Sunday, July 23, 2017

What A Mess

I suspect that most people in the West realize to some extent the self-indulgence of drinking bottled water, not to mention the many other liquids that are conveyed to the consumer in just the same manner.

The next time we reach for one, we should all feel suitably ashamed of and disgusted with ourselves.
Industry has made more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and there's enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than two miles of trash, according to a new cradle-to-grave global study.

Plastics don't break down like other man-made materials, so three-quarters of the stuff ends up as waste in landfills, littered on land and floating in oceans, lakes and rivers, according to the research reported in Wednesday's journal Science Advances.

Plastic waste in water has been shown to harm more than 600 species of marine life, said Nancy Wallace, marine debris program director for the U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. Whales, sea turtles, dolphins, fish and sea birds are hurt or killed, she said.

"It's a huge amount of material that we're not doing anything about," Wallace said. "We're finding plastics everywhere."


  1. It's becoming increasingly obvious that, if we wish our civilization to survive, we will have to accept radical change in the manner of our organization - socially, politically, economically and industrially. We have progressed, quite unconsciously, under systems rooted in 18th century economics, 19th century industrialism and 20th century geopolitics that once brought us prosperity and ease but have, harnessed to neoliberal forces, brought us to the cliff's edge.

    At long last climate scientists are coming to address our predicament inclusively by recognizing the other two great existential threats - overpopulation and over-consumption - as interwoven, even synergistic.

    While our political caste still clings to gestural responses it's hard to find a leading climate scientist today who thinks anything short of radical change won't lead to civilizational collapse.

    We have a choice - change or chaos. Chaos is the default option.

    1. It seems that as long as our politicians are willing simply to tinker around the edges, Mound, nothing will change. My cynical bet is on chaos.

  2. We see our individual bottles, Lorne. We never see the collective piles of rubbish to which we contribute.

    1. Our inability to see the big picture seems to be one of our greatest shortcomings as a species, Owen.