Saturday, November 28, 2009

The countdown continues...

On the far right, you will see a "countdown clock" - as most will know, it marks the days, hours, minutes, and seconds remaining until the beginning of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. And, oh yes, we are so very, very proud of our Prime Minister for finally agreeing that he will indeed attend the conference - now that there is "a critical mass of world leaders in attendance". Good for you, sir, it'll probably be a good use of your time, and hey, you'll probably have some fun too! But wouldn't it have been more useful to show some leadership rather than waiting first to see if Mr Obama and others would be attending? Kind of like, "oh I don't know, I guess I'll go if you go". Gee, it's not like we're talking about going out for a burger!

Anyway, the image above represents the "trashing" that continues unabated as the countdown clock continues. A potato chip bag and a scrap of paper - not to be compared to the environmental poisoning that literally threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, and soil in which we grow our food in this world. Nonetheless, it's trash, and it's offensive.

We left for our run this morning a little later - big mistake in terms of the usual "bliss" experienced in the early morning darkness. The trouble was, it got light before we got home, and stuff that did not normally catch the eye, became painfully obvious. I lost count after several hundred cigarette butts along the edge of what is essentially a country road. Gets you thinking. Not content to just compromise the atmosphere with the waste products of fossil fuel (of course I know that I'm guilty too!), but some even feel it necessary to "bless" the environment with a "remnant" of what has just poisoned their lungs! Go figure! And then there were the ample wrappings of countless "full meal deals" from local fast food outlets, their contents consumed and the packaging disposed of out the window, along this same quiet country road.

The problem is that most of this refuse is invisible to the occupants of passing cars and trucks especially to drivers on cell phones or with a wriggling Shih Tzu (dog) on their laps! (sorry, but the movie, Dumb and Dumber, comes to mind...sigh). The trash quickly blows into the ditches and through fences so yes, it can pretty much go unseen. Yup, ignorance is bliss. And it's easy to be "blissful" if one never leaves the comfort of the steel, glass, and plastic vehicles that appear to have replaced our legs, hearts and lungs...with, I might add, some pretty clear health-related consequences in our society!

When Richard Louv speaks about the "nature deficit disorder" in his book, Last Child in the Woods, he is observing the "rapid disengagement between children and direct experiences in nature" that "has profound implications, not only for the health of future generations but for the health of the earth itself." (italics mine) So not only do children (and their parents) disengage from an essential connection with nature but they disengage from the reality of environmental degradation - out of sight, out of mind...simple as that!

So what am I going to do about the trash beyond this little rant? I'm going to find time to put on a safey vest and pick at least some of it up! And I've changed my mind about the bag of potato chips for the Grey Cup game tomorrow, for a whole lot of reasons!



  1. Well I am so disappointed about the bag of potato chips for tomorrow. I was so looking forward to it. I don't see why other people's bad habits of littering has to stop one from enjoying the foods we love as long as we dispose of the remants respectfully....Well no chips I guess I will just stay home for the game!
    Oh and I spent the day with two other ministry members who both are cheering for the Riders and actually had it written on their name tags.

  2. Copenghagen eh? Better late than never reflects the today decision of NZ’s PM.
    And “Steptoe and and Son” had someting going in the ‘60s - there was profit in garbage or cash from trash. Our rural lifestyle reminds us everytime we walk the road about the others who share life in the valley. At our mailbox it’s not unusual to find a Timmy’s container. Turn right at the first junction and there’s probably a Lucky can. Anyway two of the regular trash deposits. I wonder if we should be able to take the labeled trash back to the business named on the wrapping and get a coupon that can be handed to a needy person - so a cash for trash deal.

  3. I think that's an EXCELLENT idea - cash for trash from the source! Maybe businesses would re-think how they package - and consumers would rethink their thoughtless disposal!

    Thanks so much for your comment, I'm with you!