Sunday, June 05, 2005



Writing in the Times of London, John Carey raises an interesting point in his review of Richard Girling's new book Rubbish!: Dirt on Our Hands and Crisis Ahead:

Waste is partly a generational thing. If you remember the second world war or its hungry aftermath, seeing people leave food on their plates will probably disgust you. If you are under 30, you will hardly notice. Richard Girling’s passionate and combative book is more concerned with national than with generational differences. But the underlying cause may be the same. Germany, Austria and the Netherlands — nations that knew wartime deprivation on a scale unimaginable in Britain — far outpace us in recycling and waste retrieval. Britain is a garbage heap by comparison. We come bottom of the European recycling league, and would be even dirtier and more wasteful if it were not for the wholesome pressure of our European Union partners.

And as for the country that not only has not been invaded, but can grant tax cuts during wartime? We-h-hell...

While I see that Girling's book is already released in the UK, its American release is slated for the July. But if Amazon is to be believed -- and they're not, sometimes -- they're still using the British cover. Call your book Rubbish! instead of Trash!, and have a cover depicting a map of Britain instead of the U.S.? Hmm. That cover may result in rather more paper recycling at the publishers than the author intended...

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