Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Mother of ...

Meet Robert Hogan, or, as like to call him, the 'Village Idiot.'

To think that our waste management issues aren't crucial or pressing is to reveal such a naivity about our community that I can barely begin to process it. No one is suggesting it's more or less important than any other challenge - though many people have this irrational need to say 'this problem is so much worse than that one' - but to claim that what is actually a rather modest increase in our budget that will actually have the great potential to generate additional revenue and benefit our quality of living isn't worth pursuing is ridiculously pathetic.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

But his larger point--is recycling really worth it?--is at the very least debatable.

In years past, it has been demonstrated, to my satisfaction at least, that recycling was much more costly--in terms of energy used, pollution caused--than helpful.

Obviously, technology marches on, and that might no longer be the case, but it's at least worthy of discussion.


8:29 AM  
Blogger Xon said...

I haven't read his article, but the notion that we have to try to discern which projects or goals are more important is not fruit of an 'irrational urge' on our parts. It is as rational as it gets: in a world of scarce resources (time, money, energy), you cannot do all the things you might like to do. That's just the way it is. So you can't just list out all the things that are 'important'; you actually have to prioritize which ones should have scarce resources expended on them, and how much of those resources. Choices have to be made.

9:52 AM  
Blogger David Hamilton said...

Great point Xon. But we are increasingly moving away from a society that has to make these choices, and towards one where government provides *everything* on our wish list (and more).

Government is more than happy to oblige - the more it provides, the more we need it. The more we need it, the more power and control we willingly yield.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guard the coastlines, deliver the mail, fill in the potholes. If there's anything left over, put a cop on my street.

That's what I want from government.

I gather other people want more...


12:35 PM  
Blogger Xon said...

Having now read his letter, I understand why it might be difficult to get past the initial sarcasm. I personally thought it was an effective way to make his point, but to each his own. But regardless of that, his fundamental point strike me as eminently reasonable:

"If there is unbiased evidence that ramping up recycling will be worth the $630,000 increase in the county's solid waste disposal budget requested by Solid Waste Director Jim Corley, and that it will truly help the environment, then I could support it."

Not that we don't all have off days, JMac, but I think calling Mr. Hagan an "idiot" for expressing this sentiment is harsh.

1:40 PM  

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