PLASTICS: AN OCEAN OF GRIEF
May 13, 2013
“Plastics will prove the worst, most insidious invention of humanity. Plastics kill everything and anything in their path on all four corners of the planet. Plastics kill without violence, without warning and without provocation. Plastics float, sink and never break down. Of all of humanity’s folly on this green planet, plastics take the trophy for man’s inhumanity to all other life on Earth.” -FHW
This commentary on plastics will sicken your sense of humanity’s moral and ethical decay on this planet. Not to mention its outright denial of reality. This plastic onslaught stands alone as the worst invasion ever perpetrated on all other creatures on Earth. While I respond to many people who think they know what they talk about I am chagrined at thee arrogance of those who defend unlimited use of plastics without recycling incentives in the face of our accelerating carnage, slaughter and butchery of the natural world around the planet.
Those of us that possess greater understanding can only shake our heads at the insanity of humanity’s folly. Let us address the 80,000 human made chemicals our species injects into the land, air and water 24/7. How do we speak to that nasty reality? Answer: we ignore it. How about the most insidious aspect of humanity’s inventions-plastics? We never deal with the undercurrent of human-caused devastation on this planet.
(Trillions of pieces of plastic float or sink in all the oceans of the world. Those pieces of plastic may be the size of a pin head (nurdles) or the length of a football field as in drift nets. They kill when eaten or they kill when fed to youngsters. They kill with no mercy and they kill 24/7. The invention of plastics will prove humanity’s greatest curse upon the natural world.) Photography by Greenpeace
The 10 minute video illustrates the deadly reach of humanity as its plastics attack the bird life on Midway Island, seemingly so far away from human encroachment, that such an onslaught of human-made rubbish couldn’t reach it. But it does, and the avian and marine life suffer excruciating deaths from having their guts loaded with every form of plastic tossed out into the oceans without any responsibility whatsoever.
Now that you’ve seen this sickening video of our disregard of the natural world, how do we account for ourselves as a species? How do we change this ugly, nasty and deadly assault on Mother Nature?
You saw the lethal plastics invading the guts of the birds, but what about below the ocean waters? Let me tell you with my 50 years of scuba diving around the planet, it’s even more deadly. We kill off 100 million sharks annually for the past 25 years-documented by Julia Whitty in OneEarth Magazine. The carnage below the water equals anything and more above the water.
(Golf balls found in the ocean spell out “trash” and the rest of the detritus represents a tiny, tiny fraction of the amount of plastic trash discarded into our oceans and washed up on shore. It will take millions of years after the human race departs the planet for all our crap to degrade. In the meantime, it will continue killing millions of unsuspecting species.) Photography by Greenpeace
Turtles eat Styrofoam so much so; they cannot submerge to find their food. Dolphins and whales get caught up in drift nets to the point of strangulation, suffocation and horrible deaths. The tiny plastic pellets (nurdles) by the billions upon billions now infect the ocean food chain. Even that horror cannot be seen in the film, but it operates everywhere in the oceans.
Almost 10 years ago, the popular TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey exposed the 100 million ton plastic floating garbage patch the size of Texas desecrating an area of the Pacific Ocean. The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” covers all other oceans of the world with an average of 46,000 plastic bottles and debris floating on every square mile of ocean water. That plastic kills millions of creatures above and below the surface.
Did the world press come to the rescue? Did the president of the United States and leaders of all other countries in the world call for a world .25 cent deposit/return law to stop the deluge of plastics entering our natural world? Did ordinary citizens take action to make it happen in free countries? Did Pepsi, Coke, Coors, Budweiser, Kentucky Bourbon, KFC, McDonald’s, Burger King, Chipotle’s, Pizza Hut, Toys R US and other top beverage and plastic-selling companies stand up to demand deposit/return laws for all their products. Did CEOs of Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Kroger, Publix, King Soopers and Safeway make any attempt to stop plastics from entering the natural world?
Answer: not a single pathetic one of them stood up to promote a plan to stop the destruction of our oceans. In fact, I know one of them personally, Peter Coors of Coors Brewing in Golden, Colorado where I live. He personally used his millions to defeat container-deposit laws in Colorado in 1974 and 1988. I asked him why? He said to me in a letter, "It’s only an 8 percent waste stream."
When you take 8 percent and apply it to trillions of plastic containers, you come up with the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” I call Peter Coors a “pretend environmentalist.”
(In third world countries, people toss everything as if they still lived in the Stone Age. They walk in it, through it and throw more into it. Don’t laugh, Americans, Canadians, Europeans and Australians all toss their trash into the oceans, along roadsides, in parks, in rivers, in lakes and into streams. The human race as a whole proves itself pretty pathetic.) Photography by Zuma Press
Thus, the onslaught of our oceans rips at the foundation of all of life. To think that we stand ready to add another 3.1 billion of our species within 37 years to add even more plastic debris to all the planet’s oceans.
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© 2013 Frosty Wooldridge - All Rights Reserved
Frosty Wooldridge possesses a unique view of the world, cultures and families in that he has bicycled around the globe 100,000 miles, on six continents and six times across the United States in the past 30 years. His published books include: "HANDBOOK FOR TOURING BICYCLISTS"; “STRIKE THREE! TAKE YOUR BASE”; “IMMIGRATION’S UNARMED INVASION: DEADLY CONSEQUENCES”; “MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE TO ALASKA: INTO THE WIND—A TEEN NOVEL”; “BICYCLING AROUND THE WORLD: TIRE TRACKS FOR YOUR IMAGINATION”; “AN EXTREME ENCOUNTER: ANTARCTICA.” His next book: “TILTING THE STATUE OF LIBERTY INTO A SWAMP.” He lives in Denver, Colorado.
His latest book. ‘IMMIGRATION’S UNARMED INVASION—DEADLY CONSEQUENCES.’