Today I cried. I don’t cry easily.
Like a 50 foot storm driven wave, sadness swept over me. Indifference, greed, phony piety, and souls lost in the wild winds of human folly, fanned the storm.
The storm passed, but it reminds me of an adolescent moment when some of us kids dreamed of riding the waves that the heroes of Surfin’ USA glorified. But for those who lived far from ocean waves, or without the means to hang 10 on a custom surfboard straight from Surf City, we fashioned street surfing—skateboards. I’m not talking about the safer options for surfing the sidewalk. I’m talking about ripping apart old skates and attaching the wheels to a piece of lumber. Classic human folly.
And so it remains. Example: in search of quality Planet Earth living, advertising conned us to believe that the best drinking water comes from a manufacturing plant that takes penny-water from the ground, treats it, bottles it, and sells it. That bottled water then sells for about $9.60 per gallon on average. Outside of water emergencies, we overpay for product that already runs through our faucets, while believing that the bottled water is healthier. Then, that single use bottle will more than likely not be recycled. Combined with all the other forms of trashed single-use plastics and styrofoams, we not only have microplastics in the ocean and in the seafood we consume, but horrors upon horrors, microplastics in our air and soil.
“Vast watery parcels of plastic – made of soda bottle flotsam and shopping bag jetsam – appear in our oceans as large floating islands. On roadways, plastic is often tossed, broken down into smaller pieces and churned until it is microscopic, at which point it is swept into the atmosphere and travels the world.
“By sea or by land, these tiny shards of plastic are more ubiquitous than science had known, according to a new study led by researchers at Cornell and Utah State University. The research was published April 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.” (From the Cornell Chronicle.)
It’s not just the plastics overtaking the environment, but the entire spectrum of elements that are conclusively warming the global environment, thus transforming life as we once knew it—not to forget causing vast human migration, the sixth extinction, and destructive weather patterns, to name a few.
I don’t deny that I’m a part of this moment by still purchasing products in plastics, driving a car, and sometimes at a loss of what to do about my own collective consumerism and waste.
Each April offers a special day of recognizing Planet Earth, our home—Earth Day. Earth Day is more than plant-based diets, recycled clothing, declining single-use plastics, walking more, etc. Researchers are discovering how planetary degradation can also stoke fear, racism, and other negative elements of being human.
For such reasons, today I cried.