So today they were doing my street, and as I had my morning tea I watched them work outside my window. Holy Moly! That's quite an operation! I was amazed just by the sheer volume of physical material that it takes to pave a street. Just to cover one side of the street in front of my house took 4, yes FOUR giant truck loads of asphalt!
Think about it... four loads of asphalt for the space in front of each house! And that doesn't even count the side streets that don't have any houses facing them.
It sorta got me to thinking. What exactly is asphalt anyhow, and where does it come from? Well, according to Wikipedia it's a "...carefully refined residue from the distillation process of selected crude oils." Hmmmm... sobering thought, especially when you consider the reality of peak oil.
And that got me to thinking about all the other things that I take for granted. What about the cement in the sidewalks, alleys and bike paths? How about all those telephone poles and wires, not to mention satellites that let me talk to CatMan on the phone several times per day? How about the pipes that carry water and gas to my home? What about the sewers that carry away my waste, and the storm sewers that drain our roads? The list goes on and on...
I once read that American society consumes such a vast quantity of resources, that even the carbon footprint of a homeless person here is beyond sustainable levels, simply by virtue of their share of the public resources.
I'm not sure that I have any brilliant conclusions to offer on this topic, but it certainly has given me pause...
And I think I'm going to appreciate the smooth ride on those freshly paved streets, just a bit more than I otherwise would have!
|Our Freshly Paved Street|
So what other sorts of things do you think we take for granted in this society?