Of course, you’re well aware of greenhouse gasses, global warming, rising coastal waters, melting glaciers, etc. A real problem. The old normal.
But did you realize the equally as bad if not worse new normal we’re creating through plastic infusion of our air, water and soil? It’s everywhere, even in the melting ice of the North and South Poles, the deepest recesses of our oceans and, according to a frightening article I read this morning, in remote areas of the American West’s Oregon forests and Utah desert. Just last week, a deceased camel was discovered in a Middle Eastern desert with over 200 plastic bags in his stomach. We see at-one-time pristine resort seashores piled waist deep with plastic refuse.
Discarded plastic bottles have plagued our ecosystem for decades. But now we are told that tens of millions of plastic laced Covid masks are more numerous in landfills and waterways– clogging drainage in the process– than plastic bottles. Cardboard recycling centers are simply unable to keep up with the pace of cardboard piling up beyond their ability to process them.
Chicken Little? Don’t think so. But all of this can get a bit depressing if you allow it to hang like a miasmic pall over your psyche, not necessarily allowing it to bury you under an avalanche of hopelessness while, well…wondering what difference you and I can make in all of this.
Here’s a bit of encouragement related to automobiles. A just-released science journal article reveals that most of the world’s plastic air-water-soil infusion is not engendered from large metropolitan areas, as one might suppose, but from billions of rubber plastic saturated flecks thrown from tires traveling at high speeds on our interstate system. Over 70% in fact.
Which brings me to my closing point: I have noticed as our roads and highways return to their crowded normal, people are still driving as though it were a year ago at the beginning of Covid quarantining. In other words, fast and reckless. Angry. Impertinent. Distracted. As though they own the roads. Less motor vehicle accidents last year, but many more very serious ones.
So, for both the sake of good ole Mother Earth’s health and yours, slow down and live.
Remember Aesop’s famous tortoise versus hare fable? Who ultimately won that race?
There’s some wisdom there. For both you and me.
– G.Turner Howard III