April 22, 2022- It’s been fifty-two years since environmental activists gathered, en masse, to protest the policies that contributed to the Santa Barbara oil spill, which happened less than a year earlier.
We have, as a species, gone back and forth on the environment vs. economics issue, over these past many years, and a relative handful of entrepreneurs have engaged in “greenwashing” practices, which look like they are contributing to the improvement of the environment, but do little or nothing to actually help things along. There is also the microplastics aspect, to say nothing of their larger refuse, which has considerable long-term validity, in that the residue of plastics does settle in the stomachs of people and animals, finding its way into the bloodstreams and tissue, of those who ingest it. We can be more discerning, in dealing with the former. The latter, by contrast, will take much more research, as to how to safely capture microscopic plastic residue, store it, reverse engineer it into a usable fuel, and so on.
In the meantime, we have many tasks ahead, in saving both the Earth and ourselves. Alternative sources of energy are in their relative childhood, as electric cars are still prohibitively expensive for a good many people, disposal of spent batteries for such vehicles needs to be addressed-as does the safe disposal of the rare metals that go into such batteries. Every innovation that helps relieve one problem has its drawbacks that need to be addressed, preferably before the innovation becomes a mass-produced item.
That said, there is no place for throwing up our hands and just continuing down the road that we’ve been bumping along, for the next century or more. Every energy-wasting practice needs to be evaluated, and either reformed or discarded, based on the availability of viable alternative practices. Thankfully, there are solutions, some yet not articulated or made practicable, which will go along way towards alleviating the distress of the planet once the bugs are worked out.
Tonight and tomorrow night, I will man a shelter for those fleeing a sizable wildfire, southeast of town. During the day tomorrow, it’ll be time to help man a couple of booths at the community’s Earth Day event. I will cat-nap my way around these and have time to rest afterward.
As a one-time psychedelic band advised in the late ’60s: “Wake up, it’s tomorrow.”