Not really a good lesson learned from Thailand….

I am a Greenie.  I vote Green.  I think Green and I practice green to a large extent.  I am not perfect but I am concerned where my waste oil goes and I don’t burn treated wood or plastic and such.  I compost.  Recycle.  That kinda thing.  That does not make me David Suzuki but I am better than most, not as good as some.  Gimme a B-.

But, as you know, we spent two months in SE Asia.  That’s an eye opener and a nose-closer.  Put succinctly, Bangkok produces more pollution in a month than does all of BC in a year.  Even newly eco-conscious (it’s all relative) Hong Kong (and all of China has become more eco-conscious officially at least) produces more garbage and pollution per capita than does anyone in BC.  I may be wrong in that metric but it sure seems that way.  And they (Xi Jinping the newest dictator-for-life) are all talking like that.  Asia is NOT environmentally conscious – not in a relative sense, anyway.  But it is moving that way.

And, when I started to think about it, I wondered, “Where the hell does all their garbage go?”  I do not know the whole of the answer but a large portion ends up on streets, ditches, canals and in neighbourhood heaps every now and then.  The largest portion of Thai garbage ends up in the gulf of Thailand.

Thailand has a BIG waste disposal problem and it is only getting bigger every day.

Thailand is not the worst of the SE Asian countries but it is likely second after the Philippines (and China, of course, simply because of it’s size)

“What’s your point, Dave?”

I don’t have a good point.  But this is true: whatever effort I make, whatever effort we all (in BC) make, none of it is a bucket in the ocean of garbage that is currently polluting everything globally and especially everything in the Far East.  The world is awash in garbage.

“So, what is your point, Dave?  I am getting bored……” 

The point is: pollution and environmental degradation are now almost fully recognized as real issues that are threatening us all and yet, and yet……we are still NOT DOING anything about it in any significant way and the Trumpists are actually advocating for the opposite.  “More oil!  More coal!  More and higher tariffs on solar panels! More industry and let’s throw in a war or two to jump-start the economy.  Nuclear?  Why the hell not!?”  

And Canada?  “More oil!  Ship it to the coast. To hell with the environment, we need jobs.”  

It is madness and we are being complicit because we don’t want to rock the boat.  We don’t want to be uncomfortable even as we drown in garbage and watch the natural world crash and literally burn.  Shouldn’t we at least write a protest to the imbecile-in-chief and the clown-prince of parliament?

But, maybe I am wrong?  Maybe the whole world is going the way of Fresh Kills (the highest elevation on the US eastern seaboard is the garbage mountain in New Jersey called Fresh Kills).  Maybe I should relax and simply watch as the natural world dies and Walmarts sprout up instead of trees, mountains of garbage replace the mountains torn down by strip mining and bottled water slakes our thirst instead of that from mountain streams.

Who am I to stand in the way of progress?

Well, I am not alone in passively standing up against it…read mark Boyle (he of the Moneyless Manifesto and now three other books).  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/19/a-year-without-tech-debt-gadgets-reconnect-nature

But, before Rachel and Justin sell us out completely, I strongly suggest they go for a swim in the Gulf of Thailand, a wade in the Yangtze or a dip in the Ganges.  Let them bathe in the filth and toxicity that has become all too common around this world.  Vacation in Bangladesh.  Feed them sea food from Hong Kong Harbour.  Please.  Force-feed them if you must!

Do I think such an experience will open their eyes?

Of course not.  It may blind them for a day or so and one large meal of it might even kill them but ‘change their mind’?  Death is easier.  There’s always hope.

18 thoughts on “Not really a good lesson learned from Thailand….

  1. I think you might be thinking of Jason Kinney, carbon tax hater and Sara Palin, ‘drill baby drill’. In fact the Cons reject global warming, carbon taxes and all things the ‘Snow Flakes’ want to mitigate. Should it not be Kenney swimming in the filth and toxicity? The aspirational world of electric cars, magnetic levitation is still in the future and will likely not emerge in Thailand. A better future that has greatly reduced pollution might be possible in places like Singapore but the hinterlands will continue to be exploited for a long time. Many places in Northern Europe seem to be making progress on some social issues.

