Will We Ever Learn

So Earth Day was April 22, which was yesterday at time of writing. I honestly believe that the majority of people on earth didn’t know or care that this was happening, even though it has been happening since 1970 when it was considered the birth of the modern environmental movement. 1970. Fifty-three years ago. And where are we now?

My local community organized a volunteer day where people cleaned up along the roadside and in the ditches. They picked up things like litter, tires and even a stove top. WTF! Yes certain people in 2023 still felt the need to dispose of tires and a stovetop by the side of the road. Our waste management system would take care of most of these things. And when it comes to tires, Nova Scotians can return up to four regulated used tires at a time for recycling to any tire retailer in the province free of charge. Apparently, for some, that is too much work.

What really pisses me off is that fifty-three years after the first Earth Day, people don’t care enough to dispose of their garbage properly. Certain people, a minority by the way, still have to clean up other people’s messes. Businesses are still making environmentally negligent decisions and don’t care. And governments can change the rules with every election.

So now I really have to ask this: what is the point of turning off your lights for one night a year. Or of sharing memes of the cause in the moment. I look around my neighbourhood, which is a very nice neighbourhood–one where we used to be able to see a beautiful starry night on a regular basis. But what is happening in this neighbourhood is that the people who have moved here in the past several years are paranoid and afraid of the dark. Some used to live in the city where a dark night is rare. Others have built huge homes that they fear will be broken into. They are afraid of other people and of wild animals even though the animals were here first.

My neighbour built a huge three-car garage in his front yard. It is actually closer to the side of my house than to his house at the end of his driveway. He leaves the outside lights lit on this garage at night, which shine into the side windows of my house and actually reflect off a white door and light up my bedroom. He also leaves house lights on that shine into the back windows of my house, also lighting up my bedroom even with the blinds closed.

Three doors down is another neighbour who has flood lights every few feet around his roof. I guarantee that both these houses were fully lit up on the night of Earth Day and every other effing night of the year. Again WTF! 

The Doc and I have lived in this house on this street in this neighbourhood for twenty-five years. No one we know has ever been broken into. And yes, I know there is a first time for everything, but if you think that a bunch of lights are going to stop someone from breaking into someplace at 4:am if they really want to, you are delusional. The light will actually help them see what they are doing as they quietly move around when you are asleep. 

Turn the effing lights out. It will conserve electricity, will be better for the habitat of night creatures, and will reduce light pollution so that maybe we could see more stars. If you’re that paranoid, put in an alarm system.

Instead of worrying about the earth and climate change, people are still: driving their gas-guzzling cars and trucks, purchasing gas powered and noisy ATV’s that disturb wildlife and tear up natural habitats, destroying the shorelines by ripping out all the natural growth that keeps them from eroding, tossing their garbage everywhere, and not giving a crap about the damage they are causing. After fifty-three years, you would think we would do better.

Thank you for reading. 

Photo:  Ryan Hutton, Unsplash

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11 thoughts on “Will We Ever Learn

  1. Littering is a huge personal peeve of ours. We’re constantly stopping on the side of the road and picking up others people trash. It’s disgusting. You made it. Dispose of it properly.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’d entirely agree with you about when the environmental movement really started – youth today think they started it recently but it was right back in the early 70s. That was when our whole family, and especially myself, became environmentalists and worried about rubbish, overuse of natural resources, pollution etc. We were considered cranks at the time though!

    You’re spot on with your post. Outside lighting really annoys me, especially in the countryside as I also like to go out and look at the stars when the skies are clear (not often here). I think the only kind of outside lighting which should be allowed are ones which come on when someone approaches! There’s no reason to light up the area in between. Someone coming into a lit area won’t cause you to look out the window but a light coming on will!

    Where I lived previously, it was a village and fairly rural but I was right next to a huge old mill which had been turned into business premises. They had huge spotlights shining right into my house. They mainly shone into the side window upstairs so I never bothered to put the light on to go upstairs to the bathroom, I just left that curtain back and used their light. It wasn’t good for accessing my driveway though – I couldn’t see to drive the car onto the drive in an evening and, when I was on foot, I couldn’t see as I approached my drive whether anyone was on it (not that they would be around there but I prefer to see for myself).

    Oh, and the only attempted burglary we had on our street, the guy leaned out of the window and started shooting at him! We aren’t allowed guns here so the burglar got a huge shock. It was probably only an air gun but we all laughed ourselves silly about it and no-one ever came back on our street!

    Liked by 1 person

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