Demystification Guru

Just because we don't understand something, doesn't mean it isn't understandable.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


I was going to write about garbage in the hood over on my hood blog but have decided that that blog should maintain a higher tone than complaining. Plus I noticed that my crocuses were up so I could post about that joyful event. It has been a long, snowy winter and right now it is jean jacket weather and I have the windows open to enjoy it. If I could sit on my patio, it would be bliss. But except for the corner with the crocus, it's still under a foot of snow so I am reduced to leaning out the window and sighing. I did write "mooning out the window" and if you look it up, it means to yearn or pine in addition to its ruder meaning. I prefer the older more romantic use of the word, thank you.

I am nearly finished Lovelock's excellent little book about climate change. I have decided to become convinced that global warming is happening and now I have to decide what can I do about it. I am already doing quite a lot personally so what I have to think about is how I can persuade others. How do you persuade people to do anything? You show them that there is something in it for them. However, for something this broad in scope, I think it's going to take a lot of thinking. And it won't end up being only one thing anyway. It never is, just one thing. I think I have to concentrate on something simpler to begin with. How can I persuade people to stop littering? It's on my mind with the melting of the snow exposing garbage everywhere. But we can't even manage to persuade our neighbours to pick up their own garbage that doesn't get collected for whatever reason.

It doesn't even help (I don't think) for me to examine why I pick up not only my own garbage but other people's because I don't think I am normal in that regard. I do things like that because I have a sense of responsibility and connexion with the Earth and cannot stand to see it insulted like that. Can you teach such a thing? Sometimes. You see programs where high school students go out and pick up trash once a year to beautify a park or path. Maybe some of them take it to heart. But who ARE all those people littering out there? If I staked out a spot on the bike path and asked anyone I saw actually throw trash, why they did it, would I learn something useful? I may have come up with a project for myself. I wonder if I can get a grant for the research.

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Blogger bikerider said...

I think people don't see garbage for the same reason they don't see any injustice, unless it bits them in the ass. People are too caught up in, "what might be" instead of, "what is". It's part of the grass is greener POV. Everyone has high expectations, especially for their futures. To stop and look around is just too distracting to their, "big picture", in which they play the starring role. Good luck in getting them to notice the basic things in life...

8:30 p.m., April 01, 2008  
Blogger JuliaR said...

BR, what you say is true for many people but it seems kind of depressing to think it is true for the majority. On the other hand, it illustrates what I was thinking, that you have to tell people what's in it for them, to get them to act on the issue. So that's what I have to focus on - finding out what's in it for them that they can relate to on an individual basis.

7:24 a.m., April 02, 2008  
Blogger Granny J said...

While I applaud people like you and the dotter who pick up other peoples' garbage, I think that commercial folk should be encouraged to make their packaging if not more environmentally correct, at least more visually pleasing. i.e., compare the impact along a highway of kraft paper cardboard boxes with those "sanitary [looking]" white things beloved of too many housewives and fast food and supermarket operators.

10:50 p.m., April 08, 2008  
Blogger JuliaR said...

Granny J, I agree - packaging could be reduced by a lot. We could use some more of that consciousness-raising we had in the 70s.

7:03 a.m., April 09, 2008  

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