“That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, – “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.”Sadly, men are not prepared to live with no government and likely never will be. While living at Walden, Thoreau chronicled his minimalist lifestyle. Like Thoreau, I try to reduce my footprint on the planet but that’s a relative statement. I certainly use fewer resources than, say, the great environmentalist Al Gore but I’m sure I indulge more than did my grandparents on their depression era farm. Here’s where I need your help. In order to function, our world needs manufactured products. We use resources which result in depletion and / or pollution continents away from where the production is used. The story linked below is just one of a vast compendium of examples of human dross scattered across the globe. In this example, a remote island with nothing but tourism for industry is inundated with more trash and debris than they can even manage to clean up. Complacent Consumers are Complicit When boiled down to its essence, undisciplined consumers are the culprits in this barrage of garbage. The problem is massive yet seems benign. What’s one more drinking straw on the ground? California tries to control the sale of such contraband but it seems to me, the better way to handle production refuse is to simply place a tariff on the product. The tariffs would create a market of their own. For example: Glass bottles cost more to manage might be cheaper to recycle (some of us remember the days of selling them for 2 and 3 cents apiece). The tariff would be substantial enough to fund recycling and proper disposal, including the graft, corruption and bureaucracy required for feeding the administrators. The tariff is a stand in for the unallocated cost of production. Think of it as part of the lifetime cost of anything that is produced. We’re forced to share this planet so we need to do our housekeeping. What are your thoughts?
A recent story in the Guardian: