August 11th, 2008

The Librarian

A pondering ...

... inspired by noticing that the newly-painted-two-weeks-ago white lines on our street are already grey ...

When I was a kid, lines on the roads and streets were painted in vivid white or vivid golden yellow (depending on position and purpose), were reflective, and very slow to fade. Our farm fronted on a highway and the summer repaint crews were a rare sight, only appearing to renew the markings every five or so years (because it took that long for the paint to start to show any signs of fade or disappearance).

And then ...

And then it was decreed that "environmentally friendly" paint must be used on our car paths. Fine and dandy and glad to be kind to Ma Nature and all that, but now the paint on all the pavements needs to be renewed annually (it also loses what little reflectiveness it has within days, making all the markings practically invisible if there's the slightest bit of dampness at night).

Every summer when I observe a paint crew at work or freshly painted lines, my brain once again suffers severe pain trying to figure out just how a 500% increase in the running of all that fossil-fuel-guzzling equipment works out to being more environmentally friendly than the old way. So far I haven't managed to squeeze any sort of logic out of it (we won't even go into the massive increased drain on various taxpayer-provided budgets that accompanies this state of affairs)

P.S. The annual workload also means that some lines aren't renewed until September or later ... usually just in time to be half-disintegrated by the first frost.