Seth writes: Rhetorical questions, some easy, some particularly difficult, all worth thinking about:
If your house near the ocean has a beautiful view, should the person who buys the lot closer to the shore be able to build a house on it?
As long as it doesn’t obstruct the view. Get creative! Or don’t build.
If your restaurant needs to empty the dirty oil from the deep fryer, is it okay to dump it on the curb, possibly causing a bicyclist to slip and crash?
It’s late night on a busy Saturday, I’d understand. Otherwise, try as much not to do that?
If your car painting facility exhausts tiny droplets of red paint while doing a job, and the paint floats away and lands on a white car nearby, are you responsible?
Yeah, but you don’t have to brag about it. You can keep working. You can also try to fix the problem.
Is it okay to make money selling building toys made from little tiny powerful magnets? What happens if kids eat the pellets and suffer internal injuries?
Collateral damages. The toys are obviously not meant to kill. Also, parental supervision of toddlers?
Should a factory dump poison in the river, even if it’s legal?
? No; but again, they can and don’t have to talk about it. However they should fix the problem.
Can the architect of a skyscraper specify mirrored glass, even if the glare bothers people in nearby buildings?
He cannot, as he doesn’t work/live there. He could potentially (and should) be viewed as a bad architect for not taking the environment of a new building into account.
What about building a huge skyscraper that casts a shadow all day on the park next door?
And… is it okay to take a private jet to Scotland, even if the exhaust from that jet will cause distress to countless people who didn’t choose it? What if it takes a long time for the effects to be felt?
It’s not okay but that’s not really the most pressing issue. We need to ship less as cargos pollute more than anything else. We need better buildings, which waste tons of energy for cooling and heating.
No easy answers. But we need to keep asking the questions.
Easy to answer those for me. My rate is $1,000/hr.