My wife’s grandfather had this model train car in his collection:
A bright yellow car with “Plastics” plastered on it. It couldn’t be louder or prouder unless it had a few exclamation points.
Now, plastics are threatening our future…
But there’s still hope. Boylan Slat, a Dutch inventor, was just 18 when he started Ocean Cleanup back in 2013. He’s trying to tackle the complex challenge of cleaning up the ocean garbage. These days, he’s also working to remove it from the 10 rivers that contribute the most garbage to the patch.
We can do our part, a bit further upstream… by reducing our use. Weaning ourselves from bottled water is a great place to start.
Bailing out on plastic bags will help too. A lot of cities have banned single-use plastic bags, or are charging a fee if you use them.
These relatively simple daily changes may seem like a drop in the ocean. But maybe that’s the point.
I’ve learned so much from PBS. And when I say “PBS” I mean Pearls Before Swine, the comic strip. (What, did you think I was talking about that highfalutin TV network?) Here’s Stephan Pastis’ brilliant strip from yesterday:
Astounding, ain’t it? Good work if you can get it…
Yeah, I know you can counter this with an argument that CEOs are the LeBrons and Beyoncés of the corporate world, and superstars get super pay. (Pro tip: you probably shouldn’t use LeBron and Beyoncé as your examples, as Blacks and women are woefully underrepresented at the CEO level.)
Are CEOs really nearly a thousand times better than they were back in 1978? Highly unlikely. Not even the CEO of Stark Industries deserves that big a bump, and he’s saved the world a time or three.
I’m not saying CEOs shouldn’t make millions… but their salary should be linked to the salary of the worker bees in their company.
Ideally, we would tie worker pay to executive pay. The maximum ratio would be enforced by law. In order for those at the very top to enrich themselves more, they’d have to raise the wages of their employees. Companies would no longer be able to pay minimum wage to many of those at the bottom and tens of millions to those at the top. All the happy corporate talk about “team members” would finally mean something real.
Every year, the men’s basketball teams from Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati square off on the court, in what’s known as the Crosstown Shootout.
There’s no love lost between the two teams… there was an ugly post-game brawl in 2011.
The fan bases can get rather rabid, too. With a bit of perspective, it seems silly for normally-sane adults to get so emotionally invested in a single basketball game between two groups of mostly teenagers. (But as a Xavier alum, I’m duty bound to mention the fact that my Musketeers have won 10 of the past 14… Let’s Go X!)
However, there’s a new XU-UC “shootout” going on right now where there are only winners: the local bar and restaurant workers. It started more than a month ago when a man and his daughter left a $1,000 tip at a venerable burger joint and finished off their note with “Go Xavier!”
Since then, fans of both schools have been engaged in a friendly game of one-upmanship, leaving monster tips at dozens of local restaurants.
This tip war isn’t a war of attrition, it’s a war of appreciation for the local restaurants and bars whose business has been crippled by coronavirus, and the workers who rely on tips to get by.
It’s good to know that folks from both schools have their heart in the right place (and apparently fat wallets too).