As I say this, pretty much every one of the fifty-or-so items on my desk is composed of plastic, so make no mistake - I am a giant hypocrite. But change was never supposed to be easy, and radical change is sometimes really, really necessary. Screw fabric bags, Vancouverites - those are a token solution. Unless we as consumers stop purchasing items composed of, or wrapped in, plastics, the Pacific Garbage Heap of Doom will continue to grow, albatross chicks will continue to die, and eventually, we will live in a Wall-E type dystopia where human life is impossible and only cockroaches and adorable robots have survived. Do you want that future, as cute as it may possibly be?
Plastic is made of oil, oil is expensive (and in itself a giant environmental and societal hazard), and the remnants last forever. But these baby chicks paint a picture much more vividly than I can. Enjoy. Or, cry. Environmental punditing over.
The above pictures were shamelessly stolen, along with the following text:
Message from the Gyre
These photographs of albatross chicks were made on Midway Atoll, a
tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The
nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar
out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food
to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year
tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation,
toxicity, and choking.
To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, none of the
plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated,
arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the untouched
stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world’s most remote
marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.