Tonight on The Ezra Levant Show, Ezra points out the stark contrast between the developed world and the developing world when it comes to the issue of waste management.
I recall a visit to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, during a Caribbean cruise. The poverty-stricken streets of the city left an indelible mark on me, with garbage strewn everywhere. This memory encapsulates the profound disparity between wealth and garbage accumulation.
However, the presence of garbage in the streets is not solely determined by economic status. It also reflects cultural norms and social acceptance.
In the Western world, littering was commonplace until about half a century ago. Remarkably, a slogan emerged in 1985, "Don't Mess with Texas," which significantly reduced littering by 72% within three years, as it resonated with young Texas men who were notorious litterers.
While poverty plays a role in waste management, it is primarily when a society attains a certain level of affluence that aesthetic concerns and long-term considerations gain importance.
China serves as a prime example of this transition. As it progressed economically, clean air, water, and soil became priorities for its population, now free from famine and able to live in modern dwellings.
Curiously, Canada used to export a substantial amount of its garbage to China. However, China's refusal to accept Western waste forced Canada to seek alternative solutions.
The question of where Canada's recycled waste would go went largely unanswered, leading to a stockpiling of recyclables in warehouses. Recycling, it turns out, is often economically unviable, with only certain metals proving to be cost-effective. In many cases, recycling requires more energy than producing new materials, making it environmentally unsound.
Recent news highlights Montreal's failure to recycle glass effectively. Despite residents being instructed to place glass in their blue bins, nearly half of the city's boroughs are not recycling it. Glass ends up in landfills or is ground into powder for use as landfill cover, a stopgap measure approved by the Quebec government. This revelation exposes the futility of recycling efforts and the unnecessary expense associated with recycling certain materials.
Yet, authorities kept this information from the public. Everyone involved in the waste management process was aware of these challenges. Nonetheless, the recycling ritual continues, reinforced by a belief system akin to a religious ceremony. Our society has substituted genuine religious rituals with these modern-day superstitions of the environmental movement.
We have plenty of examples of such rituals: airport security theater, the ongoing debate over COVID masks, and now, recycling. The language surrounding these actions is more about the task itself than the actual results achieved. Phrases like "climate action" and "combatting climate change" highlight the commitment to the cause rather than the tangible impact.
The rise of this new environmental religion seeks to fill the void left by traditional faiths. But while ancient religions encouraged people to gaze at the heavens, appreciate masterful artworks, and revel in magnificent architecture, the new religion demands hours of garbage sorting, boycotting toilets, consuming insects, and forsaking air conditioning. These acts have little practical impact but serve as proof of one's righteousness within the cult.
Today's revelation that recycling is essentially a scam will likely have no effect on the devout followers. In fact, it might strengthen their commitment, as continuing to recycle becomes an even more fervent demonstration of their piety.
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