by Jeff Wilfahrt
Oct 10, 2013, 2:05 PM

Cradle to grave – a progressive’s garbage

The next time you enter a Target or Home Depot or any big box store just for a moment stop and consider the end point, the landfill.

Yup, all that stuff will at some point get buried. Future archeologists, or more distinctly garbologists, will find middens bigger that Troy itself.

We live in what Paul Simon so aptly described as “the days of lasers in the jungle”.  “So don’t cry baby, don’t cry.”

There are sensors everywhere now. The cell phone GPS, the Wii, and so many examples.

So one may ask, why isn’t there a sensor on the garbage truck? A sensor that will record the weight of the street side container along with the GPS coordinates as to where and when the trash was picked up. As the consumer, or the cradle side of things, why not levy a toll on the graveside of things, the disposal. You bought it, you pay to dispose of it.

Or better yet, consider it by way of  the Joni Mitchell lyric for Woodstock,

“We are stardust
  Billion year old carbon
  We are golden
  Caught in the devil’s bargain
  And we’ve got to get ourselves
  back to the garden”

Because this is a blog site of progressive ideas there will be few if any of the conservative types who’ll read this little post but it does seem curious as to why this is not their movement. Afterall, they are big on the personal responsibility issue, and conservative is a cognate from a Latin term meaning to keep. Yet among the so called conservative base there exists climate denial juxtaposed to that silly notion of “drill baby drill.” Shouldn’t that be the libertarian position? The Koch brothers are rich because of us, not in spite of us.

Increased consumption is hardly the answer, it is part of the problem. Perhaps Eldridge Cleaver said it best, “If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem”… to wit garbage and its outfall pollution.

The true conservative would drive a more fuel efficient vehicle and cut way down on the waste stream. Yet the purported conservatives on the right push more consumption. Wrong direction resulting from poor logic, enough said. It only makes sense if one worships Baal.

At this point the reader might well review the many posts on this site regarding mining by Steve Timmer which speak to a conservative approach. The only possible thing I could add to Steve’s coverage is the question of why do we need a non-Minnesota entity to mine here? We once had this,

our own MN school of mines.

The state still has degrees available in mining related technologies. By now we should know how to do this stuff ourselves. Unlike the Pillsbury or the Dayton families Polymet is neither one of us nor will they leave their financial legacy behind in the state that enriched those names. Again, really a conservative value.


… “back to the garden” of Eden that is the earth, a notion aligned with Biblical and conservative thought let alone progressive.

Like the bumper sticker suggests, “We belong to the earth, the earth does not belong to us.”

Wisdom like this appeals to the progressive mind… how about yours?

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