Commentary – Out of sight, out of mind

Chris Clegg

I am fascinated on how much money we spend on garbage.

Think about it. We buy a product, then toss what’s left in the trash bin.

If you live in a town or city, you usually pay someone to come and pick it up. You pay again.

It’s taken to a regional landfill, again at taxpayer’s expense, for disposal. You pay yet again.

How ironic is it we pay so much money to get rid of something we don’t want, then lock it up at a regional landfill? Ah, but dark threat of liability comes into effect. It’s the way it is.

There is trash all around us. In the spring, when the snow melts, we see copious quantities of trash all over our town. Too many uncaring people simply toss it out the car window rather than keep it for proper disposal in a trash can.

We won’t even go near the disgusting people who toss their child’s diapers out the car in various spots around town and in parking lots before speeding off, hoping no red flashing light is in the rear view mirror.

Trash is so disgusting we’ve made laws against it. Littering comes to mind. You rarely see it because it’s partly due to the embarrassment of laying such a frivolous charge when most of us are guilty at one time or another. Besides, there must be other more important issues for law enforcement to deal with.

We have accepted the attitude when trash is out of sight, it’s out of mind. It’s too bad, but until someone comes up with a way to recycle all trash at a reasonable cost, we’re left to deal with man’s most disgusting creation.

It has always stirred the bee in my bonnet that we enact laws against leaving our trash [polluting] in the environment. We know it’s not acceptable to toss one’s refuse into your neighbour’s yard, or Crown lands. We know we can’t dump trash into lakes and rivers. It is not only unlawful, it is morally reprehensible.

Yet we still do it at an alarming rate.

There are exceptions. For decades, man has sent rockets, satellites, space probes, etc. into space. Many of the probes land in distant planets and moons.

Is this not pollution is the worst way? Just because we Earthlings won’t see it, nor will it affect us, does not make it right. To send our space junk to other planets and the moon to leave it there in a useless heap is not acceptable.

Who’s to know that our junk doesn’t affect other forms of life we do not know or recognize?

Out of sight, out of mind is a poor excuse. What gives us the right in this expanse called the universe to leave our junk in our neighbour’s yard?

If you believe in karma, we will eventually pay the price. There are millions of galaxies with millions of stars with planets in each. The chances of other forms of life existing is so high it is almost an assured fact.

Many believe higher forms of life are watching Earthlings. What must they think of us when we shoot our trash into space to land on other planets?

Just suppose, one day these higher forms of life strike back. Suppose they send our trash back, or send us some of their own?

Somewhere, Marvin the Martian is laughing.

Or crying.


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