On a lighter note: Earth’s future is in shipping containers

FOLKS, as my Senior Certificate will confirm, I'm no scientist, but surely with every million tonnes of dirt we export, Australia must be getting a lot lighter? And, yes, this really is the sort of thing that keeps me awake at night.

While shipping this mineral bounty overseas is wonderful for our balance of trade, it can't be very good for our planets' balance. But I think I've worked out why our planet hasn't spun off its axis and wobbled off into outer space like a loose shopping trolley - shipping containers.

Go ahead, laugh; everyone else has.

Look, most of our dirt is sent to massive factories in Asia, where toiling workers get paid a pittance to set it on fire, then make stuff which is shipped straight back to us, in shipping containers. And each day, thousands of containers land on our wharves where their contents are swiftly trucked off to stores, into our homes, then to landfills. Sadly, we're stuck with the empties. We can't send them back because we don't make anything to put in them, and empty shipping containers do not pay sailors' wages, so we're forced to stack them in colourful, teetering towers at our docks. Some are used to store stuff we don't want to send to landfills just yet, while others have been turned into granny flats, offices, swimming pools and "prepper" bunkers (hang in there folks, the end of the world is surely just around the corner).

So, here's my scientific solution: let's stuff them with landfill then bury them in empty mines. Oz will be a little tidier, the weight will counterbalance the dirt we've exported, the Earth stays in orbit and hopefully, I'll start getting some sleep at night. But frankly, I'm so excited I can barely contain myself.

Greg Bray blogs at Find him on Facebook: Greg Bray - Writer.

Topics:  on a lighter note shipping container

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