October 26, 2009
by: jovial_cynic
Back in 2007, I wrote a post about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and about how Ranger Rick had been warning us for years about where we put our garbage. None of us realized until this last decade that all the garage was floating around in the ocean.

And of course, being out in the ocean, no nation is legally required to do anything about it - there are no laws that govern the trash in the ocean, and it won't be until that trash has a direct impact on our own lives that anyone will be willing to do anything about it. And by then, it'll probably be a considerably larger mess to clean up.

A set of photos from Chris Jordan's "Message from the Gyre" taken this month are a haunting glimpse into what is heading our way:

These photographs of albatross chicks were made just a few weeks ago on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.

To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world's most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent.

~cj, October 2009

And there are many more images on Chris Jordan's site.

It's more than haunting, really. It's horrifying. And our insatiable hunger for cheap disposable crap is fueling it all.


Doctor Kenzo said:
Ha! The idea that human beings could have a harmful impact on the environment is laughable liberal hyperbole!
October 27, 2009

Doctor Kenzo said:
... I have to deal with this stuff in a light and sarcastic fashion, because I long ago gave up hope that I could do anything about it.
October 27, 2009

Allison said:
Well I've always thought we, as consumers, have a potentially large amount of power, responsibility and more and more choices.
Just because we can't change the world by ourselves doesn't mean we can't make conscious choices. Like buying less cheap disposable crap.

October 27, 2009

Caroline said:
So, what's the problem? Did you buy a sailboat lately and are planning to sail into the GPGP? Seriously, it's very disturbing. I live my life differently since I saw that.
October 27, 2009

jovial_cynic said:
It's pretty horrible. Turns my stomach, really.
October 28, 2009

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