June 2007

Demanding Accountability

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It’s The Climate

By Ron Lee
The Verbal Assassin

A picture is worth a thousand words. At least that's what I'm told. I wonder what these images will conjure to those involved in the making of the subject matter.

We live in a society, now, that relies on others to clean up after us, all the while believing and belly-aching that global change must occur in order to save our planet from a "man-made" planetary climate change.

For those of you old enough to remember, back in the 70s there used to be public service announcements that would show images of rivers and streams, forests and meadows, all covered in garbage and then an image of an old Native man with tears streaming down his face. The message was clear and simple. Perhaps if we had listened then we wouldn't be living in an over-polluted world now. The PSA's were eventually pulled, the lesson lost, and the littering continues unabated.

Perhaps if this personal responsibility was enforced and littering fines were actually levied and not just left to be another unenforced law, things would change. I wonder, too, just how much money would have been raised through the fining of these wrong-doers. Would it have offset the tax burden on law abiding, non-polluting, citizens?

When traveling abroad the amount of trash in the streets was a tell-tale sign of how good a country was. Unfortunately for us, we are no longer leading by example. Living in this service oriented, capitalist driven, experiment has left us lazy and complacent. Someone gets paid to clean-up after us, right? Fortunately for Grants Pass, Oregon, where "It’s the Climate" is their motto, this is thankfully true and the massive amounts of personal debris that remained on the sidewalks and in the streets after its Memorial Day/Boatnik celebratory parade were removed by city employees. Generally, a thankless job.

Thank you.

I, however, wish we didn't need you. I wish people lived with a sense of personal responsibility for their environment and world, a world which is much better off with far less garbage destroying its beauty, ecosystems, rivers, oceans and forests.

And for those of you who throw your crap out of your car or onto the streets, or just leave it lying around ... shame on you. You are worse than locust plagues that leave nothing behind. Trash your house, not mine.

It is truly the current climate of personal thinking that has mired us in our own muck and left our world aching. I wonder, however, if it is too late or if we can learn the lessons of a lone Indian crying for what has already been lost.

Can we ever live in a climate of change for the better or are we already doomed by our own over-indulgent laziness? Time will tell.

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