Did you know that there is a huge soup of plastic garbage swimming between Japan and Hawaii?
Did you know that every human today has potentially dangerous plastics in his blood?
To be honest. I didn’t.[ad#ad-1]Until I saw “Plastic Planet“. It’s the newest example of a young but proud tradition of great Austrian documentary movies (e.g. google for “Darwins Nightmare”, “Our Daily Bread”, “Workingman’s Death”, “We Feed The World”, “Let’s Make Money”) and it covers our Plastic Age and it’s implications for our planet – and the humans living on it.
Sitting in the cinema and „enjoying“ this quite well made movie, a few questions and ideas came into my mind.
First of all, I had a weird idea about getting all this plastic out of the Pacific Ocean. There is a huge fleet of unused ships waiting just outside of Singapore because of the current economic crisis. It may sound stupid, but sometimes such ideas do work: Why can’t we use this fleet to gather at least some of this garbage?
Second. Have there been any studies which examined a possible connection between this soup and what we know as the phenomenom called „overfishing“? 10 percent of our plasitc production (which is steadily growing and at the moment around 250 million tons per year) sooner or later end up swimming in our seas and oceans. Animals die from it.
Third. When I flounced on my seat listening to the effects of plastic to the human body, I was immediately very relieved to have bought a drink in a glas bottle before the show. That reminded me that most humans would most likely not act against a problem for idealistic, abstract or sane reasons.
But they act, if you make clear the consequences to their very own life. Few people would stop buying plastic bottles because they are bad for our environment and cause a lot of climate changing-emissions. We know that for a long time – sadly almost nobody cares. But many more people would stop, if they fear a loss of their fertility.
For the topic of climate change this means we have to make clear what the effects for every single person would be, if we do not act sufficiently. Not by falling into hysteria and spreading fear, but by providing relevant and sound information. Don’t talk about the polar bears (too much).
That also means to show the advantages (or that there are only few disadvantages) of green technology for every single one of us. There a lot of positive things to say about those topics but I very often get the impression that we too much talk about sacrificing something, not keeping the proportionality.
It lies in the concept of “change” that things get different. But as the human history shows: Most often they get better. Maybe climate change will require many things to be different.
But is drinking from glas bottles really that much of a sacrifice compared to losing the ability of reproduction? 😉
This post is also published as part of the international Th!nk 2 blogging contest – feel free to comment on this topic there