Sunday, July 01, 2007

Ban Fireworks by Louis Evan Palmer

There are any number of vestiges of our past that we should stop perpetuating and the use of fireworks is one of them. It's a thrill we could do without both in terms of unnecessary cost and negative environmental impacts; fireworks are a relic from historic times smacking of aristocratic diversions and tributes to despotic monarchs.

Fireworks are a subtle celebration of militarism in that they derive from the explosives used by armies and, in many cases, serve to glorify the state at nationalistic spectacles. The trappings of an unthinking patrioticism adorn most firework displays. It's an atavistic urge that we usually suppress but it makes its way into the open during these volleys of colourful aerial explosions. It's similar to firing off cannons to salute a head of state or to the awe we might feel when certain types of ordinance are exploded. But, is that a good thing? Hasn't feeding that beast led to more grief than happiness?

Fireworks pollute the environment and scare & disrupt wildlife. Fireworks spread heavy metals and other pollutants into the atmosphere, waterways and surrounding land. Elements like radioactive barium and arsenic are part of the fireworks payload spread across the sky to drop on the land and water below or to be carried in the atmosphere to other locations.

The thunderous noise of fireworks scares the nearby wildlife especially when the fireworks occur during breeding seasons and there are a lot of young creatures about.

Fireworks result in thousands of people injuries, some serious: burns are the most prevalent, followed by the eyes.

It will be difficult in some areas to ban them because there is no doubt that fireworks are popular but then so were gladitorial games and dog-fighting.

Let's move onto to other better, safer, smarter ways to celebrate.

Ban Fireworks, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,
Copyright 2007 Louis Evan Palmer lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.


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