John Cortez Turner
Stop Complaining and DO SOMETHING!!
You know, I sure am glad to live in a world where we’ve got super heroes like Superman, Batman and the Flash. Honestly, having them around makes life so easy, I barely have to do a thing for myself. Someone robbed me? Superman will catch the bad guy and return what was taken. Oil starts leaking into the sea? Not a problem with Aquaman or Aqualad! With these defenders of the depths, you can bet your barnacles that they won't sit by and allow oil to spill into our oceans. Stupid logging companies destroying our forests for the sake of something like money? Well, she may not be a hero but Poison Ivy will most certainly have none of that. Sure she might kill everyone involved with the logging company and attempt to create a utopian society for plant life, but hey, as long as someone gives a crap about the environment and it doesn’t cost us taxpayers anything, someone will do something about it without getting involved in politics right? Oh wait, NO! The world doesn’t work like that. We don’t have superheroes around to clean up after their or our messes and defend the world from all sorts of evil. The only things we can rely on are ourselves. If only the people of Montana could see the reality of that though. Writer Jared Diamond, author of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fall or Succeed, spends an entire chapter of his book describing the struggles of Montana. This is done to illustrate the division of the state’s people and presumably how close we Americans are to a societal collapse ourselves. In order to show this, he describes the problems they face with issues like mining, government regulation, population growth and development and subdivision of agricultural land. Now Mr. Diamond might put on this façade of being completely indifferent while he sees and sides with both those nutty environmentalists and those cold hearted big businessmen, but I can see right through this little mask of his and see where he really stands. Now sure, Diamond is sympathetic to both sides but it’s obvious that he leans more towards the environmentalists as he is constantly telling them in his novel that they CAN’T just sit around and do nothing while they waste time complaining about everything that’s going on! They have to actually DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT besides isolating themselves. He’s telling them that they need to get involved with their government if they want things to be different and frankly I agree with him.
The first issue that Diamond goes into at length in his first chapter is mining and specifically the problems caused by the toxic wastes and ore residue from the miners not cleaning up their waste. Why don’t the miners clean up after themselves? Well as Diamond writes on page 38 of Collapse, miners of the past didn’t have any requirements, governmental or otherwise, instructing them to do so, at least not until 1971. And so from this one would assume that the problem would be fixed simple as that with the law passed but this isn’t the case. In fact miners still don’t bother to clean up after themselves simply due to the fact that it would “cost too much” as would most likely be said if one asked a miner or a businessman in charge of mining. Curse those corporate businessmen! Never wanting to spend a bit just to make the world a nicer place! Where do they get off doing something like that? Well, who says that they don’t want to clean up? The average citizen for one but what happens when they’re turned to for contribution to the problem at hand? As Diamond writes again on page 38, “…taxpayers don’t want to step in and pay billions of dollars or cleanup costs either.” Plain and simple, the average citizen doesn’t want to pay any money on something that they had no personal involvement in, and even then people are reluctant to pay for anything unless they want it bad enough. That new flat-screen television? Oh sure, people will pay though the...
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