|George 'Buster' Singleton|
(For decades, paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “The death that walks while we are sleeping,” was originally published in the Feb. 1, 1990 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)
Perhaps one individual out of 10,000 will stop and give some thought this coming year to one of the most serious situations that face our society today – how to get rid of our household waste.
We Americans generate 160 million tons of household waste each year. This figure is expected to rise to 190 million tons by the year 2000. This is frightening when you look at some of the facts about our “good life” and the waste that it creates.
Would you care to guess just how long it will take a so called degradable trash bag to deteriorate in one of our landfills? Would you believe several thousand years? Did you know that some landfills around the country have been excavated to study the deterioration of various plastics that have been thrown there?
1971’s hot dogs still around
Evidence has been found that some hot dogs that were thrown away in the year 1971 are still identifiable. The color of the meat has changed, but that is all. Also, corn on the cob thrown away in 1972 was still in its original form; only its color had changed.
Many items, like disposable baby diapers, will be hear to face us thousands of years from now. Can we imagine what it will be like for those poor, wretched souls who are here on earth a thousand years from now? That is, if the world survives.
Everywhere you look, there will be millions of tons of household waste. The beautiful country and the rolling hills that we see today will be covered by waste that was thrown away by a people that have long since been forgotten.
If you can get to the beaches, the oceans of the world will be choked by millions of tons of trash. This pollution will long have destroyed what sea life survives our next generation. As far as the eye can see, there will be wave after wave of polluted water with hundreds of thousands of plastic bags, each filled with the garbage of civilizations long since disappeared.
Can you imagine us today finding the trash of the early Greek and Roman empires? The situation would be the same, only the trash will be different.
Every type of disease that man can imagine will run roughshod over the land. A glass of pure water will be more priceless than gold. A cool evening wind will be something that is read about in storybooks. If you can find a hill to climb for a moment’s quietness, it will be made of garbage.
Do not think of me as a pessimistic person. I am not, but the handwriting is on the wall. The future is frightening, and the outlook is grim.
Right here in our lovely state of Alabama, we have one of the largest landfills in the United States. Residents of Emelle, Ala. are forever reminded that the five-mile-square area holds some of the most hazardous materials on the face of the earth.
Over 1.3 billion pounds of hazardous waste was buried at Emelle in 1987 alone. More than 2,400 factories, military bases and other various corporations bury their toxic waste right here in our beautiful state.
Toxic waste is shipped from as far away as Puerto Rico to Alabama to be buried in our soil. Six states – Alabama, Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Mississippi and Kentucky – all use this area to get rid of their toxic materials.
Most of the toxic wastes buried at Emelle are from chemical spills or are hazardous byproducts from factories that make everyday items such as cars, batteries, magnetic taps, transistors, computers and plastics.
If it is not already too late, we Americans must rise to battle this creeping, silent death. Within the next few years, about one person out of every three or four will have some type of cancer. Our good, fantasy life will have taken its toll.
There will be no more fears of a drug-filled society. Everyone will be on drugs to just try and forget the situation that is at everyone’s doorstep.
An evil-smelling stench and the taste of chemicals will ride the winds. There will be no more fragrant smells of the blooming flowers on the evening air. Only the sick smell of death and decay, and the rot of the pitiful fruits that fell by the wayside because of pollution, will remain.
Such a pity. We Americans have had it all. No other nation on the face of this earth can boast of the good life like we can in this country. In the past, we have been one of the healthiest nations and our youth has excelled over all others in physical and mental fitness.
But the shoe is on the other foot now. We are content to take second place and even third. We laugh when people speak against drugs. We think the home life that some of us knew as small children is a joke. Marriage has become a trial and error situation. Separation and divorce is a way of life. Our homeless numbers grow by the thousands from day to day.
“Do your own thing,” everyone says. Our children are swapped for a fix of hard drugs; live the good life and let it all hang out. This is our motto.
Have no fear of tomorrow. Make all the money you can, even if it is made in a dishonest manner. Fill our beautiful land with all the deadly toxic materials that can be hauled this way; keep that money coming. A life of fantasy is the way to go. Reality is for the birds, that is, if there are any birds left after pollution claims the land.
Any fool should know that money will buy anything: love, happiness, good health, success and anything else that matters. Forget the discipline that is essential for the happiness of our people. Money and narcotics will keep everyone in a world of fantasy. Who needs the things that made this country great? The good fairy will wave her wand and all will be well within. Just you wait…
(Singleton, the author of the 1991 book “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” passed away at the age of 79 on July 19, 2007. A longtime resident of Monroeville, he was born on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County. He is buried in Pineville Cemetery in Monroeville. The column above and all of Singleton’s other columns are available to the public through the microfilm records at the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville. Singleton’s columns are presented here each week for research and scholarship purposes and as part of an effort to keep his work and memory alive.)