Friday, March 20, 2009


Merriam Webster Sez:

Pollution: 1: the action of polluting especially by environmental contamination with man-made waste ; also : the condition of being polluted.

1 a: to make ceremonially or morally impure : defile b: debase 1 pollutes language — Linda C. Lederman>2 a: to make physically impure or unclean : befoul , dirty b: to contaminate (an environment) especially with man-made waste

I was reading Cecil Adams yesterday. This guy is one of my favorite minds in the reality industry. If you're too lazy to click on the link above, the question he fielded this week was (briefly) whether a scooter or a car contributed more pollution to the environment. He gave a much more elaborate and balanced answer than I've ever seen from one respondent before and I was pleased. Due to the space constraints of his column, though, there are some things he left out:

Scooters create far less traffic pollution, parking pollution, and Hot-Rod-Magazines-on-the-Newsracks Pollution, and there is almost no pollution from camo-hat-wearing rednecks drinking Stroh's while watching scooter racing.

On the flip side, can anyone truly measure the damage caused by the eye-pollutant designs and paint jobs of the most popular scooters? They zip through the neighbourhood like carnival-coloured dildos...uncannily resembling the pricks riding them. The superior sneer of the high-handed scooter owner, the glut of free-trade bazaars in local churches, the spoken-word performances--are these any less contaminant than the most stifling vehicle exhaust?

Imagine a world without motorized vehicles of any sort. Everyone has to ride bikes. That'll wipe the smug expressions off of the faces of the cycling elitists who'll have to come up with something else to condescend about. On the other hand, without an SUV to potentially squash the same asshole who comes whizzing past the stoplight, slams into Adam the pedestrian in the crosswalk, and screams for the pedestrian to pay attention, how is Adam supposed to have any hopeful daydreams of karmic relief?

Without greenhouse gases and the environmental encroachment necessary (or at least fun) to build vehicles, there'd be no sidewalk pollution from Greenpeace activists and their desperate enthusiasm. The occupational vacuum created, though, would no doubt cause an immeasurable increase in art students polluting the world with crappy Holga photography and even more open mic nights. Is that a better world by anybody's estimation?

We humans never really think about what we're asking for: a world without pollution is simply fallacious. The removal of one contaminating source simply opens the doors to the prevalence of another. The same way the city's eradication of huge numbers of rats in Edgewater gave rise to the supremacy of entire battalions of predatory and unnaturally large squirrels, making the earth healthier is just going to pave the way for more, longer-living, healthier people expressing themselves. And if you truly search your heart, I think you'll agree that nobody wants that.

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