Friday, May 13, 2011

Things That Make Rob Go Whhaaaatt??

Rob is not an environmentalist.  He'll burn pressure treated wood, plastic, and styrofoam in the fireplace,  he constantly puts things in recycling that don't belong there, or put recyclables in the garbage.  He hates the compost bins.  While Rob does love the outdoors, he's not about to go chain himself to a tree, or put solar panels on the roof.

I'm not about to chain myself to a tree either, but my geography background involved learning about the environment here, and around the world, and how people and their environment interact.  I have learned about the environmental plights of people around the world.

Recently, we were watching the news, and a story came on that I thought would be interesting.  An area of Kenya was getting home water filters that would mean potable water without boiling it first.  In order to boil water, women and children must first collect or buy firewood.  This is a significant use of their time and meager financial resources.  My first thoughts about eliminating the need to boil water is about the local environmental and financial savings, and of course about the health benefits to potable water (as unsafe water is a HUGE cause of illness and death).  The announcer though, made comments regarding the significant reduction of CO2 emissions from less wood burned.

Of course, the next question is cost.  The announcer said these families were getting the filters installed for free.  Wowee.  Who's footing the bill for this?!  The world's largest producers of CO2 emissions.  Yes, sirree bob!  By buying into this program, these companies can ease their guilt and improve their social standing...while still producing just as much CO2 emissions! 

On one hand, this is awesome.  Getting some of the world's largest companies to use some of their profits to fund development projects around the world is great.  Share the wealth.  For sure.  And this is a great device--minimal investment with outstanding results.  But wouldn't it be great if those companies would also reduce their CO2 as well?  Or just pay for these filters out of the goodness of their corporate hearts, not as a way to reduce their carbon footprint on PAPER only.

Edit to add:  I forgot to include WHY Rob went "Whhhhaaaatt?!".  LOL.  Despite having been in manufacturing, and the plastics industry, and not particularly caring about the environment, local or foreign, even he could seen the absurdness of this venture.  LOL.

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