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Post  ChasingSanity on Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:08 am

I try to pick up at least one piece of trash whenever I stop, whenever I think about it. Great idea. I wish everybody did it; individuals, companies, cruise ships (have you seen pictures or videos of the two garbage whirlpools, on in the Pacific and one in the Atlantic, each the size if Texas?) construction workers, tourists, businessmen... everybody, every opportunity.

BUT, what happens after I drop it in the trash can? It goes through a long, expensive process ending in a landfill - a garbage dump. The garbage dump is covered (each day?) with a sheet of plastic to keep the smells and vermin under control, supposedly reducing the spread of disease. Vermin, from human scavengers on down to bacteria and fungus are a natural event. By interrupting the natural process we end up with biodegradable material that is NOT biodegrading. (Biodegrading is not a word?)

We are creating monolithic piles of garbage all over the world - "sweeping it under the rug" is creating a problem, not "managing the situation".

What possible solutions are there?! If we do nothing (plan a), the problem will solve itself; the human race will either eventually die off or move off-planet. Our garbage will return to it's natural form over thousands and millions of years, most of it anyways; ask the dinosaurs. If we burn our trash like my grandparents did (plan b), we release a lot of fancy poisons into the air, soil and water which gets spread and concentrated by vermin searching for tasty tidbits. If we spit it into the sun on rail guns or rockets (fancy plan c), we would be draining essential life-stuff from our environment, like a terrarium with a leak in the bottom - doomed to fail. If (plan d) we remove the layers and layers of plastic sheeting and spread the garbage out to give the vermin EASIER access to the garbage, then the garbage gets eaten, all of it that can get eaten anyways. The remaining, inedible would still be a problem. What about developing a safe process to turn each inedible into something our ecological systems can use or, at least not interact with? We lived with fossil fuels - tar pits out in the open air for... how long? Heavy metal ores have been around even longer than fossil fuels.

(Bottom line) Every piece of garbage we have made needs to be returned to a natural state in a safe manner. We would need to come up with a way to change the inedible garbage into stuff the rest of the world can live with. A depleted uranium bullets that got vaporized into radioactive dust when it hit a tank or bunker, that dust needs to become non-radioactive uranium, it needs our help.

I believe, if worse comes to worse (plan a), Life on Earth will survive. Rats and cockroaches are too tough for us to kill.. so far. Something will survive no matter how badly we mess up. The question is whether or not humanity is one of the survivors or just another passenger pigeon.

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