now. But expiry-dates on food-products catch us unawares sometimes. Even if some manufacturers announce a date earlier than the absolute limit so as to make sure we take no risks, such dates are never very far down the line : for certain canned goods, a couple of years at most; for most products it’s a matter of days.
The packaging of foodstuffs is a whole other kettle of fish or can of worms. Plastic is practically immortal. Every piece of plastic ever produced still exists today, and will for a very long time. Unless we depollute our oceans, become garbage-dumps if not open sewers for non-decomposable plastic and other polluants in the near future, pretty soon there will be no fish to put in the kettle, and tourism of the Great Barrier Reef will have become a sunset industry.
Atomic wastes are worse. Their half-life varies from 24,000 years for plutonium to 4 billion years for uranium 238.
But what about you and me, OUR expiry date ? At 79, I’m getting uncomfortably close to my allotted four score (and ten ?). And when I croak, as I will in the near future, my corpse will quickly become a disgusting, malodorous danger to public health, unless it had been cremated or buried ASAP. Of course, if you believe in the nonsense of reincarnation, or the worse nonsense of the eternal life of the “soul” and the resurrection of the body, you have nothing to worry about (then again your faith tells you that Hell is another, unpleasant, possibility . . .). Unfortunately these illusions have a very long half-life. They will probably disappear definitively only when the human race does.