Taking Responsibility for One’s Own Garbage

This morning, as a number of landowners in Onanole went for their daily walk they were astonished to see that someone overnight had backed up a truck and dumped construction wastes, plastic bottles, coffee cups, and a host of other materials on a walking trail in a local sub-division.

What was astonishing was that anyone today would do something like this anywhere in Manitoba – and avoid having to take the materials to a local landfill.  What was insulting was to drop this material in a local residential sub-division, as if it was a local receptacle for trash.  Lots of metaphors come to mind!  Here is what this pile of garbage looked like.

Construction materials dumped on local walking trail

Construction materials dumped on local walking trail

As we turn the corner of October and are less than 9 weeks from the international meeting of over 190 nations of the world to obtain agreement on a new international climate treaty and reduction of carbon emissions, I am amazed that there are some who still treat our neighborhoods as trash bins. And there are many who treat the planet the same way.  What is needed is a very stiff NO – this is not acceptable –  from the citizens of our community and all over our planet – we need to clean up our messes.  And, those who pollute or do not care need to pay very heavily.  Putting a price on polluters and on the cost of carbon emissions is something that has been missing from our  economic forecasts.  They now need to be accounted for.


The Midway Journey

An artistic (video, photography) exposure of the Midway Atoll.

“Midway Atoll is a collection of three small islands in the North Pacific, about halfway between the US and Asia, and one of the remotest places on earth.

It is located near the apex of the Pacific Garbage Patch, a swirling soup of millions of tons of plastic pollution.  The islands are covered with plastic garbage, illustrating on several levels, the interconnectedness and interdependence of the systems on our finite planet.” – from Midway Journey, the website.

The video tells a story:

This is the generation that must act

Foreword to The New Climate Deal, A Pocket Guide, by the WWF:

This is the generation that must stop the spread of pollution

that is slowly killing the planet…

Rolling back the tide of a warming planet

is a responsibility that we have to ourselves,

to our children, and all of those who

will inherit creation long after we are gone.”

-Barack Obama, Strasbourg. April 2009


You have likely seen the number 350 pop up when talking about carbon emissions. The number is key to survival of the planet – it represents the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that is safe to have if we expect life to continue to thrive.  Here is an excellent link to an article about the science of 350ppm carbon dioxide, and why this is so important.   350-The Number That Will Save The Planet