Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Salt and Plastic

So, I drove out to Farm and Fleet today, with a stop at Woodman's. It's snowing like crazy and the salt trucks are out dumping tons of sodium into the local environment, all of which drains right into the aquifer over time.
This raises sodium in the water, which we then consume and it tends to add to overall high blood pressure problems as well as stressing out our local aquatic systems, which Madison is famous for.
So we salt the roads to be safe today, while poisoning the water table. Instead of just driving slower, using sand or not driving at all.
Then I went into the grocery store, where nearly everything is packaged in plastic, from the celery to the extra bag they stuck my lip gloss and bottle of ibuprofen in.
This happened when I wasn't looking, because I was busy loading my reusable bag, made from plastic garbage recycled into another use. For some reason that escapes me, grocery stores feel a need to put items in plastic into bags of plastic to keep them away from all the plastic wrapped items they feel they have to sell you.
Why the hell you need plastic wrap on celery or lettuce escapes me. I just peel off the outer layer and put it in the compost bin.
Of course, a huge amount of plastic washes into our rivers, then out to our oceans, which then degrades into toxic debris that attracts all the pesticides and chemical soup we make to make the plastic that covers everything.
There's an area full of plastic bigger than Texas in the Pacific, growing bigger every year, killing off a huge chunk of ocean that used to have organic debris in it that fed the aquatic life.
People demand salted roads, demand plastic coverings and obsess over safety for their kids. The same kids that will inherit a world with a toxic ecosystem that's teetering on the edge of system crashing climate change. The ones being born with defects and long term health problems due to exposure to plastic chemical residues.

Fuckin' up the future to make sure that your little bundle of DNA is safe today is pretty much how we do things.
Some days I am amazed at how short sighted we are, driving our way to extinction and making sure we're covering everything with plastics that mimic estrogenic compounds so our kids can grow up with serious health problems.

In the end, it won't matter, because we're already setting the stage for what comes after us. I wonder if there's a bigger scheme of things, if that's not our job, to bring on the changes that shift the world over to the next step for life on earth.

I find the whole idea that there's a higher power using us to fuck over the current ecosystem rather amusing.

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"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson