Greetings bloggers and occasional blog readers. I’d like to begin my post for this week with a song that I was first introduced to in grade school via one of my old and favorite cartoons, “Rocko’s Modern Life”. “R-E-C-Y-C-L-E, recycle…C-O-N-S-E-R-V-E, conserve…don’t you P-O-L-L-U-T-E, pollute the river, sky, and sea or else you’re gonna get…what you deserve.”
Let’s talk about recycling ladies and gentlemen. If you’re an American, and you’ve matriculated past at least fourth grade, then you’ve indubitably had the pleasure of enjoying the “recycle” talk. Forgive me for playing grade school teacher, but let’s take a moment and discuss this recycling thing for a second. I’ll be brief; two words…economic efficiency. What are the benefits of recycling? Well…there’s: the lessening of the need for incinerating trash and thereby reduced air pollution, reduced waste from landfills, reduced energy consumption, reduced waste, reduced resource consumption, reduced damage to the environment via mining and lumberjacking, etc., etc., etc. Now take a moment to ask yourself: are any of the above important to me?
It may feel good to answer yes to yourself, but I have just one more question. Did you throw any glass, aluminum, and/or plastic waste into a regular receptacle today? I’d like to think you did, and I am guilty as well ladies and gentlemen so do not feel bad. I say all of that to say this…the first step to solving a problem is knowing what it is. Procrastination is the problem. We have known that our civilization is highly reliant on a source that is finite for a very long time; however, because it was not a pressing issue in the past, solving it was not a pressing issue either. Allow me to introduce a few loose statistics to the conversation. The following elements are considered “commonly” used by modern civilization. They are: zinc, indium, hafnium, terbium and phosphorus. Exact statistics would provoke an entirely different argument, so loosely speaking, without increased recycling efforts on a MASSIVE scale, we may expect the following. We may deplete our resources of zinc by about 2037, indium and tafnium by perhaps 2017, terbium probably as early as 2012, and phosphorus within about a hundred years. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but if your response to the above was that we still have a bunch of time, or that the problem won’t affect you while you’re still alive…then you’re the problem. Change must be immediate if it is to stand a chance of being effective.
-Duwan K. Morris