...and he is us.

Yeah he is.

Cartoonist Walt Kelly's Poster commemorating the first Earth Day

Cartoonist Walt Kelly's Poster commemorating the first Earth Day

I posted a link on Facebook (don't judge) to the article "Global warming releases microplastic legacy frozen in Arctic Sea ice" (authored by Professor Rachel W. Obbard, Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College) about the trillion plus pieces of plastic that are estimated to release into the sea over the next decade via the global warming ice melt.  Trillion is the low-ball estimate by the way.

                        Researcher collecting Arctic ice core samples

                        Researcher collecting Arctic ice core samples

Findings from Arctic ice core samples

Findings from Arctic ice core samples

If you're wondering how plastic got into Arctic sea ice (I was) - Professor Obbard explains it like this: "When sea ice forms it scavenges and concentrates particulates from the water column, which then become trapped until the ice melts...Arctic sea ice from remote locations contains concentrations of microplastics at least two 
orders of magnitude greater than those that have been previously reported in highly 
contaminated surface waters, such as those of the Pacific Gyre. Our findings indicate that microplastics have accumulated far from population centers and that polar sea ice represents a major historic global sink of man-made particulates.."
  

Here, Professor Obbard explains the ice core sample findings:   "It was during examination of this sample that we discovered 24 brightly colored particles in addition to sediment and diatoms. Ten were pieces of plastic (7 identified with > 70% confidence) and 14 were pieces of rayon...The abundance of microplastics was substantial, ranging from 38 to 234 particles per cubic meter of ice...the microplastic concentrations we found are at least two orders of magnitude greater than those reported in Atlantic waters north of Scotland or in waters of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre."

Back to my point about posting this on Facebook, I had people stopping me out in the real world to say that they can't stop thinking about it - I must say there is some comfort in losing sleep as part of a team. We could be the "3:am Holy Shitters" - as in a group that can collectively angst in the middle of the night exclaiming "HOLY SHIT what have we done?!"

But for the rest of the people, the "That's so terrible, people shouldn't pollute'rs" - I don't want to say the apathetic per se, but the people that don't see a personal connection between the gyres and the arctic plastic and themselves - To THOSE PEOPLE, I quote Walt Kelly "We have met the enemy and he is US."

US as in YOU and ME.

The good-hearted, hard-working, well-meaning people that inadvertently leave behind this kind of plastic EVERY SINGLE DAY in our parks and on our streets. It falls to the ground as we get in and out of our cars. We ply our children with the stuff (stickers, balloons, glitter, trinkets...) until it quite literally falls from their pockets and lunchboxes and backpacks like dandruff - plastic is the dandruff of our convenience addicted society.

If you look on my "Picking Up The Pieces" page, it illustrates how much plastic I find (in one hour's time) every couple of days - THE PROBLEM IS US. 

If we actually cared - like cared with our actual human hearts, we would...

Not buy ridonculous plastic crazy straws because we want our child's birthday to have a theme.

Not buy ridonculous plastic crazy straws because we want our child's birthday to have a theme.

We'd shun laser cut plastic confetti - it's a seriously stupid use of plastic - Oh, water balloons are out too. Quit your whining, they kill animals.

We'd shun laser cut plastic confetti - it's a seriously stupid use of plastic - Oh, water balloons are out too. Quit your whining, they kill animals.

I shouldn't even have to type this, but we'd NEVER ever use or buy styrofoam again - how is it still a thing?!

I shouldn't even have to type this, but we'd NEVER ever use or buy styrofoam again - how is it still a thing?!

We'd immediately stop giving our kids those weird baby food pouches with cake decorator tops - I have no idea how they work, but they're D-U-M-B.

We'd immediately stop giving our kids those weird baby food pouches with cake decorator tops - I have no idea how they work, but they're D-U-M-B.

And we'd never buy ziploc plastic pouches - Never ever. Are you taking your snacks aboard a leaky boat? No? Then you don't need to space wrap your food. Put it in a wax or paper bag like a normal person and get on with it.   Okay, this ziploc in particular is KILLING ME.  Irony much?  

And we'd never buy ziploc plastic pouches - Never ever. Are you taking your snacks aboard a leaky boat? No? Then you don't need to space wrap your food. Put it in a wax or paper bag like a normal person and get on with it.   Okay, this ziploc in particular is KILLING ME.  Irony much?  

Oh and THESE - I found the paper pieces first and thought "Wow, look at that, someone bought paper cut confetti, that's pretty cool."  But no, then I found the idiotic foam puffy stickers that were attached to the paper - found them in the gutter. There is no need for these, they're an insult to frogs and butterfly's everywhere.  Foam is French for SUCKS SO STUPID MUCH I CAN'T EVEN STAND IT.

Oh and THESE - I found the paper pieces first and thought "Wow, look at that, someone bought paper cut confetti, that's pretty cool."  But no, then I found the idiotic foam puffy stickers that were attached to the paper - found them in the gutter. There is no need for these, they're an insult to frogs and butterfly's everywhere.  Foam is French for SUCKS SO STUPID MUCH I CAN'T EVEN STAND IT.

And we'd NEVER buy another glow stick again - There is no excuse for a glow stick - if you say "rave", I'll throw up. Oh, and fan the moronic decorator pencils - They're ugly, and they're shrink wrapped in plastic, so every time you sharpen one of these beauties, you're creating tinier curls of plastic.

And we'd NEVER buy another glow stick again - There is no excuse for a glow stick - if you say "rave", I'll throw up.

Oh, and fan the moronic decorator pencils - They're ugly, and they're shrink wrapped in plastic, so every time you sharpen one of these beauties, you're creating tinier curls of plastic.

I'll stop there, not because I'm done berating dumb uses of the dumbest material, but because I don't believe anyone has read this far, and I need to get ready for the meeting of the 3:am Holy Shitters - I'll have my phone by my bed Deborah.