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    • I agree. There is much to be optimistic about. The problem is, the garbage, in the meantime, just keeps piling up. The Pacific Vortex is a ‘sea’ of plastic garbage that has broken down enough to ‘infiltrate’ small fish and shellfish and the earth’s animal population is half what it used to be.

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  2. Frighteningly true! Central America is no different. I just returned from a chicken bus trip through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. I was so disheartened I flew back! The plastics were piled up like northern snow against the fences along the highway. Everyone drinks bottled water (even though the beer is cheaper!) and casts their empties to the wind.
    And Solar power? None! More expedient to burn Venezuelan oil.
    The next generation better be a whole lot smarter than this one!

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    • That touches on something I just DO NOT GET……why the hell doesn’t everyone have solar panels? Some, anyway? They work. They are cheaper in the medium term (used to be long term but it’s better now) and you gain SOME independence. What is everyone thinking? I’ve had them for 15 years and they were good at $5.00 a watt and now that price has dropped to less than $1.00 a watt. A $10K investment pays itself back in three to five years. WTH!

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      • You are correct but many power producers in the USA are fighting the installation of solar panels for reason of unfair competion. The Sun pays no taxes. It is unfair for Americans to extract natural resources which belong to the multinationals, free electricity that is communism.

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      • I know. The ignorance of the people and the greed of the corporations outweigh the wisdom of the market or the generosity of Nature. We can’t see ‘FREE’ when it hits us in the face because we are told to believe ‘there is no such thing as a free lunch’. Even tho there is! Nature provides freely. Accept graciously. Duh!

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      • Lack of education. I talked to a number of businesses down there and they all said ‘get us the information’. What am I? Google?
        The other thing they told me was the government was thriving on cheap Venezuelan oil to the extent it was resisting renewables.
        Doesn’t explain their position on plastics and recycling though.

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      • I know. As you know, I was also in HK. I have some rich friends there. “Hey, Dave. What do you think of us getting in some of those solar panels? Do they work? How much would it cost? What do I do when it rains?” And THESE are smart guys. I said, “It is a no brainer. And you are showing the no brains by not having them. Do it. If I have to come back and install it for you, I will. But I do not want to. It is easy. It is smart. It is the right thing to do.”
        I will likely die before they actually DO it. And that ‘resistance’ is common. It’s lethargy, really.

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  3. The corporations are screaming, “We can not compete with the Sun, it all atomic fusion and stuff. It’s the worst form of insidious government ripping off us capitalists!

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    • ‘’Reflections of an untidy mind.”
      Dear Reflections;
      Read your post and agree with your thesis. The problems you identify are common in Canada. The will to do anything about it is weak. The Right Wing politicians cry constantly about taxes being too high but they support corporate welfare. Very sad! They mock anyone who tries to improve things.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was reading in the Economist the other week.
    The world produces 380 million tonnes of plastic per year.
    We recover(recycle) aprox 10% of it. The rest is either burned, buried or bouncing on the waves.
    Plastic in the ocean is broken down by the sun the salt and time.
    Into microscopic plastic.
    Estimated micro plastic particulate small enough for fish to eat in all the world’s oceans…….51 TRILLION pieces of plastic….If we stopped dumping the annual amount of 2 million tonnes of plastic into all the worlds oceans today…..it will take hundreds of years to clean up the mess. .
    And one of the worst polluters, China allows 1.5 million tons PER DAY to flow from just the Yangtze river into the ocean……of the ten worst polluting rivers on the planet …. 2 are in Africa and the other 8 are in Asia………they account for 2/3’s of all the plastic spewed into the worlds seas.
    And we thought mercury in tuna was an issue.
    Scientist have found the greatest contamination in shellfish due to the fact that we eat its guts and all ……unlike fish.

    Not to worry.
    In 100 years
    Global warming and increased ocean acidity will render most of the worlds oceans a warm toxic goo that supports jellyfish and not much else.

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      • That’s why I have NO faith in leaders. ‘Cause they ain’t leading from the front. They are leading from the old status quo. They have their heads and perspective so far backwards, the sun don’t shine there. How do we make progress with retarded minds in charge?

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