Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Recycling

Hannah and Rachel arrived at Cheswick Labs. The complex was built on huge tract of land out in the New Mexico desert. The building itself sprawled in a way that only architects without a sense of scale could produce, but it was dwarfed by the size of the open quarry next to it. A dozen of the buildings could have fit inside the pore scraped into the earth and barely covered the acreage at the bottom. The sense of scale continued with the massive wind turbines stretching across the horizon, spinning in the breeze. Thick cables ran this way and that over the desert floor like extension cords beneath holiday decorations.

Hannah and Rachel glanced at each other. The wind turbines made sense. Cheswick Labs had a reputation for being a world leader in cutting-edge energy sources. The quarry was another matter.

"Maybe research on geothermal power?" Rachel asked, unloading her camera gear from the trunk of their car.

"Could be. If so, it'll help the story. I don't think that anybody has mentioned Cheswick researching geothermal power before."

A white-coated engineer bounced out of the building and came towards them across the parking lot. Her blonde curls flowed behind her in the breeze and for a moment, she blended in with the shimmering desert behind her.

"You must be the two reporters from the 'Dam Traditional Energy' magazine," the woman said, grabbing their hands and shaking vigorously.

Hannah recognized her at once. She couldn't help it - the woman was a regular on every TV program for months, and regularly appeared before Congressional hearings.

"And you must be Dr. Cheswick. You're hard to miss," Hannah said. "My name is Hannah, this is Rachel, the photographer for the piece."

Dr. Cheswick blushed. "Please, call me Shirley. Lovely to meet you both. Please, come inside, I'll give you the tour!"

The trio left the glare of the sun for the cool, softly-lit interior of Cheswick Labs. Its dimensions were no less ill-defined as the desert, however, as the corners and walls dissolved into shadows. The lights were very artfully arranged.

"We've wanted to interview you for quite a long time," Hannah said as they walked down corridor after corridor. They would occasionally pass glass panels that opened onto labs, though the activities within didn't seem especially noteworthy.

"Oh, yes. I apologize for my tardiness. I don't mean to sound conceited, but there are many places who want to interview me. And while 'Dam Traditional Energy' is a wonderful publication, I had to consider the audiences. If Cheswick Labs intends to change the face of energy, preaching to your magazine's demographic is not the most effective use of my time. Your readers already recycle, already are aware of the preciousness of our natural resources. It's approaching those who are only taking their first step down the verdant path of conservation that fires me up."

Hannah flipped open a notebook and scribbled a few notes while they walked.

"So you see yourself as an ambassador?" Hannah asked, while Rachel stopped them and snapped a few photographs through a glass panel.

"Yes, you could put it that way. If we are to change the face of energy consumption, we have to make it attractive and, more importantly, easy. I think we're making great strides towards that, but I'm really very excited about our newest project, and it is the reason that I decided that now would be the perfect time to do an interview with your publication," Dr. Cheswick said.

"And what is that?" Hannah asked, while they resumed walking.

"The project is what I believe to be the final link in the chain that will allow Ms. Disposable to climb up to reach her potential and become Ms. Conservation. It is a step that requires no replacement on the part of the consumer, requires no changes in their daily routine."

"And what is that?" Hannah asked. They paused before an enormous door. Dr. Cheswick hit a few buttons on a nearby panel and the door opened. The desert sun made their irises audibly contract. After their eyes had adjusted, they saw that they were looking out into the quarry.

"The quarry?" Hannah asked.

"Or rather, what we're going to put into the quarry."

"A geothermal reactor?"

Dr. Cheswick shook her head. She motioned Hannah and Rachel to step aside. A warning light came on, followed by a warning siren. A dump truck emerged from the gloom inside of the building. Its headlights were completely washed out as it neared them and the outside. As the sun hit what was loaded in the back of the truck, Hannah heard Rachel next to her fumbling with her camera, trying to get it out in time to snap a picture.

"There's no need for haste," Dr. Cheswick said, "there's more inside."

"Was that...was that...a stegosaurus?" Hannah stammered, staring at the enormous beast as it disappeared over the lip of the quarry.

"That's exactly right," Dr. Cheswick said. "They are born in our laboratory, live out their lives in very comfortable paddocks built to resemble what we guess their homes may have been, and when they finally die they are laid to rest in the bottom of our quarry."

"What's the purpose of that?"

"The consumer will not give up their petroleum. No amount of eletric this or hydrogen that will change it. So let us plan for the future. Let us make petroleum a renewable resource. We have invested countless years into breeding these dinosaurs so that their carcasses, wrapped in the embrace of the earth that has created all of our oil, may continue its work. The whole process is very ecological," Dr. Cheswick said.

The Moral: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle DINOSAURS!

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