In looking at the root causes of U.S. based pollution – and I classify pollution as substances that are harmful to human health, environment, and plants and animals. There seems to be an interesting grouping of polluters – defined much by economics and education. On the high end of the economic scale – corporate polluters, those specific individuals who have lobbied with influence and cash to be able to dump their waste into our air and water – legally. Then there are those who dump their trash and waste – illegally along dead end roads, into rivers, streams and parks – who are not of financial means.
This perspective or revelation has always fascinated me. The far ends of the economic spectrum (rich/poor) seem to create the most damage, with some key and important differences. Those of financial means, know better, are highly educated, know exactly what their pollution does to the environment – and don’t seem to care.
The group without financial means and higher education (on average), is polluting to escape fees, fines and paying for disposal, or frankly just don’t care. I see one other key difference, corporate based pollution tends to be very dangerous to health, where as old tires, trash and appliances is a clean up nuisance andemerging health concern – except where marine mammals ingest this refuse (see my blog on plastic pollution in our oceans).
For me, in terms of ocean conservation, the litter and trash along the beaches, stuck in the reefs and filling the gyres of the world is one level of threat, the other is the un-seen. The toxic contaminants that fill our oceans and truly risk the health of every living thing on our water world.
So what is the solution? Should it be more enforcement, more fines and better monitoring of health damaging toxins? Should we pay for pollution cops? Do we spend money on better (mandatory) education on pollution threats? Send me your comments!