Photo: Jo MorcomThis story is cross-posted from The Last Word on Nothing.
I live in a bubble. It’s called San Francisco, and it is a magical place where everyone recycles, no one smokes, and Nancy Pelosi is considered distressingly conservative. Worse, I teach environmental sustainability at Stanford, where I’m surrounded by bicycle riding, reusable-mug toting, enthusiastically composting colleagues and students. I come from the outside world, so I know my current behavioral baseline is a little skewed. But still, I was recently reminded that some Americans continue to use incandescent light bulbs, and I was genuinely surprised.
A far bigger shock came unbidden, as they usually do, from the internet. Every perversion ever known is freely displayed online, of course. But I never really understood how bad America’s garbage problem is until I found a trove of wildly explicit videos documenting it on YouTube.
At home, “garbage truck!” was among my son’s first phrases, followed closely by words such as “recycling!” and “compost!” The kid loves everything to do with tossing items int... Read more