Wednesday, September 16, 2009

think big picture, people, BIG PICTURE

oftentimes my engineer training keeps me from getting my panties in a bunch, so to speak. I hear a fact or piece of information, and I ask questions like "under what conditions was that data collected?" or "was there a control group?" or "what's the baseline ambient concentration of chemicalinquestion?"

I do this before I can react or be appalled by the horrors of whatever it is. I can assess the information and get the "actual" meaning instead of the implied.

This is how my brain works. Like, all the time. (and also, thank you, TU, for doing your thing.)


I read this article shared on this blog--'cause it's a shared item of Maria's. It's about how some people in the US have awful, polluted, toxic water, and how it's making their skin burn when they shower, breaking down the enamel on their teeth and causing cancer. It is an awful, horrible, unfortunate thing.

but one of the people interviewed said "“How can we get digital cable and Internet in our homes, but not clean water?” "

and to that I say:

Dear People of the United States:

Please realize your actions have consequences.



Seriously though--right now I am sitting at a fake-wood desk with my laptop with two computer monitors, an external keyboard, a set of speakers, my iphone, my ipod a TI-83 calculator and goodness only knows how many bits of plastic, ink, etc. With those come Volatile Organic Compounds and Hazardous Air Pollutants. Most anything that plugs in? It has some kind of metal in it. Toxic, scary, don't-try-this-at-home metal, not your average stainless steel.

Your mattress (and sheets. and clothes. and carpet) offgas formaldehyde.

That apple that I just ate was grown on an organic farm in North Carolina (and tasted GREAT by the way!), but most grocery store ones come from, like, Peru and are slathered in pesticides and probably have some residual diesel particulates from the drive here. But anyway.

what I'm getting at is: that cable and internet in every home? the SUV in the driveway? that's the PROBLEM. It's part of why these people have such dirty water.

I mean, the scary chemicals, yeah, you can treat the water and remove them and provide clean drinking water. But unless you're able to dissociate the chemical into its constituent elements (which ain't pretty or cheap, often), you've gone from a large volume of low-concentration scary stuff to a small volume of highly concentrated scary stuff. and that's gotta go somewhere.

So we can't expect to have cable and internet and five flat-screen TVs and SUVs and iphones and berber carpet and stereo systems and wiis and abrasive cleaners and highlighted hair and digital cameras and bookshelves full of books (which offgas more scary stuff you don't want to know about) and set our house at 72 degrees year-round without CONSEQUENCES.

Matter goes places. Pollution doesn't just disappear. All of those things come at a cost--to our pockets, sure, but more importantly to our environment.

I definitely get what that lady was getting at--she meant, how can we live in such a high-tech world and not have the capability to give everyone clean water. But the answer is in her question.

cable and internet = pollution.
pollution = dirty water. (any many other things)

and I really, REALLY wish people would realize the consequences of their actions. be it driving to the mailbox when you live less than a block away, getting a new cell phone/pda/ipod/gadget when your old one works just fine, bleaching the hell out of everything when you clean your home or eating food containing high-fructose corn syrup-there's a LONG process before and after you get and use your item, and in almost all cases it is damaging to the earth. We should act accordingly.

okay, off soapbox.
thanks for reading. :)


{lauryl} said...

well written, well said, and i totally agree. people who drive a block to GET THEIR MAIL??? are you freaking kidding me? wow.

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