As I was growing-up, my playmates were imaginative in naming animal waste after food; for example, there were horse apples, cow pancakes, & goat dumplings. With the falling population of small-acreage farmers and their sons & daughters, the colorful language they once employed is less prevalent today. Yes, there are still many animals around in the beef and pork business, but the family farm that raised their own animals for food and livelihood have become rare.
With the beef and pork business of today, the closeness felt by the smalltime farmer to his animals are a thing of the past. There isn’t enough time in a day to stop and notice the different personalities of the many, many individual animals destined for food on our table. I know for sure the colorful language formed by us kids of the 50s are very different from those of today’s children. With progress you lose some things, and you gain some things. Don’t you think so?
Progress in technology has been a part of my life ever since I developed my first memories. New products galore came fast and furious in electronics, appliances, transportation, medicine, and even in sporting equipment. My first baseball glove was a “Wally Moon” model. No matter what we bought, it soon became obsolete and replaced by the new & improved products. The vacuum tubes of the old electronics were replaced by the transistor, and my radio became obsolete overnight. My 78 rpm record of the “Old Master Painter” became obsolete overnight after being replaced by the 45 rpm record, smaller and improved; then came the 33 1/3 rpm LP (Long Play) record. I never could stay up with the latest gadgets, and they always cost more money, at least at first.
Progress always produces waste, so it seems to me. I hate to throw my old stuff away, but a person only has so much room and something has to go, and eventually it is the old stuff you no longer use or want. I’ve noticed we fill-up our space whether small or large. I’ve always been “green” before “green” became popular because my footprint has always been small, and you don’t need much when your space in this world is small.
I wish to identify a few items of waste in the “green” era’s future. What are some of the waste products that the green generation will have to deal with? Well, there’s the giant windmills for generating electricity. Of course, there will be bigger, better, and improved models to replace the old, worn-out ones, and it takes a lot of windmills & windmill farms to produce the electricity needed for a modern society. The windmills will look a lot different old and rusting on the ground in piles sky high waiting for transportation to the salvage yard, or whatever. Then, there are the storage batteries needed to supply the electricity when the wind is not blowing, or the sun is not shinning. The same can be said for the solar panels, however they’re configured, on a house or in a 40-acre field. They will certainly have to be replaced when worn out or outdated by more efficient ones. How about the old and worn-out batteries in our emerging & green private cars. Even little lithium batteries in our watches and other electronic gadgets cause us problem because they are toxic; just think about the hundred of pounds of storage batteries required to run our future cars, or for storing electricity in our houses, public buildings, and stores. They won’t last forever and will need to be replaced through wear-and-tear, or by the better and improved ones. And what about the energy to recharge those batteries, whether from a plug-in, a motor, or the sun, there is always something leftover in the form of waste products no matter how you do it. The mountains of batteries will join those mountains of tires.
Our new electronic age has produced tons of waste in the form of old laptops, PCs, televisions, e-games, etc. As books fade from the scene, the waste from future old and worn out electronic readers will be polluting our planet with piles and piles of additional electronic junk. As everyone knows, plastic is a by-product of oil, a natural and abundant fluid found in the bowels of the earth and brought to the surface most of the time by a mechanical pump. Oil, like all energy products on this earth, including food, produce waste for it’s an unavoidable part of life . Even our sun will become space waste after it burns itself out and becomes a dense, dark star, cold and lifeless. Renewable energy is an oxymoron for once you use it, it is gone and must be replaced by a constant flow from an energy source to continue operating whatever needs it. Without energy we all perish. Sometimes in life we must choose our poison. Fire is both a blessing and a curse, but early man chose to tame it the best he could and found many uses for it. It remains dangerous nevertheless, and that’s why we have fire trucks and fire fighters today. There is no safe energy—watch out for sunburn this summer.
As long as we have a modern society we will have waste, and the desire to maintain a modern society without producing waste in abundance is a pipe dream unworthy of a modern man’s time except for philosophical speculation and naysayers making a living on demagoguery. As a practical matter and a Christian, I’m for being a good steward of our natural energy resources as we supply our country with enough power to keep our engine of freedom running full speed ahead as far as possible. While we do that, It is in our best interest to manage our waste responsibly so that it doesn’t endanger our presence on earth before our time. I think we can accomplish that goal by using our most abundant energy resources without endangering our planet or us, so lets drill for oil and use our coal reserves to supply our nation with affordable energy. We can do it safely and provide a clean environment for our nation. garland dale