Nature has her way of getting things done that really need doing. We, the people, have polluted the oceans for generations, and now the oceans are giving back. With the invention of plastics, things got seriously worse out there. Who can forget that line from The Graduate:
Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.
Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?
Well, we now know exactly how you mean. Plastics have taken over the world. But we do not need the 5 Gyres to show us why they are so bad. Here in Ireland, we’ve had some massive storms over the past several months. Storms like we’ve not seen before. And those storms tossed things in the ocean. They tossed them around and then tossed them out. Back onto the land where they were created. Much like the native in the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy. There it was a Coke bottle being returned to the gods having wreaked havoc on earth. Now it’s the plastics being spewed out of the endangered oceans to return to the relative confinement of burial in the land.
But what we have seen here is devastating. Overwhelming. Truly disturbing. It has really made me appreciate the extent of the problem. You see, every cove, every inlet, every outcropping of land is covered in plastic detritus. With every storm it builds up more. With every attempt to clean it up, the winds get stronger and the tides get higher, piling a new crop atop the old.
Mixed with seaweed and trapped in hedges, it is now many feet deep and wide. Impossible to extricate, and completely hopelessly intertwined with the land. A blight like no other. Now I understand the plight of the whales and dolphins, turtles and sea birds. I understand and I cry a lone tear. For I feel it is overwhelming. Truly disturbing.
And then I pick up one piece and put it in a plastic bag using plastic gloves so I do not risk contamination. I am doing what I can to reverse the effect. It does nothing except improve my conscience. This earth is truly screwed.