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[GreenYes] Columnist Goes Looney

Columnist Goes Looney
J.M. Huls
_michael@no.address (mailto:michael@no.address)
Re: Tarheel Looney Tunes, Waste Age 9/06: North Carolina declares a
moratorium on reality; I vehemently oppose the columnistâs statements. To the
contrary, itâs about time that someone took a stance against the wasteful practice
of dumping of valuable resources without question. Notwithstanding the
various issue of exporting and importing which are very real and important, I have
to salute the electeds in North Carolina (NC) for taking a temporary stand
against ill-advised approval of more dumps in favor of assessing their
options. Hopefully, their deliberations include zero waste as an option.
The columnist really does a disservice to serious solution minded people
everywhere by making it appear that declaring a moratorium for 12 months is
somehow beyond reality. The columnist himself states that NC has years of
capacity left (âat least a third of the existing landfills in your state will be
full in less than eight yearsâ â meaning that two thirds have more than eight
years left) so why not take the time to consider the options? If not now,
when, perhaps when everything is full?
It sounds to me that the electeds in NC are taking a commonsense approach by
checking for icebergs rather than the past âfull steam ahead and damn the
torpedoesâ mentality that caused the Titanic tragedy and which is causing so
many problems for future generations who will have to deal with the multitude
of dumps that contribute air and water pollution on a grand scale.
As for money, selling out our future generations for a short term profit as
the columnist states (âNot a bad dealââ) is simply ludicrous. We can still
make money through other innovative means. Mining our urban ore for value and
still retaining a franchise tax or fee will make just as much money as
dumping in our own and anyone elseâs backyard.
For the question that âwhat is wrong with [building bigger dumps]? Future
generations will say what took us so long to ban this wasteful and totally
unnecessary practice. Weâve already legislated air emissions and water
emissions (cannot dump in the air or water), so what is wrong with us when we dump
our matter on and in the land? One estimate Iâve seen for the cost of cleaning
up all current and legacy dumps will be greater than our gross national
product. It takes time and planning to create a new reality, and what a better
time than now to put a hold, even just 12 months, on more dumps while we
rationally figure out what really needs to be done? North Carolina, if rationale
thinking is called a âmoratorium on reality,â then make me a Tarheel!
Let me restate the columnistâs opening question: What would you do if you
were an elected official in [North Carolina]? Would you pander to the
disposal industry to build more polluting and wasteful facilities or would you put a
moratorium for only one year on siting new landfills while you assess the
stateâs options? I say it is more important to think about our children and
the environment, and that means more thinking outside the box. Zero waste to
landfill! [And donât think it cannot be done as over 2,000 companies alone
in California have done it, and many communities are taking steps to curb
their waste to the maximum extent practicable.]

San Diego, California

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