Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Texas-Sized Problem

Some of you may have heard about the garbage patch of the Pacific ocean discovered recently by scientists examining water quality between California and Japan. Its an astounding story of the actual imprint we are leaving on our world and how its coming back to haunt us in more ways then one.

Some folks over at, as part of their Toxic Series, took a 3-week trip with scientists studying the garbage patch and have a brilliant video series documenting their experience.

Here is a part 9 of 12:

"I'm bummed," says Meredith Danluck of VBS TV, "I mean we are in the middle of nowhere, you know, maybe no one has ever been in this spot. And its filled with our trash...we've really screwed up and are all going to hell."

Kudos to Thomas Morton and his crew for this incredible peek into an unknown but devastating problem in the Pacific. Its not heavy on science and instead shows, from a typical American perspective, the impacts on each individual as they deal with the what they're seeing. "There is definitely a shift in understanding going on for the people on this boat..."

"Basically, we've consigned ourselves to eating our own shit. We've been tossing out plastic for years and its come back to bite us back in the ass already."

What's incredible about this video series is that it unearths a deeper problem in our society concerning not just how we dispose of waste but the real threat of unchecked production of plastics and those effects on our health. I am continually amazed at how little connection is drawn between cancers and other illnesses and the environmental devastation going on worldwide. Morton and VBS make a pretty air-tight argument for why we need to rethink the entire system before it really is too late.

Also, VBS has a similar series on the Tar Sands of Alberta that is incredibly well done. My former organization, Rainforest Action Network, has been working on this issue for over two years now. Check it out.

Oh, and the soundtrack with indie band Brighton, MA is ideal for the mood of the film.

1 comment:

b.mcbride said...

I just watched the series, stunningly sobering. It is hard to imagine that anyone watching it wouldn't feel compelled to alter plastic consumption habits.