In bad taste

Welcome to the Reno News & Review.

Poop’s been on my mind lately. God help me, I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s because I’m writing the Green section for the paper since Kat’s been on maternity leave. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been thinking about a gray water system for my backyard (and yes, I know, gray water does not have poop in it). Perhaps it’s because when I double-dug my garden a few weeks back, I amended with a bunch of composted steer manure. It could even be because I’m a guy, and well, not to stereotype or anything, but guys find poop far more interesting than women do. It’s probably just because I haven’t thoroughly cleaned my bathrooms in weeks. Might even be months.

So, here we are. It’s Earth Day. And if one thing has become clear to me over the years, it’s our refuse that’s destroying our planet. So then you get to the real thing: Poop is a metaphor. Poop is something we both metaphorically and literally cast off. In small bites … I mean, amounts … poop is beneficial for the environment.

But the amounts we spew are impossible to wrap our brains around. So when you think about 27-32 million gallons of sewage processed daily in Reno and Sparks, or when you think about 200,000 cattle pooping around 120 pounds a day wet manure (and the vast majority of cattle poop not regulated), you get the idea of what room in the house we most treat our planet like.

Now address the metaphor: According to some estimates, there are 500 million automobiles on the planet burning an average of 2 gallons of fuel a day and each gallon of fuel releases 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air. Can you see where I’m going with this?

Man is a symbol for the machines and the system he has created that is destroying the planet. Everything that consumes has waste. In the big, long picture, everything that consumes is waste.