Whose idea was it to ship our shit out to sea and dump it?
Clearly we’re idiots.
The encountering of our trash is a huge inconvenience in the search for the recent missing Malaysian air flight. Not to downplay the tragedy of the flights disappearance, however the islands of trash are bringing much needed awareness to the cost of our lifestyles. Let’s look at this inconvenience in the long run.
“Everything that humanity does is reflected in the debris out there,” – Seattle oceanographer Curtis Ebbsmeyer said in this Christian Science Monitor article.
The economist article “Picking over the traces” talks about the evolution of Technofossils – which is basically the trash we leave behind. “The immense diversity of human artefacts, the vast acceleration in that rate during the past 60 or so years is without precedent in the Earth’s geological record”.
We’ve transitioned into the Anthropocene where our activities have a significant global impact on the Earth’s ecosystems….Which leads to this cheery Guardian story “Nasa-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for ‘irreversible collapse’?” The story sites how civilization could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.
Unfortunately issues like trash, resources and inequality are so big it’s extremely hard to wrap our heads around it all. Frankly it’s just easier to be in denial because the small instant gratification we get from buying something takes our minds off the bigger issues.
Sadly those of us who create the most of the garbage don’t have to live with our own garbage. It’s our gift to the poor.
The next time you go to Costco to buy that double pack of whatever, ask yourself … Do I really need this? If yes then ask … Is the cost of the trash created from the packaging alone worth the small monetary discount?
Just follow the data and it’s easy to see we are barreling off a cliff here.