I would like to make a response to two issues that were in the Aug. 27 edition of the Waltonian. The first issue is the new recycling procedures on campus. Since information regarding the energy saving light bulbs was not mentioned, I think it is important that people realize that these bulbs contain mercury, which is a highly toxic and carcinogenic metal. These bulbs must be recycled or disposed of at a hazardous waste facility and cannot be thrown out in the regular trash. They will contaminate the environment if placed in a landfill. Also, if these bulbs are broken, one should ventilate the area and leave for at least 15 minutes. More important information, including recycling instructions, is available on the EPA’s Web site at http://www.epa.gov/bulbrecycling/ and http://www.epa.gov/mercury/spills/index.htm.
The second issue is Russia’s conflict with Georgia. It is important that people know that this conflict has been going on for years. The facebook group mentioned in the last issue is not new. I joined it in the fall of 2006 but left after a year and rejoined it in early August. It was created two years ago in response to Russia imposing a trade embargo with Georgia and cutting off mail delivery between the two nations. It is said that Russia did this in response to the Rose Revolution several years ago where the pro-Moscow government was deposed after they rigged the elections in their favor.
Before being hasty in saying who is at fault one should not look at what has happened since the beginning of August, but the past six years. Russia’s attempts to keep the former Soviet republics as their puppet states is not limited to Georgia but also extends to Ukraine. One should look at how the Ukrainian President, Victor Yushenko, who supports the west, was poisoned by the Russians while running for office against a pro-Moscow candidate. Vladimir Putin even said that he thinks that the collapse of the Soviet Union was one of the worst tragedies of the 20th century.
We should pray that this conflict will end peacefully.