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Doing My Part

« January 2016 »

Memo to Michigan and California: WHICH BIN IS FOR PLASTIC AGAIN?

For many decades, environmentalism was largely seen as largely an individual effort. Eveyone do their part! Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! Wear a sweater and turn that thermostat down! Buy a hybrid! And I don't want to say these things are bad. They're not bad. And I don't want to say they're not helpful. They're helpful. BUT.

Right now, in California, an underground natural gas leak has not only caused the evacuation of over 700 homes in the area, it emitted the equivalent greenhouse gas pollution of four-and-a-half million cars. Every day. And did I say "emitted"? Because that's the wrong tense. "Emitting". It's been leaking since at least late October, and because of how the well is set up, it'll be another month or two before it's stopped, if nothing else goes horribly wrong.

That's nearly half a year of methane leakage at 4.5 million cars' worth of pollution every day. By one account, this leak essentially renders moot the last five years of California's greenhouse gas fight. So, you know. Maybe the problem's a bit big to be solved by me freezing my ass off indoors during a sub-zero Minnesota January.

Of course, it could be worse. I could live in Flint.

Some people are suggesting that Governor Rick Snyder is a criminal and should be charged as such for largely ignoring a spike in water lead levels caused by a cost-saving measure that sent corrosive river water through old lead pipes to Flint's taps instead of more expensive, non-corrosive Detroit water. I'd suggest that if ignoring the public good and poisoning poor people for financial gain is criminal, and if ignoring the consequences and warnings for as long as you can to save your own ass is criminal, then the core Republican philosophy is criminal and capitalism is criminal.

So, you know, round all the fuckers up and give them the pot smokers' old cells.

This has been going on for over a year. This has been going on for so long that the current mayor of Flint won because she ran on a platform of doing something about the town's lead-poisoned water. Of course, now that he's been caught, Rick Snyder suddenly believes that government is the solution, declaring a state of emergency, calling in the National Guard, and finally instructing Flint residents not to drink the fucking water.

It's a disaster, and one in which, as usual, those who caused it and those who are suffering from it are two distinct groups of people. And it wasn't individual choices that led to it, it was the system and the assholes in charge of it.

So, sure, keep taking your individual actions to be more environmentally conscious. I will, too. But while I do it, I'm going to be deeply fucking bitter that until some drastic, drastic changes take place, all I'm doing is making some breathing room for giant corporations and asshole politicians to keep ruining things, free from "job-killing" child-poisioning air-ruining regulations.

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