Garbology Thoughts

I found this overall to be a quite interesting read. Going into it, I had a pretty similar feeling as I did with Eating Animals: I knew that the whole book would be an exploration of the different ways that waste buildup manifests itself as a serious issue. All the same, the different angles of the issue were interesting nonetheless. One the one hand, part of me is very cynical about this issue. Sure, in more recent years being ‘green’ and reducing waste has become the new, trendy thing amongst upper middle class white people. Not that that is a bad thing, to be sure; but I just question if being waste-conscious will ever spread to being something adopted by people who might have bigger things to worry about, or perhaps by people who just don’t care. The vast amount of Americans probably stop thinking about where their trash goes the moment it leaves their doorstep, despite the fact that we are literally running out of space to put it, and that the plastics themselves are literally destroying our oceans. It makes me feel like the only time the population as a whole will actually be concerned about this is when it gets to the point where its a serious crisis that is right in everyones faces; the point where garbage can literally no longer be collected, and government officials need to make serious regulatory changes lest America turn into some apocalyptic wasteland. Of course, at the same time there is a part of me that admires the ingenuity that seems to be growing in terms of how to deal with trash; the crazy trash shrink ray,the garbage fume collection for power, the Copenhagen trash less utopia; this makes me wonder if trash technology and reduction efforts will be adopted as readily and as exponentially as things such as wind and solar energy are. Heck, harvesting the almost infinite fuel from landfills almost seems to kill two birds with one stone in that regard; its a shame people are so picky about adopting it. However, I remain somewhat hopeful. I’m hoping at some point, some young American entrepreneur or city is going to adopt such a process, and reap the free energy from it, hopefully catching the world’s attention. As for the plastic in the ocean, I’ve always thought that trash eating microorganisms being introduced to the area may help; the environmental effects are of course risky, but if all they eat is plastic, I am unsure what the worst is that could happen; population increase in whatever eats them perhaps?

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