Sunday, December 23, 2007

Should We Trash Da Earf (the Earth)?

I thought since I've written two anti-environmentalist rants that I ought to clear up where I stand. This is a touchy subject and one that's filled several books. I'll try to cut to the chase.

I mostly take the classical view that mankind is the custodian of the Earth. God created it for us to live on and take care of. It's our home, we belong here, and we ought to keep the place tidy. At the same time, the Earth should not be an object of worship. It is not the reason we came to be, it's the other way around. I would say the environmentalist movement as we know it has that equation reversed. In addition to believing that the Earth and it's ecosystems are static and never change they tend to believe half a dozen doomsday theories; the oceans are rising, average temperatures are rising, the ozone layer is disappearing, there are too many people, we leave too many lights on at night, etc. I tend to believe this is panic resulting from the belief that we're in control and we don't belong in nature and deserve punishment for what we've done.

Global Warming

In reality the Earth is a complex and dynamic place, one that God created and still has a hand on. Using geology as reference point there were warming periods in the 1300's when there were a fraction of the number of people there are now and there weren't any SUV's. That's just one reference point. There are many others and the only conclusion one can come to is the Earth is constantly changing. Environmentalists seem to believe that whatever the climate was like around the world in the 1950's is the way it's always been and should always be. Any changes whatsoever are harmful and we caused it. Both of those premises are false. Neither has been proven and more and more people are calling this into question. Just see this story for example.

I'm for recycling where it makes sense from an efficiency standpoint. Why throw away things that are hard to recreate, especially when they can be reused? The less metal ore we have to pull out of the ground, the better for several reasons but mainly because we could spend that time and energy doing something else. I always take steel, iron, copper, aluminum, etc to the metal recycler or junkyard. I've dropped off thousands of pounds, actually. There are increasingly monetary motivations for this and it just makes sense to me. Ditto on batteries of all kinds. It'll take a billion years for that stuff to break down in a landfill and we'll have to mine more in the meantime. It can be reused so don't throw it out.

On the automotive front, I drive whatever car I want to but I always dispose of oil, antifreeze, and old gas properly by taking it to the county household hazmat site. They or whoever they hire recycle the chemicals where possible or dispose of them in a methodical way. Dumping that stuff into the sewer makes 0% of it recoverable and makes processing wastewater and sewage more expensive. Dumping it on the ground directly pollutes the water table and damages the soil. It's so easy to avoid so why do it? Auto parts stores also have to collect used oil by law (not entirely bad legislation but that's a different post) so that's convenient as well.

I actually littered when I was in a hurry the other day (missed my trashcan shot at Sonic) and it bothered me enough that I stopped back by to see if the bag was still there. It wasn't. Anyway, littering is so preventable and really dirties up the landscape. It's pure carelessness. People who litter are slobs at best.

Smog is nasty stuff to look at and causes health problems. I'm all for emissions standards but do think this has gotten out of hand due to global warming fears. Our EPA has become so aggressive with emissions standards that they have regulated diesel engines off the map for future production. They will only be used when they really need to be which means big trucks only. Near as I can tell VW doesn't sell a TDI version of any of it's cars any more.

Industrial Pollution

Anybody still reading this? Yes, businesses should take every precaution not to dirty up the environment. Yes, I think there aren't necessarily market drivers for this and therefore we need the EPA. But I don't think we should strangle business with over regulation and this is the tendency at the moment. This topic begs specifics but could probably also be it's own post.

1 comment:

Melanie-Pearl said...

thanks for clearing the air on this one...ha, ha.

as for V-dub: "it's definitely sucking" in a good way.