The Words of Greta Thunberg
I was listening to the radio the other day, when there was a piece about the wonderful work of climate activist Greta Thunberg. She said that it was the “older people” who were responsible for the problems with our climate. We older people are to blame for the pollution. I yelled at the radio that it was not the old generation. I do not believe our generation is to blame for the pollution or the resultant climate change. It was perhaps the generation after me. The Words of Greta Thunberg on that day on the radio made me angry.
Life When I was a Child
I was born in Adelaide during the war. There was no plastics in use in our homes at that time. We had very little household rubbish. Food scraps went into the compost heap in the garden, wooden and paper rubbish were burned in our back yard incinerator – usually a recycled 40 gallon drum. Yes, it filled the air with polluting smoke, but our population was relatively small and it was not considered a major problem at the time.
Nappies were towelling squares that were washed in the home laundry. Disposable nappies didn’t come into use until 1965. I don’t recall using them for our two children. They were an additional expense too – and of course we had a good supply of the towelling variety.
During the first 20 years of my life, I don’t recall using many plastic items.
Over the years domestic rubbish increased. I remember when we had small bins of rubbish and the rubbish man would come into the back yards to collect the bin and carry it out to the truck on his shoulders. Then bins got bigger, until we required two large plastic bins which are left on the kerb for their appropriate collection day, usually once a week for household rubbish, and fortnightly for “recyclables”, which apparently only small amounts are recycled.
These days there are rubbish collection points, so if you have excess that will not fit in the bins you can take it to “the tip”.
Where is Rubbish Thrown?
I think we have all learned that many folk have no consideration of the rubbish they no longer want. Many seem to have trouble determining what is supposedly recyclable, so despite the good mission to separate the waste, much of it is not. It might all just thrown in the bin. Plus, there is an increasing attitude that it is ok to throw rubbish anywhere. If it is thrown to the rubbish bin and misses, many do not bother to do anything about it. It is common to see rubbish that is just thrown from the car window. Our streets, beaches, highways and other spaces are scattered with rubbish.
Out on the Highways
As I drove around Australia, I saw many stopping areas where there were bins for rubbish, but so much of the rubbish was NOT in the bin, but loose on the road and other areas. In fact, one day I worked with some Lions members on a major highway in Western Australia, picking up the rubbish that clearly had been discarded from passing cars. The amount was astounding. Why? I can’t understand why people can’t dispose of it properly.
Is it the Younger folk or the Older ones that are causing the Pollution now?
What would I say to Greta if we came face to face? I would congratulate her on her amazing work. Then I would try and explain to her that she should not blame the older generation for the overuse of plastics. The younger ones tend to be the ones that would replace an item if it was not 100%. Older people still try and repair things first. Younger people are more inclined to randomly throw rubbish than older ones. Our generation is very concerned about pollution and care of the environment.
We have all contributed to the terrible state of our planet, but I don’t accept this young lady’s words that it is the fault of the Older Generation!
What do you think?