Sunday, April 8, 2012

Plastic Ocean

So I just finished reading this book titled Plastic Ocean, by Captain Charles Moore.  It has everything: San Pedro, birders, Masked Boobies, Catalina Island, Laysan Albatrosses, the plastics industry, Long Beach, Black-footed Albatrosses, sea turtles, Hawaii, the Fukushima disaster, the L.A.River, plastic bags, the San Gabriel River, and rubber ducks.

This book is a dizzying travelogue of the world's oceans, the continents, chemistry, history, politics, marine biology, meteorology, romance, nautical terminology, and nerve-wracking days floating at sea, praying for the wind to pick up, because you don't have enough diesel to make it back to Hawaii.

So I wrote a post to the L.A. Birdwatchers' email list about the book, and exhorted the local Audubon chapters to invite the author to speak at monthly meetings.

So of course, an idiot birder hit "Reply All" and huffed indignantly, "Does this email have anything to do with a rare bird sighting?"

Oh. My. God.

Where do I turn in my Swarovskis? I don't want to be associated with these idiots, any more.

Okay, Jethro, let me explain it to you in plain English: There's a shitload of plastic trash from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Korea floating in in the Pacific Ocean.  Millions of tons.  That's right: MILLIONS of tons. Laysan Albatrosses, Masked Boobies, and other tropical seabirds are eating that plastic, and feeding it to their babies.  Their numbers are time you pay $200 to go 100 miles off-shore on the Condor Express, and don't see anything interesting, here's what I want you to do:

When the Condor docks in Santa Barbara, I want you to drive straight to my house in Claremont (it'll only take you 2 hours!), and ring my door bell.  When I open the door, don't flinch when I smack you in the head with my copy of Plastic Ocean.

Food for thought: Okay, now lean close. 


No, no. Closer.

Now, squint at the photograph.

That's right: As soon as the Claremont Library received this book, they slapped a protective plastic dust jacket onto it.

1 comment:

Ken said...

Thanks for the post - I'll look into this book.

The plastic book cover is humorous and ironic, but I'll argue it actually makes sense. It will likely protect the book and be useful for many years (unlike plastic water bottles) and will preserve something that may help introduce readers to ocean conservation, etc.