How could we have let the world come to this? All we see is trash, trash, trash. Everywhere. We have trash heaps on top of other trash heaps, which are made of pieces of older trash! There are a few promising technologies out there to rid our world of the trash we have created, but they seem to be few and far between. The fact of the matter is, we must figure out a way to deal with our trash in a manner which is economical and environmentally friendly, so that we do not destroy the little that remains of the natural world.
Currently I am working on various technologies with my startup company, SG Technologies (standing for Something Green), one of which is meant to create emissionless, no by-product after initial mining, energy which will be cheap and affordable to the world. However, my eventual goal is to create a technology which will convert trash directly into usable energy, similar to the Delorean in Back to the Future II. Hopefully this will help stem the trash problem we have in place now, and start bringing the environment back to an relatively sustainable status quo.
This gross inequity in the amount we consume vs the amount the world can sustain stems, from the most part, to the climbing of the Western consumerist lifestyle to the pinnacle of the modern1 world. It is not the fault of one man or one family, but the fact that, by virtue of our detachment from our detritus, we are unable to fully comprehend the far reaching implications of our consuming lifestyles. Our trash, as we see it right now, is virtually meaningless because we cannot see the impact it has on others around the world. Thus, we can shuck the mantle of responsibility onto someone else, because after all, we are simply one person, so what possible difference could our habits make on the world? It is the Tragedy of the Commons2, but instead of using up a resource, we are creating by-products which very few people take responsibility for. A paradigm shift is needed in the way we view each other and the world, or else we are headed for a very, very trashy Earth.
1. As consumerism spreads, Earth suffers, National Geographic http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/01/0111_040112_consumerism.html
2. The Tragedy of the Commons, Garret Hardin, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1724745, 1243–1248