Three Important “Rs” for Environment – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Most people would be surprised to discover that the laws, regulations, and mandates designed to protect our environment may actually be harming it instead. Long gone are the days of sooty smog, acid rain, brown sunsets, leaded children, and rivers on fire. The new environmental challenges are almost imperceptible, and until the development of highly-advanced, highly-sensitive atomic mass spectroscopy systems, unmeasurable. To combat these nearly invisible and unmeasurable problems, new regulations and mandates have gone into effect. But these new regulations and mandates may actually be hindering our attempts in dealing with the more measurable and easily observed problems, as well as our economy.
The Earth is like a giant conveyor system. The inside is full of useful things and nastiness, which are emitted from holes in the ground as gases (e.g. water, carbon dioxide, and sulphur dioxide) and solids in the form of volcanic ash and lava. These materials are then absorbed or leached by surface water, and eventually end up inside living things. The living things die and become dirt and then rock, which is very slowly either re-leached by water or pushed back down inside the Earth. Pollution is caused by human activity when we dig up these resources and put them back on the surface of the Earth, faster than water and life can put them back inside. Of particular concern are the gases released from burning fossil fuels; carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide.
After fixing the problems with burning lakes and rivers, environmental protection found a new enemy: toxic metals. All of the toxic metals are found naturally on the surface of the Earth, in water and living things, and frequently at levels higher than what the EPA considers “safe”, but significantly lower than what causes adverse health effects.
As new health studies observe toxic effects down to levels even below those naturally present, the limits on allowable toxic metals get even lower, and technology gets even more expensive. Talking about lead and cadmium, did you know that the toxic effects of these metals are very similar to chronic calcium deficiency? Their method of action is to displace calcium, and when calcium is lacking, they come in. Did you know that about 70% of children and 50% of adults are calcium deficient? What have those studies actually been measuring?
While we torture ourselves with possibly baseless, excessive environmental protection, business has already found its own solutions: foreign countries. When businesses feel as though they are “under attack from our own government”, they find nicer governments.
How to fix it? First, we might get rid of certifications. All they do is make our workforce unqualified, and put money into the deep pockets of big education. Most definitely, listen to the concerns of small businesses. Big businesses like onerous mandates; big government harassment is a good way to kill potential competitors. Just because a business complains about the rules, regulations and mandates does not mean they “just want dirty air and water.” Business sees a flaming hoop, with no valid justification, not a reasonable rule to prevent pollution.