The Earth’s Clock is Ticking

Rachel Melikian

Dear Editor,

Tick tock, tick tock, the reality of our irresponsible and immoral actions has set in, and suddenly we decide to go green at this wake-up call of the 11th hour of the environmental emergency crisis.

We believe that by adopting the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – and even adding a fourth R – Research we’ll be exempt of all the bad consequences resulting from our recurring immoral choices of lifestyle and habit, in the absence of values and virtues, which is presently our greed.

We imprudently and arrogantly expect that Mother Nature will pardon us, exempting us from paying any penalties, thinking that we’ll evade the charges of our unethical conduct, never realizing that we are ineligible for pardon and deserve the verdict.

The verdict is condensed in our world of immorality of actions, which have impacted the environment. It serves as evidence of the essence of our identity and moral values that we uphold in our daily activities. This is imminent, ending in global warming, the destruction of Mother Earth, and finally the extinction of the human race rewrite.

Mother Nature is astonished by our lack of ecological responsibility. We’ve made our prerogative to shop everyday through bringing the entire planet to our home for one day and dump everything into the garbage the next day.

American wealth derives from the “waste basket,” priding ourselves in becoming the most wasteful nation, by exploiting and wasting everything as abundantly as we can. Thanks to the shopping power of credit cards, this wasteful opportunity is being implemented, at a very high ecological cost, which causes us to face foreclosures, repossessions, homelessness, and madness.

The ancient Greek writer Xenophon asks, “How does a person who cannot tame his desire differ from the most ignorant beast?” We could free ourselves from our duty and responsibilities by thinking that burying waste “out of sight,” that this prior hobby of ours (cluttering and dumping waste) will be “out of mind,” and we’ll rest in peace.

We make waste disappear, out-of-sight, by incineration in the air, by burying and clogging out-of-sight landfills and oceans, thus polluting with toxic metals and gases the air, land, soil, water, marine and wildlife. We end up with hazardous materials, breathing toxic fumes, and polluting the food that we eat, further resulting in disrupting the entire ecosystem and life cycle. “Everything in excess is opposed to nature,” as Hippocrates once said. Xenophon and Hippocrates wisdom shows us that anything opposed to nature will bring environmental disaster affecting our future.

According to the American Chemistry Council, paper and paperboard are the largest categories of materials being disposed of in landfills. GCC could lessen its impact on the environment by as much as 75 percent in paper waste, simply by providing students with printing double-sided, setting .5″ margins with the smallest readable font, for Internet and various uses with two pages per sheet, netting a savings of 150 percent. Similarly, 50 percent of paper can be saved by providing Xerox double-sided copies and all duplications throughout campus.

Another way to preserve energy, gas, and oil is to keep tires inflated while driving to GCC and elsewhere. We should make it our priority to walk, carpool, bike and take public transportation: Metro and Beeline whenever possible. This little gesture on our part also helps release less pollutants into the air and teaches us to become environmentally friendlier.

Should Americans be urged to consider recycling? GCC professor John Mariana lectures in Philosophy 117 that the American rate of consumption of natural resources outstrips by as much as 30 times that of other developed nations, and 300 times that of underdeveloped countries. Tick tock tick tock; stay tuned on the unethics of recycling at the 11th hour.

-Rachel Melikian