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Plastic Waste in Tuvalu Photo: Jo Ruxton, "A Plastic Ocean"

Plastic Pollution

“Tell me again about the time when people ate fish from the sea, grandpa,” pleaded the 7-year-old sitting at the feet of his great-grandfather looking back at the 2020’s when he was a boy. That was before the year of the conversion, 2050.   When the plastic equaled the fish and that was all the fish ate. “Couldn’t eat fish from the sea after that,” said the old man.

“Where did the plastic come from, grandpa?” came the inevitable next question. “Oh, it came from little stuff,” said his great-grandfather. “Instead of carrying a personal bag and utensils pouch like we do, they’d buy food held in a plastic container, get a plastic fork, knife and spoon, put it in a plastic bag, use it all once and throw it away.” “That’s terrible!” said the young boy grimacing, although he had heard stories like this before. “What kind of people would do that?” Oh, just regular folk. “Yes, there used to be elephants, and rhinos and polar bears even, now only animals to eat or pet.”

What kind of planet are we leaving for future generations? The projection is that by 2050, the mass of plastic in the ocean will equal the mass of fish. Every plastic bag from the bodega, Styrofoam clam packaging, plastic straws, knives, forks. Items picked up casually with a lunch at the office and then tossed, adds up to billions of tons a year that will be around for five hundred years.

This is not a far and distant future. 2050 is only 32 years away. Chances are if you’re under 50, this concerns you directly. This is a global crisis, that along with global warming, is another existential threat to life on the planet as we know it.

The young people marching against assault rifles will be even more at odds with the preceding generation that is leaving them with an overheated garbage dump of a planet to go along with the mountain of debt.

Gerrymandering and White Supremacy

Republican gerrymandering has produced enclaves of conservative whites holding on as best they can to the America where their supremacy was unquestioned.

The anti-gerrymandering decisions being made across the country in Pennsylvania highlight the problem with getting gun control legislation through Congress. The Republicans have been so successful at sculpting districts to fit their voting base that they are now trapped by the creature they created. The NRA speaks to that base about their passion and ownership of a gun. The thought of taking away their gun is like taking away their pet. That’s what they care about and that’s what they vote about. They are concentrated in these gerrymandered districts and the rest of the country can scream and stomp their feet and it will make no difference. Politicians want to be reelected and serving the people in these crafted districts is what will get job one done. The rest of the country be damned.

Districts conforming to geographic realities will provide a more diverse voting base where other voices can be heard, giving a moderating effect on extreme views. If the anti-gerrymandering process moves across the country where partisan district lines have been drawn, combined with the predicted “Democratic wave,” we can see another seismic shift in the direction of the country.

Mueller Marches on

The planet is being trashed and overheated while we are trapped fighting the personal delusions of the White House occupant. We can only hope and pray that the Democratic wave comes, and the Mueller investigation does not find that although Donald Trump is a despicable human being and arrogantly ignorant, he’s not guilty of any crime. Just a stupid man who hired bad people and we’ll have to wait until 2020 to get him out.