A Start

January 27th, 2011

Over consumption of natural resources has been a major theme in our class discussions for the past few days. Looking at the collapse of various societies and their mistakes always causes me to think of present day problems. A lot of reactions to those failed societies run along the lines of ‘how could they be so stupid?’ or ‘why would anyone cut down the last tree if they knew full well it was the last?’. But our society certainly isn’t showing many signs of greater intelligence and foresight in regard to our own problems. We go about our daily lives, completely absorbed by only the immediate environment. I bet no one would think twice about drilling the very last barrel of oil, even if they knew it was the last. It’s just business as usual.

Being wasteful is popular because it’s just so easy when consequences are delayed. Our culture is a fan of shortcuts and quick fixes. For example, due to prolonged cold temperatures the pipes in my house froze. Luckily, they thawed out without bursting. But now the only remedy our repairman has given us is to keep the taps drizzling all night long. This results in a massive waste of water. We are still waiting for our landlord to decide if he wants to make a more permanent fix (by ripping up the floors and insulating the pipes correctly). But of course that’s a lot of work and money, it’s not as easy as just letting the taps run. Our household is pretty eco-conscious and all of us are uncomfortable with wasting water like this. It’s a frustrating situation that was really incredibly preventable, considering the house was redone recently and the plumbing could have been updated easily. Often I think there should be stricter penalties for being wasteful. Also, we should try to promote a more farsighted type of outlook in our general culture. Instant gratification is a dangerous lifestyle.

4 Responses to “A Start”

  1. Julie said:

    We are keeping our water drizzling, but at least we are aware of the fact that its a bad thing….most people take water for granted and think it is reusable, unexploitable source. We could try not showering, but I dont think anyone else would agree thats a good idea. I also agree there should be stricter penalties for being wasteful, and I think the value of water (and other necessary resources)should be refelcted in its price. So heres to higher gas and water prices!

  2. Dr. Szulczewski said:

    Is your roommate in our class, too? Just wondering. But you’re right, sometimes, you’re stuck with a less good option. But it’s great that you’re aware and making these connections.

  3. marleyh11 said:

    Yes, my roommate is in our class as well. We have had several conversations about our water dilemma in the context of this class. Both of us felt it was very relevant to the issues we are discussing. Luckily the weather has been a bit warmer and we have not been letting the water run.

  4. Dr. Szulczewski said:

    I thought so, since she wrote about the same thing. I also thought of this to tell you- keep in mind that if your pipes DID burst how much it would cost in resources to fix everything- it would take lots of energy, metal, excavation, water bursting out, so by being conscious of what’s going on with the pipes can save resources in the long run.