A Whole World Of Waste On My Doorstep

I try to not let it get to me – that swishing, rumbling noise outside, with it’s undertone of a small motor humming relentlessly to itself – but I can’t help it. It’s been going on for the last two hours, maybe more, and the guy next door still hasn’t finished washing down his wooden decking. Gallons upon gallons of fresh drinking water, running in streams across the timber; kilowatts of electricity being sucked up by the pressure washer, causing the needless release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

It does get to me, it really does. Just like the people over the road who have just returned from their journey in their newly acquired luxury SUV, bought to augment the existing Lexus saloon they had because it just wasn’t big enough for two adults and two children with their acres of detritus; or maybe they just wanted to feel even more cosseted in their metal cocoon.

And it gets to me when I walk the children the three-quarters of a mile to school, being passed by the lady three doors down in her new Mini Cooper, driving to the exact same school, only to return to the same spot again 10 minutes later, having completed her arduous round trip amongst all the other school mums whose children have atrophied legs and minds – having no idea what lies in the outside world.

And it gets to me when I see another neighbour concrete over their front garden, having previously expressed a desire to do more gardening, yet being “forced” to create a hardtop haven for the two cars that this childless couple feel obliged to drive everywhere; the same couple that took 12 of their relatives to the Maldives for their tropical wedding experience.

But what gets to me most of all is that there is nothing I can do to change this – that these people will carry on doing the same things until they have realised that their mechanised, sanitised, synthesised lifestyles will not help them one bit after civilization crumbles away. They will be helpless – but I won’t be laughing because I will be gone by then, well away from the chaos of millions of people still depending on the system that they hope will save them from oblivion. They are beyond saving, in so many ways.

The guy next door is still at it – maybe he has to, because if he stops he might have to find some meaning in his life. If he got a stiff broom and a bucket there might still be a chance for him…but somehow I don’t think that will ever happen.

4 thoughts on “A Whole World Of Waste On My Doorstep

  1. May sound wishy washy but you *are* doing something to change this by showing others an alternative behavior, a different approach. While it won’t ignite a revolution, it may help some pause to think.

    I try to remind myself of that when I get the same feeling. I have colleagues at work who live in my neighborhood. I take the bus; they take the car. I know they won’t switch overnight but perhaps a seed of doubt might sprout over time.

  2. Examples are good. But a realistic assement of the probabilities followed by an appropriate avoidance activity is better. Ask yourself if, with all you know and can see about human nature, if you really think that a sufficient number of people are going to make deep modifications to their behaviors in time to avoid a global meltdown?

    No? Then what’s keeping us from making arrangements to get ourselves and our loved ones out of harm’s way while we can? Here’s an idea:

    http://samadhisoft.com/2008/07/19/emotional-non-negotiables/

    I think the information and the threats implied by the information are rational and clear. The interesting question is what keeps most of us, who can see and understand what’s going on and what’s likely to happen, from acting?

  3. move to scotland!Buy a croft on the isle of eigg,grow your own veg,generate your own energy source,enjoy the wildlife.
    people there dont care about these things,you and your family will be happy.
    some people will not change,but some people are doing the right things.join them!

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