Where is modern civilization heading?

As a society are we heading in the same direction as the ancient Romans? If so the question becomes.......

Are our leaders fiddling while civilization burns?

While we ponder the question I will post my personal thoughts on this blog. Often I will focus on current events that catch my interest, however I am not and do not pretend to be a news organization. I'm simply a guy with his own thoughts on issues that I believe affect our country and society.

Be forewarned, I have been accused of being a right wing thinker and if that is offensive please move on. Remember, this is my blog and my opinions, and unlike many facets of our already over-governed modern society they are not being forced on anyone.

However, please feel free to leave your comments, good, bad or indifferent, after all this is a free society we live in (at least for now).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I simply can't "butt" out on this one.

In the last week I have witnessed something from the comfort of my CO2 spewing automobile that actually shocked me, honestly.

In today's world, particularly in North America, the act of smoking has gone from being a fashionable statement back in the 50's and 60's, to one that is now closer to how leprosy was viewed in the middle ages. Governments, businesses, advertisers, and product manufacturers are no longer catering to smokers, the pendulum has swung in favors of peoples lungs. You have probably guessed that I am a non-smoker by now.

In fact public opinion has swung so far on this that automobile manufacturers have jumped on board and made the common ashtray an "option" for purchase, cigarette lighters have now been replaced by power ports for accessories. Who could have imagined this even 25 years ago.....amazing.

Unfortunately, what is even more amazing is watching how some nicotine addicts deal with these changes.
For many the thought of a 10 minute car ride without their beloved smoke is beyond conception. The last thing that they will let stand between them and having a puff is something as simple as the lack of an ashtray in their vehicle. So they have developed a simple solution, they roll down the window a couple of inches and drive along with one hand on the wheel and the other hand holding their butt out the window (and the government claims using a cell phone is distracted driving?). Please, don't get me started on the drivers that do this while they have small children in car seats in the rear of the vehicle. They are comfortable in their knowledge that this is an elegant solution that solves the problem.

Now comes the part that is not quite so "elegant", when they have taken the last possible drag off their cigarette, they simply "flick" the butt out the window. After all with no ashtray in their car what else can they do? My first suggestion is to drive over to Canadian Tire and spend $10 on an ashtray for your cup holder, or maybe that level of planning is beyond them.

If you are one the lowlifes that practice this on a regular basis, shame on you, what gives you the right to throw trash on our streets.

Yes, I said trash, but the term "toxic waste" is probably more applicable. What happens after that butt gets casually flicked onto the street? Typically wind and rain carry the cigarette into the water supply, where the toxic chemicals the cigarette filter was designed to trap leak out into aquatic ecosystems, threatening the quality of the water and many aquatic lifeforms. Cigarette butts may seem small, but with several trillion butts littered every year, the toxic chemicals add up! The nicotine alone trapped inside 200 used filters is likely sufficient to kill a 160 pound adult human - 50 to 60 milligrams. By the time you add in the "tar" you really have a pungent and deadly cocktail. Tar refers to the more than three thousand five hundred chemical particles and five hundred gases generated by each burning cigarette that include arsenic, vinyl chloride, acetone, mercury and lead. Modern filters trap roughly half the tar while capturing one-third of a cigarette’s formaldehyde and two-thirds of its hydrogen cyanide

Before you start with "cigarette butts are biodegradable", take the time to do a little research and read up on the facts. The white fibers you see in a cigarette filter are NOT cotton, but Cellulose Acetate, a plastic that remains in the environment as long as other forms of plastic. Cellulose acetate is photodegradable but not bio-degradable. It can take years, in some cases up to fifteen, for ultraviolet light to cause fibers to decay into a plastic powder that can't be seen.

The funny part of all of this is that one of the lowlifes I witnessed doing this was driving a Hybrid Prius....maybe she bought it to "save the planet"

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