Sunday, April 19, 2009

I do not recycle for the same reason that I do not play the lottery: because I understand mathematics.

The United States produces annually 254,000,000.00 short tons of garbage. One United States resident produces annually 0.84 short tons of garbage.(1)

For comparison, represent the garbage that one U.S. resident annually produces as one second. The garbage that the U.S. annually produces is then represented as nine and a half years. The difference that one second makes over a span of nine and a half years is incomprehensibly inconsequential. The garbage that any single U.S. resident produces is incomprehensibly inconsequential.

To act, one must be so vain as to believe that one's actions are of consequence; to recycle, you must believe that you make a difference, despite the mathematical truth that you do not make a difference.

Humans motivate their actions through egregious irrationality or outrageous vanity.

To be rational and undeluded about your relative value as a member of human society is to be philosophically closer to oblivion.

(1) United States Environmental Protection Agency, Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2007

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