BY NICOLA GROBE
Across the street from us is a pond and a stream with lots of Indian Cabbage also called Sunk Cabbage, lots of wetland vegetation, a peaceful idyllic place. When we moved here 3 years ago there were hundreds of frogs singing their songs, birds of all types, deer, rabbits, and even a juvenile bear. We love this gorgeous place which we thought of as safe from people who pollute. We thought wrong. About a month ago there were workers doing construction, it was a lot of heavy noise and commotion going on. Towards the end of their project they dumped a liquid which smelled like gasoline, into this beautiful frog pond. Ever since then we heard no more frogs singing. Every day and every night I feel this heavy weight on my chest. I call it grief.
Why do people dump?
A) They are not informed about the consequences.
B) They don’t give a hoot about it.
C) To save money on paying a waste processing facility to recycle or dispose of it safely. Its all three of those points but point C is the dominant one because most people work on incentives.
You got the wrong incentives and people will fall into it like puzzle pieces into a puzzle game. Our waste management facilities are completely backwards. I have tried for years to talk sense into the people who run them, I talked to politicians, “environmentalists”, activists, and some folks at the waste management places. None of them agreed with me. Matter of fact they snickered. What an irony and double standard of them to support this type of backwards incentive waste management? On one hand the local “environmentalists” who get their “whale” tail license plates and grants are all proclaiming to clean up the wetlands and much of their grant money comes in for this very purpose, but when it comes to cleaning up the very core reason for the pollution they snicker at those who petition for a reform. Why are they in resistance to a reform? My only guess is that the people in the management positions as well as the politicians who they support are getting their own incentives not to make any adjustments to the system. They are all way too happy with the money they generate and each put into their bank accounts. Although I can’t force anybody to reform, at least I have the right to campaign for a better incentive system within our laws, locally and nationwide. This frog problem persists in the very same manner throughout the USA. Many frog species are becoming extinct in an alarming rate like never before in history of planet Earth. The Golden Toad just became extinct along with many other species. The amount of suffering that is going on caused by industrial pollution is horrendous. I feel sick in my stomach about this disregard for Earth. Maybe if they find another planet to live on without vegetation, then those who pollute can go there instead of un-terraforming this mother planet. Leave the real nature lovers behind and take all of your polluting equipment with you to the new dust planet.
The reform of the waste management system requires a totally new incentive system: The facility needs to take toxic waste for free every single work day. Not just once a year. Because the construction workers don’t want to pay or hold on to it for a whole year in order to take it to a waste management facility. And that’s why they dump it instead in those places where nobody sees them which is exactly the places where it does the most damage. They also need incentives not to buy toxic materials in the first place and instead buy alternative and safer materials. There are paint thinners now that are non toxic and non flammable which are even cheaper and work better than the traditional ones. There is an alternative material to almost any toxic material. My emphasis here is on the waste management facilities, they should accept all forms of toxic waste for free at all times. That is the only way to solve this problem. The best way would be to pay people by the pound for toxic waste, because then people would help to clean up the already littered places and nature could recover. For example they already do it with bottles and aluminum cans and that is exactly why lots of people, many of them are poor and homeless, are collecting these trash items. If this was not in place those items would be littered everywhere. They need to do the same with toxic waste materials if we want a clean and safe environment.
What is the most important thing for carbon based lifeforms (which includes humans)? I say the healthy planet with trees, forests, Indian Cabbage and frogs. Wouldn’t you say that as well?