Part 16: Bird life on Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean and the onslaught of plastics
Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote, “Until my ghastly tale is told; this heart within me burns.” From his epic work: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
This ghastly, if not poignant look onto Midway Island, 2,000 miles out in the Pacific Ocean, reminds us of the sublime beauty of our planet via the waved albatross, but how fast humanity’s plastics ravage the natural world. The following four-minute video allows you a mind-changing look into humanity’s onslaught of the natural world.
Hopefully, the four minutes you took to watch this sobering if not stomach churning video—gives you the courage to speak up, take action and push for deposit-return laws on every piece of plastic that leaves our stores across America and around the planet.
You must take action with your state and federal leaders to stop further damage to our natural world. Our civilization and all civilizations around the globe must implement plastic-deposit-return laws if we hope to salvage what’s left of the health of our oceans worldwide. We need to implement effective educational systems in order to make every world citizen responsible for that plastic bottle cap, toothbrush holder, soft drink container, Styrofoam cooler and another 100,000 plastic items that we buy and toss 24/7 around the planet.
(Notice that all animal life cannot distinguish between nutrient foods and plastic. This creature’s stomach held enough plastic of every description to finally give it a painful and slow death of choking and starvation. Yet, humans refuse to engage plastic-deposit-return laws or change containers all to glass in 2013 and God only knows how far into the future. We should not manufacture plastic bottle caps or anything that can fall into the mouths of the creatures of the natural world.) Photo by kanat.jsc.vsc.eud
In my State of Colorado, we tried to institute bottle-return laws in 1974 and 1988, but beer brewer magnate Peter Coors defeated us with his endless fortune. He pretends to be an environmentalist, but he failed himself, his family and future generations with his quest for more money over the natural world.
Coors does not stand alone. World leaders and manufacturing CEOs echo similar disregard for our natural world. As to common citizens around the world, they remain clueless as to their discard of plastics.
(Countless millions of seabird suffer the fate of this one with plastic-loaded bellies that they mistaken for food. If world leaders and manufacturing CEOs possessed an ounce of morality-ethics-personal accountability over the money they make—this horrendous “ghastly tale” could be solved.)
When Coca-Cola hit 100 years of age, the CEO boasted, “I am so proud to bring the world Coke.”
In reality, via my world travels, I watched millions of kids and parents smiling with toothless mouths because they suffer caffeine-sugar addiction from Coke and other soft drinks. They lack any access to toothbrushes and floss. Today, we know that soft drinks create heart problems and obesity. Would the CEO of Coke take action to stop his drink from circulating around the world to render millions of toothless smiles? Would he add a toothbrush and floss to every purchase of his product? Would he support deposit-return laws for his plastic containers? Answer: not a chance.
(Marine life worldwide strangles itself on plastic debris circulating around the planet on the surface and beneath the waves. Humans kill 100 million sharks annually (that figure is correct and has gone on annually for over 25 years) and heaven only knows how many die from ingesting plastics before they die and sink to the bottom where there is no way to count their numbers.)
In Daniel Quinn’s book, Ishmael, he said, “And yet you do destroy the planet, each of you. Each of you contributes daily to the destruction of the world. You’re captives of a civilizational system that more or less compels you to go on destroying the world in order to live.”
(Typical island beach anywhere around the world where plastics float up and land. Trillions of pieces of plastic of every discription continue their onslaught on wildlife and the natural world. What do humans do? In the last 50 years since they invented plastics, they keep throwing it into the oceans with no pause in sight.)
Through this series, you witnessed pictures of the 100 million ton, size of Texas, floating island out in the Pacific Ocean: “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”. It’s huge, it’s ugly and it’s growing. Every day of the year, countless billions of humans toss plastic somewhere into a lake, stream, river, on the land and into the oceans.
As you saw from the four-minute video, we witness and understand the damage, but we fail to take action.
Eleanor Roosevelt said it 50 years ago; “We must prevent human tragedy rather than run around trying to save ourselves after an event has already occurred. Unfortunately, history clearly shows that we arrive at catastrophe by failing to meet the situation, by failing to act when we should have acted. The opportunity passes us by and the next disaster is always more difficult and compounded than the last one.”
If we live out Roosevelt’s tale to its “ghastly finish” and fail to take action—we face acidified oceans where marine lie cannot live and procreate. We suffer death of plankton that create 80-90 percent of the oxygen we breathe on this planet. We face warming oceans via carbon footprint from fossil fuel burning, which in turn, destroys our climatic systems worldwide. All marine life continues to eat and incorporate those mini-particles of plastic into their systems, so that, when we eat them, we pay the same consequences you saw from the albatross on Midway Island.
Frankly, I am not optimistic that humans share the collective will or intelligence to save themselves. If we do possess any chance, we need to move on information found in this video and these pictures to change the way we use plastics around the world.
Because the United States citizens use two million, that’s 2,000,000 plastic bottles every five minutes and discard them—we need to take action damned fast.
(Very few people comprehend the enormity of the plastics onslaught around our planet. Again, it’s floating and landing not only on beaches, but under the oceans as well. In its wake, utter devastation on eco systems, marine life and, in the end a “ghastly tale” for all of humanity.)
Frosty Wooldridge is a Population-Immigration-Environmental specialist: speaker at colleges, civic clubs, high schools and conferences. Facebook: Frosty Wooldridge. Facebook Adventure Page: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World. Www.HowToLiveALifeOfAdventure.com. www.frostywooldridge.com.