DC is an odd town. I do not at all want to say negative things about it, because I love it. When I lived in Baltimore for that stint and commuted down, I marveled at how absolutely clean everything was. I didn’t even have this down in Atlanta! But, Baltimore? There, you get used to stepping out the door into the collection of litter from people the night before or stepping out of the vehicle into human… I won’t go there today. But, man, DC? In DC, you have your own little man follow you around sweeping up the cigarette butts you toss. I mean, those guys in City Hall take pride in showing this place off!
Which goes as no surprise that DC would also love showing off how GREEN it is. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going green. I work in Energy and Environment law and if there wasn’t an urgent need to look towards the future in this way, well, I would… just have to find another practice to be a paralegal in. Even so, I do believe in peak oil, that we’ve passed the so-called “peak” and that we need to find other ways to sustain ourselves. My heart goes out to whales and to dolphins and to 80’s style mullets, however I do think we take things a little too far sometimes, and DC is a great example of this.
A few nights ago, I watched “Waiting for Superman,” which if you do not know, is a documentary about how stupid we are. In the more discriminate version, it’s about how our country has completely let go of our own educational system. It analyzes where we went wrong and how we may be able to fix it. One of the main plotlines showcases the District as the lowest area of the country in terms of education rate. I think they said something like 18% of 5th grade kids could pass a 3rd grade test. Yikes. Something would tell me where to put my tax dollars.
Instead, at the beginning of last year, because of the growing concern of plastic bags floating in the Anacostia River, the town implimented a five-cent tax on every plastic and paper bag you use at any store for your groceries, beer, and personal items you would not like the public to necessarily see. Twenty percent is returned to the merchant while eighty percent goes to… no, it doesn’t go to education… it goes to cleaning up one of the two rivers in DC. ONE. The problem with environmental initiatives like this is that:
A. They pull on the heart-strings of the public, because who doesn’t want a pretty planet? Therefore, they can create a huge mob of followers who you can command like mindless zombies
2. They are able to tax the public FOREVER, because, just like the War on Drugs or the War on Terrorism, there is no definite end to pollution.
D. This tax does nothing to actually regulate the force which is creating the pollution in the first place, only those which are distributing it (ie – factory makes plastic bags and lots of pollution in its wake, but is not taxed; people throw plastic bags away and somehow the bags always end up in this same river.)
I apologize for that somewhat weird economics tangent we just took. But, tying into this go-green craze is suddenly my firm. Yes, my big corporate law firm. The law firm which keeps every single light on in every single hallway on both of its floors turned on 24/7. The same firm which may be the sole reason the Brazilian rainforest may disappear before the glaciers atop Kilamanjaro due to the paper it wastes through shredding and NOT recycling. This firm has decided to take on a Green Initiative. It’s ridiculous, really, even though it’s been in effect for like a month, it still makes me laugh to think about.
In order to spread goodwill to our clients and let them know we care about the Earth, we are now printing on both sides of the paper.
Okay. Before you say anything, yes, that is definitely the stupidest thing, if not the laziest thing I’ve ever heard of. But especially for a LAW FIRM. Only Dunder Mifflin depends on more paper. The sheer amount of paper we go through in a week is staggering. And, yes, this would really make a difference if… IF… if half of things we printed didn’t need to be single-sided per the rulemaking of every Federal and State governing body we apply to! Even if the Clerk at the courthouse in My Cousin Vinnie got a brief that was double-sided, he would send it back without a stamp. Who came up with this idea??? Oh well, I guess the lawyers don’t have much room to complain about this… we’re the ones having to print everything for them.
DAILY REASON FOR LIVING RATIO: 2.45