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LETTER: Humankind must stop polluting our sole spaceship, Earth

Letter to the editor

To the editor;

Re: Surrey being first city in region to ban plastic check-out bags

As individual consumers, far too many of us still recklessly behave as though throwing non-biodegradable garbage down a dark chute, or pollutants flushed down toilet/sink drainage pipes or emitted out of elevated exhaust pipes or spewed from sky-high jet engines and very tall smoke stacks — even the largest toxic-contaminant spills in rarely visited wilderness — can somehow be safely absorbed into the air, water, and land (i.e. out of sight, out of mind). It’s like we’re inconsequentially dispensing of that waste into a black-hole singularity, in which it’s compressed into nothing.

Admittedly, I notice every time I discard of trash, I receive a reactive Spring-cleaning-like sense of disposal satisfaction. Heck, I even feel it, albeit far more innocently, when deleting and especially double-deleting email.

Perhaps it’s basically due to Earth’s relatively large size, which seemingly enables a general obliviousness, if not carelessness, in regards to the vast natural environment.

I’ll never forget the astonishingly short-sighted, entitled selfishness I observed about four years ago, when a TV news reporter randomly asked a young urbanite wearing sunglasses what he thought of government restrictions on disposable plastic straws. “It’s like we’re living in a nanny state, always telling me what I can’t do,” he recklessly retorted.

Astonished by his shortsighted little-boy selfishness, I wondered whether he’d be the same sort of individual who’d likely have a sufficiently grand sense of entitlement — i.e. ‘Like, don’t tell me what I can’t waste or do, dude!’ — to permit himself to now, say, deliberately dump a whole box of unused straws into the nearest pristine water-body, just to stick it to the authorities who’d dare tell him that enough is enough with our gratuitous massive dumps of plastics (the strait, of course, being defenseless against such guys who’d assert such self-granted sovereignty).

His carelessly entitled mentality to this day makes me angry. No wonder so much gratuitous yet sea-life-damaging waste eventually finds its way into our life-filled oceans, where there are few, if any, caring souls to see it.

Though we all need to keep doing our very best to correct it ASAP, humankind, in short, is distracting itself/ourselves from our own burning and heavily polluting of our sole spaceship, Earth. If it were not for environmentally conscious and active young people who are just reaching voting age, matters would be even bleaker than they are.

​Frank Sterle Jr.

White Ro​ck, B.C.


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