Not My Problem

I spent the first hour of my shift today with a battery operated leaf blower, cleaning off the sidewalks and the bike lanes of my bridge. A clean bridge is a happy bridge. At least that’s my motto. I take pride in showing this drawbridge in its very best light, and in my quarterly reviews it’s usually noted that this is the cleanest bridge in the system.

Leaf blowers are fun. They give you this sense of power that is normally beyond your reach. Out, damned spot! Out I say! You just have to be careful not to get so caught up in your own head trip that you get mowed down by a bicycle. Talk about a reality check.

The only down side to blowing leaves is that you’re not really getting rid of your problem, you’re just relocating it. Which is fine, if you follow through and bag them afterward. But I’ve seen many a landscaper just blow them down the street. “Not my problem anymore.”

Yeah it is. Because a certain percentage of them are going to blow back into your yard eventually. Count on it. And if everyone has your attitude, a whole lot more debris is going to be blown into your yard by the equally lazy people up the street.

This is also why most medical funding is not focused on prevention. Even though prevention has proven time and time again to give you a much better return on your investment, society in general is much more willing to deal with the problems that have already occurred, when there is no longer a choice.

It’s the same with the environment. Does it really surprise anyone that so many people are willing to ignore global climate change? We’re doing all right for the time being. We still can fill our bathtubs and eat our avocados out of season. Why make sacrifices? And I’m not just shaming the climate change deniers, here. I live in one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the entire country, and yet even as I write this I’m looking out on a highway that is so choked with vehicles that they can hardly move. And yes, I drove home to write this.

One of the few problems with short terms for politicians is that they, too, can blow their problematical leaves down the street. “Let someone else deal with the tricky stuff a decade from now, once I’ve retired.” We now find ourselves hip deep in a political leaf storm, people. Having fun?

Humanity has a lot of growing up to do. We have to start behaving like adults. We need to take responsibility. We need to act with integrity. We need to take society’s ills seriously even if we aren’t feeling particularly feverish as individuals.

It’s time to start bagging up our leaves.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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6 thoughts on “Not My Problem

  1. Brian

    That was gd. Advancement in technology influences the collective believe that these aren’t the primitive times. That’s a lie

  2. Melvin Collins

    Leaf blowers……a pet hate wasting electricity and as you rightly put it most people just push them around & don’t bag them for composting. What is the matter with a brush & pan? Keeps you fit, energy efficient apart from operator fuel, low cost to purchase & quiet 🙂

    1. I agree with you, except when it applies to ME. 🙂 Back when I swept the bike lanes and sidewalks of my bridge, I’d spend several hours, dodging joggers and bikes the entire time. It was dangerous and exhausting. Now the job takes me 15 minutes. Of course, that’s not the case for the average homeowner.

  3. Martin

    I don’t like leaf blowers and vacuum cleaners at all – way too noisy and a waste of energy. But your point is a good one Barb – when it’s easy to blow problems down the road then that’s what people do. In politics we need to find a way that politicians have to solve their problems now – not blow them down the road

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