One of the choruses that is heard from the pro-pollution, anti-science climate change deniers is that people can’t possibly be powerful enough to impact our planet’s climate system. This is a curious belief, in light of the clear evidence of the destruction that humanity can – and does – wreak wherever people congregate (i.e. releasing rabbits in Australia, the zebra mussel infestation in Canadian waters), and particularly since the acid rain and ozone layer environmental crises.
But as Captain Charles Moore, in this National Geographic special, observes “People don’t take suggestions, they respond to crisis“. He goes on to say
“One of the things that bothers me about the present environmental crisis that we face is the callous way the adult population thinks about what we are leaving for our heirs. And what we are leaving is a big mess.”
Captain Moore has noted that, in some places in the North Pacific, there is so much trash that it is now hazardous to navigate in some places.
For the sake of our children, we all need to start asking ourselves the question “Where is away?” when it comes to our garbage. It turns out, there is no such thing as “away” – there is just delayed reckoning when it comes to throwaway, non-biodegradable stuff. As Captain Moore points out, all that plastic in the oceans is a visible symbol of our excesses. It’s time for a shift in our thinking and our habits.