Until this ghastly tale is told, my heart within me burns

Published on September 25th, 2013

Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote, “Until my ghastly tale is told, this heart within me burns.”

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, and of 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 more education about the impacts of population growth and for policies worldwide that target stabilizing population.

Overpopulation is at the root of so many of our environmental challenges. Beyond that, of course, we need to deal much more responsibly will the waste we generate and be mindful of what we are consuming. Specifically to the plastics horror, we need to move towards drafting and implementing deposit-return laws for plastics 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 encourage every world citizen to be 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.

World leaders and manufacturing CEOs echo similar disregard for our natural world. As to common citizens around the world, they remain clueless as to the impact of their massive plastic discard.

Countless numbers of seabirds suffer fates like this one – bellies loaded with plastics that the hapless birds mistake for food.

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.”

This is typical of an island beach anywhere around the world where plastics float up and land.

Photo by www.oceanfilmfest.org

In past blogs of mine, you witnessed pictures of the 100-million-ton, size-of-Texas, floating island out in the Pacific Ocean, dubbed the “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 video, we witness and understand the damage, but we fail to take action.

Fifty years ago, Eleanor Roosevelt said, “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 life cannot live and procreate. We suffer death of plankton that create 80 to 90 percent of the oxygen we breathe on this planet. We face warming oceans via the 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.

Because the U.S. citizens use two million – that’s 2,000,000 – plastic bottles every five minutes and discard them – we need to take action fast with a two-pronged approach that tackles population stabilization and stops further environmental degradation through the wanton discarding of plastics.

Photo www.columbia.edu

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