Tuesday, August 28, 2007


When I was little, pollution was not, or it did not seem like, a complicated problem. Pollution, as I or Chief Iron Eyes Cody1 saw it, as people throwing trash out of a car. The tag line was something like, "People start pollution. People can stop it." Either that, or keep your gosh darned trash in the car, people. I cannot remember which.

Pollution seemed so much more simple. Even though we were in the Industrial Revolution with smokestacks sending all sorts of things into the air and environment, we were worried about the trash thrown out of cars.

Then it turns out, people started suing companies when their kids got cancer at a higher rate, or their lawn started glowing at night, or for whatever reason. Superfunds were created to pay for the cleanup, and I sort of am guessing here, but I am guessing that taxpayers funded most of this cleanup. The companies were doing us a favor, you know, creating jobs and making transistors. Or whatever they were making.

Some lake up north even started burning. Can you imagine having a lake burn because of the trash and whatever in the lake? A tad more unnerving than a Mars bar candy wrapper thrown by the side of the road.

Now we have things like light pollution and noise pollution. I learned about light pollution in school – an astronomy lesson. Heard a few years ago that LA suffered from a blackout, and 911 was flooded with calls from people who saw these strange lights in the sky. Strange that some Los Angeles natives did not ever expect to see stars in their sky – all on account of light pollution.

I attribute noise pollution to politicians – not because they are not addressing the problem, but because they are the problem. Okay, that was a little harsh. Noise pollution can be a bit subjective. I consider noise pollution when I am stopped at a red light and have someone's booming bass rattle my fillings. Perhaps jackhammers and such, when someone is making improvements to their house by taking out the concrete that they no longer need is a better example. Few enjoy listening to jackhammers at eight in the morning.

So now, what kind of tagline should we have to stop pollution?

Pollution. Ignoring it has not solved the problem. Yet …

Oh, looks like I passed 200,000 page views. Pollution of the mind? Perhaps. In any case, thanks, dear readers for reading my stuff. I imagine 190,000 of those page views involved looking for porn. Did I say that out loud?

1The Native American who shed a tear in the 1970s ad campaign (that seemed to last until the 80s).


Kat said...

Having grown up with the Litter Bug, the thought of tossing something out the window is completely out of my relm of possibilities. I live in one of the most beautiful rural areas in the my state...and yet the roadways are a disaster of litter. Whats the matter with people?

mal said...

having spent a much of my life in LA I can attest to the lack of stars in the sky. Few realize until they are out in desert or mountains and away from the light and haze.

The pollution problem is like any other problem, solve the parts that are solvable then go back and look at the problem again. It will not be anywhere near as easy "just say no" but it will take an ongoing effort

At least the Cuyahoga doesn't catch fire anymore

RWA said...

I remember those commercials.

And it is scary how many people in the "big" cities don't know what stars look like.

Congratulations on your 200,000 views! I guess I'm one of the 10,000 who are NOT looking for porn - although I do read your stories.

Ian Lidster said...

I'm very impressed by your stats, my love. And, such readership is deserved. As for noise pollution, a recent British study indicates that noise pollution actually shortens noise due to the stresses of incessant din. Personally, I think piped music takes at least a decade off.

Anonymous Boxer said...

When my family left Ohio in 1966 for a better world out West, Lake Erie was on fire. It's a "clean" lake now, so in many ways, we have less pollution.

And not.

For the record, when you do write porn, it's well written porn.

kathi said...

I remember when I was little and people threw trash out of the car windows...no big deal. I don't know how that was ever acceptable. It's always made me mad to see people litter, whether it's dropping it on the sidewalk, on the beach or out a car window. I remember that commercial so well.

Wow, sweetie, you're one popular girlie. No wonder, you're the best.

Leesa said...

kat: I have, once or twice, volunteered to clean up stretches of roadway, and it can be disturbing.

mal: seems to me that someone smarter than I will have to find partial solutions to the pollution problem.

rwa: well, I think there is a few more than 10,000 not looking for porn.

ian: I love to go to the country and just hear quiet. It is so nice and peaceful.

boxer: Lake Erie, that's the lake I was referring to. I just could not recall the name. Thanks.

kathi: I can't stand people who litter. I want to write more on the subject, but I know I will be boaring folks.

Jen said...

Hi Leesa, I enjoy reading your stuff :)

Jen said...

Hi again! I've been here a couple of times already because I do enjoy reading your stuff :)

I commented on this particular entry because you seemed so surprised that you have so many readers :)

Thanks for stopping by my site. I guess my secret's out hahaha....:)
Oh, and thanks for the sub =)

Leesa said...

jen: I am humbled by your comments. As I said before, Mikey is a cutie. And he seems really smart.

The Singing Patient said...

well said.
i believe the lake on fire you're thinking of is the Hudson River in NY state. Pete Seegar wrote about it, and there is a Clearwater environmental folk festival on that site every year. Pete is old but he is still around and still just as passionate.
Every so often I catch wind that the companies who pollute in a manner that causes cancer also ahve something to do with what kind of research for cancer cures get money. I saw a book in Borders the other day whose sleeve basically accuses these companies of deliberatly not trying to cure cancer, but to make it less lethal, so they cna make the money on both ends- create the disease with the crap they sell, then scoop up profits on their toxic drugs. If true, then truly despicable.
Meanwhile, I have our household down to 1 medium bag of trash per week, plus a bin of paper to recycle once a month. I started a compost heap and quit buying bottled beverages.
as eleanor roosevelt said "never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can make a difference. indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Leesa said...

singing patient: I love your songs.

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