I told everyone there would be a match up today……..Heh heh, Do you all believe everything you read on Twitter? What’s the wrestling term for that….A mark? While everyone goes and blows up the Box Office today for the opening of The Avengers: Endgame, I’m choosing instead to show my support for multiple topics of importance. Not only does my refusal to spend money on the big Disney machine act as a personal stance against putting all of our corporate eggs in one basket, but it also gives me a moment to show you, through my own version of geekdom, my support for other topics and projects. Enter…. My VUDU wish list of other things I fully intend to spend my money on and you will get a picture of what this post is going to be about.
On April 18th Jason Mamoa put up a video on his Youtube channel to raise awareness for recycling and limiting the pollution caused by plastics. On the level, I tend to be more of a naturalist than an environmentalist. It seems with the type of coverage we get of the topic that no one with sense could even know where to begin. Activists paint a picture of a massive death toll attributed to climate change, while the U.N. tells us that the hole in the ozone layer over the Arctic is slowly repairing itself. Activists follow one branch of scientific belief that says things like climate change will increase the number of deaths from insect born diseases, while other statistics show that since 2000 the number of global malaria infections are down 37% while malaria related deaths are down 62%. Activists will tell us we are one or two generations from certain death due to climate issues that the government needs to step in and do something about. 11,000 years ago we had an era that is called The Ice Age, so while climate change is very obviously real, it is also very clearly a natural process that can lead to massive changes. What it ultimately begs the question of is, how much stock do we give 200 years of scientific development and political power playing in the study of something that has been constantly changing for literally millions of years?
So why am I all poo poo on the “We’re ALL gonna die over the climate change.” argument while supporting Jason Mamoa and his stance. The answer to this is because I believe in the power of arguing visible viewpoints over hypothetical scare tactics. I lived in the state of West Virginia for over 25 years from 1990 until 2015. One of the most historical tragedies to ever hit the state was the Buffalo Creek flood of 1972 in which the collapse of 3 coal slurry dams caused a massive flood that killed 125 people. In the years that I had lived in WV there was another accident involving the mines and that was the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster that killed 29 miners after a coal dust explosion caused collapse. The CEO of the company would go on to be sentenced to a year in federal prison when it was found that he had willfully violated mine health and safety standards, cutting costs that had ultimately contributed to that disaster and the death of 29 people.
Had enough yet? Fast forward to January 2014 to the incident known as the West Virginia Water Crisis. On January 9th, 2014 over 7,500 gallons of
4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) was leaked into the Elk River a few miles upstream of the West Virginia American Water intake which left over 300,000 residents in 9 counties without potable water for 9 days. The incident also saw 169 people end up getting checked with non-fatal illnesses, 14 of those, bad enough to be hospitalized. The DEP investigation would find that negligence in the storing of the chemicals was the biggest contributing factor. Are we seeing a pattern here? I have seen and experienced firsthand the ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT left behind by big corporations when they want their greater profit over conducting their business in a responsible fashion and while it may not be the death of us in a handful of generations…..Maybe, it has been both fatal and costly to the health of the general population surrounding them when the straw breaks the camel’s back so to speak. These were just a couple examples from one area, that I could personally speak to my knowledge of from being present when they occurred. In short, I am not so quick to dismiss the “tree huggers” when they are RIGHT. Which is also why I believe making the environment a political issue is rather asinine. The moment you take scientific findings and apply this one left and this one right, you ensure that the purpose behind the study loses it’s meaning. All of these findings are meant to be taken in as a whole to help science piece together the puzzle.
A can of soda can be bought for about 50 cents out of a vending machine in a lot of places, and a lot of times, the price is generally dictated by the brand rather than the cost to produce. A plastic bottle of water from a vending machine tends to cost about as much as a bottle of soda, or about a dollar to 1.50 now while it’s true you get more, about 8 ounces more, usually, there is little showing a justification for that price difference. What does price indicate? It indicates just how cheap both forms of packaging are, only one is 100% recyclable, the other is chemical based and is not 100 percent recyclable. Sounds like a practical solution to me and what is even better is that, not only is aluminum better environmentally than plastic, but because it counts as scrap metal, even just bagging your cans and setting them out for scavengers to collect also gives a hand to people who are generally in need of money, so that gives it bonus points in my book. So my take is a simple take from a simple geek…..I stand with Aquaman.