Paper, Plastics, Pop Cans… And People

Last week we recognized Earth Day.

In its early years, Earth Day was more often viewed as a left-leaning political movement than it was about conservation and proper stewardship of our environment.

While there remain some detractors and political opponents to this annual passage, it has clearly become more mainstream…and for sound reason. 

It is apparent that we are undergoing various forms of “climate change.” As to the extent of whether this is a result of depleted ozone or “global warming” that is a matter for the scientists, researchers and public policy makers to debate.   

What is not really debatable is that we can practice more sensible and less consumptive lifestyles for the betterment of our environment and future generations from whom, as the Native American adage goes, we will have borrowed.  And it’s catching on.  Better recycling practices are undertaken on the most local level.  It’s simply gauche not to be “green.”

A common criticism levied by the environmental movement is the notion that we have become a “disposable society.”  Much of this is attributable to economies built upon the promotion of goods and services we ultimately “want,” yet falsely believe we “need.”   The consequences of our disposable society are seen in overflowing landfills, polluted waters, and depleted resources. 

On the eve of Earth Day, a sad occurrence took place that only reaffirmed that we are still very much a disposable society. Unfortunately, little attention was paid to this occasion.

This occasion was a decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow the so-called “Morning-After” pill to become available for minors seventeen (17) years of age.  This decision is troubling on so many levels; all of which affirm our culture is one that has little or no consequences.

We have opened Pandora’s Box here.  The gift of life is no longer viewed as a gift, but merely an inconvenience that can be remedied with a pill. Relationships are no longer based upon love and sacrifice; they are susceptible to objectification and self-gratification.  Let us not forget the emotional and physical health of the consumer  -especially the minor – who makes use of the Morning After pill.

Last summer when gasoline approached $4.00/gallon, there was great concern about the Earth’s oil and natural gas resources.  We are now wisely searching for innovative ways to harness resources like the wind and sun for cost-effective and cleaner energy.  We are doing this with the idea we are making our environment – our Earth – a better place.

The concern becomes the loss of a generation of our best and brightest with the ideas and capacity that would ultimately take us to that better place.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Paper, Plastics, Pop Cans… And People

  1. Athena

    I challenge your premise on the purpose of the morning after pill. Our teenagers are becoming pregnant at an alarming rate. This is a fact. Studies show a significant part of this trend is in response to abstinence-only education, which teaches our teens false information about the effectiveness of birth control. A major effect of abstinence-only education is not that teens stop having sex – instead, they stop having safe sex. The birth control pill is a secondary, back-up birth control option, acting as a stronger dose of “The Pill,” a medication which many women of all faiths use to plan pregnancies as a part of responsible family planning. We all want to live in a culture in which pregnancy is revered as a sacred and holy responsibility. I challenge you to explain why there is such an initiative to prevent women from having the opportunity and information to plan to have a family on their terms. The alternatives have instead limited the information and options given to teens, resulting in the surge of teen pregnancy we are currently experiencing.

    “The gift of life is no longer viewed as a gift, but merely an inconvenience that can be remedied with a pill.”

    I challenge you to reflect that the gift of life is no longer viewed as a gift, but rather as a politicized wedge point used to raise money.

    Assuming Emergency Contraception is used by careless people who have no regard for human life is a logical disconnect. Why would a person who has no regard for the awesome responsibility of parenting and life decide to use EC? Those people are not using this product. It’s quite the contrary. People who are cognizant of their own responsibilities and their responsibility to society want the option to make the correct decision. They are protecting themselves and their future. That doesn’t sound like waste and carelessness to me.

    Let’s allow our current young adults to realize their potential as a generation filled with our best and brightest, and not make policy judgments that put barriers in the path of their futures.

  2. Congrats on the blog launch, Jason.

    I always find it interesting when people who are so concerned with the environment and living natural make one big exception to sterilize themselves from producing life. Doesn’t get more hypocritical than that.

  3. DH

    I completely agree we are a disposable society. While against abortion, I’m not part of the movement since I see so much hypocrisy within it. A lot of pro-lifers are pro-capital punishment, anti-poverty programs, anti-environmental regulation. I’d like to see more of a stand that upholds life across the board, even when that is not a life you “approve” of.

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