Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm a Greenie

Those who know me well understand how absolutely fanatical I am about the environment. Although I do occasionally point to "Factual Evidence" and "Literal Science", as opposed to politics, fads, and David Suzuki.

"Oooh, Marsha, get the 12 gauge. That SOB just dissed his Holiness. I'm gonna blast him."

I grew up tramping through the woods. I mean real bush, not that abandoned field on the outskirts of the eerily photocopied suburbia which so much of Central Ontario identifies with today. As such, I have an appreciation for our environment which people less fortunate than myself find difficult to grasp. I don't blame them. There are many things you have to experience over time to know. Unfortunately, ignorance does not equate to innocence. Their lack of perspective has lead straight to this rant.

Earlier this year I needed to get rid of a load of torn-off shingles. I went to the nearest dump, but realized that I had forgotten my wallet. "That's fine," I said, "I'll go home, grab it, and hit the Barrie dump." (I was working just south of Barrie.) I needed to pick up some more materials in Barrie anyway. Needless to say, there was a l-o-n-g lineup at the dump in Barrie: spring cleaning and all that. I waited for 45 minutes and mused about how patient I was becoming. Patient, until I reached the scales and was politely told, "The dump is only for Barrie residents." I loose it, I fake the guy with a left... Ah, he was just a kid reciting the rules, but I did kinda snap. "What the blue air am I supposed to do? You guys close all the little [country] dumps then you won't let me use this one." He grinned meekly and handed me a dump support hotline to call.

SideNote: For all the folks who have told me, "You should've given them a Barrie address," you have missed the point. A temporary dodge doesn't resolve issues.

Now, I know that part of this problem is NIMBY (not in my backyard). No one wants to stare at a dump across their fence. But that's only a small part of the problem. There are so many overloaded, red-taped environmental regulations on everything but sneezing --and that will be included soon-- that it is very difficult to even think about opening another dump. Never mind the millions of dollars spent over-paying engineers in the process.

Back to perspective.

"But J, you're just being a reactionary freak."

No doubt. But, I do have some questions. How often do you personally use a dump, and is there a roof over your residence? When you only use a dump twice a year, you're not likely to grasp the current state of affairs from a ground-level experience. (Outside of what the completely objective and bipartisan media tells you.) And we still have the roof over your head. Although every point I've brought up so far deserves mention on its own, I might as well throw this into the mix. In every major culture I've studied, the people who do the hardest work literally building the civilisation are the least considered. So, consider this. I spent the best part of my day driving, sitting, and then driving some more. I doubt that I got more than three hours of good work accomplished. I spent money on fuel, unnecessarily prolonged a job, and then paid an extortionist price at the dump I eventually got to. Tally everything up, and I probably lost 300 dollars: luxury coach sofa change for David Suzuki and every politician I can think of. But not for me, and probably not for you.

Who's going to pay? Obviously I have to eat the loss today, but I still need food and fuel tomorrow. Rising costs pushed by increasingly ridiculous legislation harm the very citizenry who are apparently being looked after. If I am unable to support myself through my work, I have three options. One, I quit, preferring to bury my head in the sand. Two, I sell myself into slavery. Three, I raise my price. What do you think is going to happen? That's right. You pay for my cost. The next time you find yourself believing some inane greenie chatter you hear on the telly, ask yourself this: "Am I willing to walk around in moccasins, growing my own veggies, hunting my own game (gasp), and going home to a cave? Let's put some real thought, balance, and experience into the state of our civilisation instead of merely throwing up legislation funded by people who's idea of camping is a five star hotel overlooking Lake Louise.

Remember. you pay for my expenses, and the expenses of the plumber, mechanic, former, etc. We who physically labour build and maintain the infrastructure for a marvellous civilisation, and we are the first to feel the enormous burden of foolishness from those "higher" than us. But, it will not stop with us, and ignorant support of the green movement will inevitably cripple the middle class.

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