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  • Writer's pictureunkillbilly

That's Rubbish!

Here's something catastrophic that people don't think about: trash. (

That's no joke. If you think about it, we're in trouble. We create mind-boggling amounts of refuse, and nobody is blinking an eye. This is one aspect of "The Ball Has Hit the Building". The idea that it's too late. Which it is. We've already killed ourselves as a species. Oops.

My own experience with trash convinces me of the dire nature of this situation. I can't believe how many times a week I am walking down to the rubbish chute with a bag stuffed full of trash. At least four bags a week, maybe five some weeks. That's almost daily! And I'm talkin' full. A kitchen tall. Stuffed.

Part of the problem with the bulk of my detritus is that I don't recycle. I know, I know—reduce, recycle and reuse. Unfortunately, recycling operations are shutting down all over the country, and there is no 'supply chain' for recycling in my living situation. I would have to set up my own process, including conveying them to a destination—which no longer exists. I would have to take my cans to a small-time collector—difficult, given I don't own a vehicle. I would have no place else to take glass, cardboard, other recyclable materials. So, everything else is going to the dump. And the dump is full.

Ever see the movie "Idiocracy"? The opening scene, while they're runnin' the credits, they show mountains of garbage. It's a small exaggeration. There are a couple of good documentaries on the trouble with trash. One of my favorites is "Trashed". ( Check it out, it'll give you some perspective.

There was a decision point. An inflection point, a tipping point, when we had a chance to be thoughtful about PACKAGING. We're just so clever that way, don't you know? We'll make the packaging part of the marketing, and by golly, we can think up some pretty clever packages. Creating ever more waste, an endless stream of nearly indestructible materials. Now? It's my belief we've passed the point of rescue. Consumerism drives relentless acceleration. Just think about it. What it would take. To stop the current practices. Not gonna happen, is it? Nobody is thinking about their garbage. With Russia rattling sabers; and the Chinese stealin' every secret, who's got the bandwidth to get worried about garbage?

Yeah, well, like I say—it's too late. So what the hell, might as well pile on, right?

We're just disgusting animals, aren't we?

And it's not just the residential garbage to worry about. There's all the industrial pollution, hell, we even trashed the orbit around the planet! There's over 9000 tons of space garbage cluttering the space just above the atmosphere. The equivalent of 700 school buses, junk. Serving no function whatsoever, while presenting an extreme danger for all the stuff up there that still works and that we depend on to maintain our modern lives. How smart is that? A quarter sized piece of junk traveling at several thousand miles an hour will take out that commercial satellite and you can say goodbye to your Dish TV!

I don't know what the answer is. Do you ban disposable diapers? Do you set up dispensaries for soap and cleaning supplies, little kiosks like what's used to vend water? The other day I bought some marijuana edibles that came in the most fascinating little package. It was like, like, like origami. Opening the package meant unfolding the little container, you couldn't call it a box, it's just too pretty. I mean, I'm inclined to keep the thing, it's so clever, downright beautiful. But I've been down this path before. Pretty soon, I have a mountain of origami containers with no discernable use. As fascinating as they are, they're junk. By design! To be discarded.

Slow motion, baby. The end of the world is unfolding right before our eyes, and we're blind.

Oh well, even if we can't see it, we can smell it. That stink will be a sure sign—it's too late, baby, now, it's too late …

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