Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Supertyphoons and the chaos of charity

Please keep the people of the Phillipines in your prayers as they brace for another "supertyphoon" this weekend. And keep reading Sancta Sanctis for news from the ground and beautiful reflections on the often-frustrating but always sanctifying nature of charity in the face of great disasters.
Then there are the plastic bottles and plastic bags. The floods were inevitable: after nine hours of heavy rain, plus overflow from three different dams, there was just too much water. Yet we can't deny that litter--a great deal of it plastic designed to be disposable--has clogged up much of the city's drainage system.

(Then again, a part of me wonders: The city has a drainage system??? I find I am no longer as inclined to blame litter--or the litterbugs--for clogged pipes. There are other ways to ruin a city.)

Not that there's any way to get around plastic. The material is as lightweight as it is durable. Imagine the same thousands of gallons of donated water in glass bottles, how much more care would have to be taken with them, and how much heavier they would be. Imagine stuffing a hodgepodge of groceries into paper bags, knotting them closed, and piling them in a corner on the floor. Glass would break and paper would be vulnerable to the damp. Plastic may not be pretty, but it is practical. Say what you like against it, but it passes the Charity Test: whatever is not against us, is with us.

The task we have now is to figure out how to live with it.


Anonymous said...

Green ideology does not make much room for practicality. The crisis pregnancy center at which I volunteer, has come under criticism for giving out disposable diapers. The clients we serve have limited access to laundry facilities. When this was pointed out to one critic, she responded, “They can rinse cloth diapers in the toilet and hang them to dry on the shower curtain rod.” When I asked her if she would put such a diaper on her own child, she just turned and walked away. Terentia

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Terentia wrote: "Green ideology does not make much room for practicality."

One could just as well say that conservative ideology does not make much room for practicality; or that liberal ideology does not make much room for practicality; or any other.

Anyone, with any set of beliefs, can become a blinkered partisan. But most of us don't. Greens are no different.


Anonymous said...

"City drainage system" -- I think it's more likely that this refers to storm drains and sewers, which any city needs. Without storm drains, the streets flood. This is 19th Century technology, not some Evil Green Conspiracy.

I have to wonder, also, why conservatives have decided that the American way is to be as wasteful as possible.