WASTE MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION IN THE BAY AREA
No society anywhere is the world can afford using fossil fuel that is not going to be available soon some say may be as soon as 2020. We ought to conserve and learn to use clean energy but more learn to conserve when it comes to our essential resources. We cannot take our clean drinking water for granted, we cannot afford to continue to cut our forest and think nothing will happen, we cannot afford to send thousands of tons of waste to our land fills and think all is fine with the world. In San Francisco we do well but we can do better.
With the Industrial Revolution came the on slaught of production and with it materialism and waste. Before that many nations thought nothing of killing animals and destroying so many species. We human beings have been a disgrace to the human race when it comes to pollution and waste more when we have been responsible for eliminating so many species and large tracts of forest and land all over the world. Polluting our water and the air that is meant for future generations as well.
The injustice is all the more severe when the British and Americans fore most but others too took their greed to other countries and did vast damage to the ecology of so many countries. I have seen this with my own eyes all over Africa, South America, South Asia and in fact scientists have been tell us for years that we ought to respect the land, the water and the air. Some so called Superpowers think other wise.
Closer to home we take for granted the Hetch Hetchy waters situated at Yosemite National Park. The Sacred waters were stolen from the indigenous people and now we not only drink the water but abuse it by flushing our toilets with clean drinking water. The time has come not only to recycle water but more to conserve it and think of our clean drinking water in the Bay Area as Sacred Water that demands respect.
Surely we can flush our toilets with recycled water. If we can send a person to the moon why not learn to conserve with a little technology? In the Bay Area we have been responsible and owe a great debt when we destroyed huge tracts of Redwood, Sequoia, Fir, and other forests that produce high quality wood.
Often times I have cried when I have been alone under the canopy of the cathedrals of the Redwood Forest and found it difficult how mean and greedy some of us have been to indiscriminately destroy this majestic trees that belonged and are revered by the indigenous people of the areas where they grew freely for thousands of years. Then came the greedy strangers and destroyed all that was good in the name of progress and materialism in a few decades.
Human beings have been short sighted thinking because there was plenty they could use most of it and not having any consideration for those that would follow them in the years to come. All the filthy rich families took advantage of the land they stole and made money from it. This crime continues today when large redwood trees are felled. Each tree can fetch as much as $100,000 and the filth rich continue to defy logic and desecrate the Sacred Trees and tracts that remain intact for centuries.
If each one of us takes it seriously and gives a moment to think before we buy and discard anything before it goes into the trash we will have done humanity a great service. If those that produce think a little about the products especially when it comes to plastic and other materials that cannot be reused our world would be a better place. Most importantly it is we Americans that love to discard and more waste and think nothing much of it. Our wealth comes from the land that was stolen from the First People. We took the land and continue to plunder the resources. We have not learned to respect Mother Earth the fundamental way all traditional First People practice to this day.
The few of us that practice recycling as a science have a difficult time convincing the wasters and I admire those that have the guts and the tenacity to continue good recycling practices. Any way one looks at it we cannot attain our standards alone. We all should work together to send as little to the landfills. Right now if we attain about 80% we will have done ourselves some justice. I do not think zero waste as a mandate is practical. How ever if the legislators want to set it and try to attain this goal it may help to bring those wasters closer to the middle of the pendulum that swings far extreme and encourages waste in today world mostly in the West.
In the years to come it will be expensive to operate recycling sites and operations. The machinery costs a lot but what is more the human beings that have to be hired to carry out sorting and other needs. Many of them linked to benefits and technology that is human friendly. So far we have done some retooling but in the years to come we will have to use the best technology and this will be very expensive.
Cleaners, batteries, toxic chemicals, and many products that we humans continue to use can be substituted with other ecofriendly products but that day has not come to be as a norm. We are trying to address the whole concept of recycling, conservation, technology, landfills, logistics, ecofriendly models with caution and not in a holistic manner. How ever as the years go by the best minds will come together to address all aspects of our human living, the products we use, and the final product that is waste will be looked more upon to recycle and resuse then to be sent to the landfill.
We human today do not see the need for clean energy and building materials using materials that are not natural staying away from wood, and other materials that adversely impact our ecology. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya and was blessed to see and spend many hours around pristine surroundings. I see some areas here in California but I also see the greed that encroaches such areas to deplete the forests and pollute the land, air and water. I see diseases that task our hospitals and further pollute the Earth because fatal diseases pollute in some way or fashion.
Conservation comes with good education and good habits. It is a Religion and the Sacredness of recycling and little waste makes anyone feel good. It is mostly greedy, filthy rich folks that waste a lot mostly because they link the ill gotten wealth with materialism. I do not want to generalize because I have known a couple of millionaires that are staunch supporters and followers of recycling and sending little waste to the landfills and other areas. I also know from dealing and interacting the filthy rich and their attitude that there is no tomorrow. They waste all they can today. In our life time we have seen Superfund Sites because some have chosen to dump toxins that have polluted the watershed. We see that all over San Francisco and more in California. The Department of Defense has led the way and is the leading culprit when it comes to creating Superfund sites. Some have chosen to dump radiological substances and other dangerous chemicals in to our rivers, our lakes, our bay and the Ocean and this is wrong. Such pollution carries on for thousand of years affection the fish, the animals, the birds, the humans, all that breathe.
We all know those that dump chemicals in our drains and down the sink thinking that all is well. Our sewage system and more the San Francisco sewer system constantly pollute the Bay and the watershed.
The old 900 miles of sewer pipes need repair and upgrades and the dirty, toxic sewer daily pollutes the watershed by leaching millions of gallons of sewer water.
We can say the same of the 1500 miles of old over 70 years plus clean drinking water pipes that come under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). We cannot attain standards with Susan Leal as the Manager of the SFPUC. Nor can we attain standards under Barbara Hale an Karen Kubbick inept and very arrogant folks that have no idea about Clean Energy. We should not place the 3 Combustion Turbines in the Bayview to pollute the air and kill our innocent children. Such folks set back conservation, recycling, good waste management and any decency for clean human living.
The air, the land, and the water are given to us to respect and care. The forest and other minerals to use carefully and handed down to future generations. It is NOT ours to destroy animals, fish, insects, birds, and other living species to the extent that they are endangered and finally disappear from the Earth. It is not our prerogative to destroy what is not ours in the first place.
The Sacred Sense of respect the forest, the land, the air, and all the living beings were created by a Force that some of us have not bothered to ponder, to study, and educate ourselves. We see more of this lethargic attitude in the concrete jungles we call Cities. It is here that a lot of waste takes place, pollution, and much of it sent to the landfills. Recycling and Conservation has just begun and those of us that have being around Recycling know that we have a long way to go.
In San Francisco thanks to better logistics we are making some headway. We have the intelligence to fine tune our logistics, streamline our fiscal operations, and take care of our employees that foster conservation and recycling but mostly importantly respect Mother Earth. As stakeholders each and every one has a role to play.
This is my second article on Waste Management and Conservation and Recycling. There will be more to follow. In the mean time let us educate ourselves and Respect Mother Earth.