1-15-2020: Ten Reasons to be Hopeful
January 15, 2020
Thank you for joining me with this weekly blog post, which has come to mean so much to me. There has a recent article on BBC.COM regarding the power of hope and the fallacy of optimism. Indeed I am not optimistic but I am hopeful. The BBC article really captured this difference. “Scrolling through social media showing other people’s efforts on climate breakdown can give a false sense of optimism . . . [but] Real, good, useful hope has nothing to do with positive news. Instead, it is profoundly linked with action: both ours and that of others alongside us . . . There’s only one way to earn hope, and that’s rolling up our sleeves.” https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200109-is-it-wrong-to-be-hopeful-about-climate-change
The picture above was my 12th bag for January, and the new decade, and the 127th since I started. I had not realized that I had captured a fellow beach-goer doing a wheely on his bicycle until I finished my picture. I’ve been reinstated onto Instagram as @drplasticpicker without much fanfare and have figured out how to let that platform be part of this mission without letting it take over my life. I am at my 236th follower, and those numbers are every day growing. But I’ve come to realize the quantity is not important rather than the quality of interactions. Despite the almost 20 million acres of Australian acres burning and the poor poor almost one billion animals that have died, I have hope because every day I can look back on this blog and know I have done something. And @drplasticpicker and my friends we have wonderful plans that are percolating now. And I know many of you will join us.
Ten Reasons to be Hopeful this 3rd Wednesday of a new decade 2020.
- Canada has Announced the Creation of Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area: I subscribe to a lot of environmentally minded feeds. This came from the World Economic Forum and from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. 319,411 km2 has been set aside. “The Tuvaijuittuq MPA is located in the High Arctic Basin of Nunavut. This area is ecologically significant, as it provides important sea ice habitat for belugas, narwhals, walruses, seals and polar bears. With Canada’s Arctic warming at approximately three times the global average rate, Tuvaijuittuq is expected to hold the last of Canada’s multi-year sea ice.” https://cpaws.org/canada-exceeds-goal-of-10-ocean-protection-with-announcement-of-tuvaijuittuq-marine-protected-area-nunavut/
- Rainforest Trust helps Preserve 97,670 Acres of Luzon Rainforest: For someone who has so many friends and co-workers of Philipino ancestry, I am embarassed that I know so little about the geography of the Philippines. The Rainforest Trust has helped preserve 97,670 acres of Rainforest habitat on the largest island of the Philipines of Luzon. This helps the indigenous Dumagat and Alta communities by established a democratic ecosystem management, and now the San Luis S’bkal-Is’suwi Indigenous Community Conserved Area will be protected. This area also is home to old-growth forest and the critically endangered Philipino Eagle
- Sobeys Large Canadian Retailer Will Remove 225 million Plastic Bags Out of Circulation in 2 weeks: Sobeys is a large grocery retailer that has five brands under its umbrella (FreshCo, Safeway, Foodland, IGA and Rachelle Béry ). Per the CBC.CA initially they plan to start with the flagship Sobeys and by end of 2020 (that is 2 weeks) remove single-use plastic bags from its 255 locations and will take 225 million plastic grocery bags out of circulation each year. They then plan to phase this into their other store brands, eventually will mean over 800 million plastic bags out of circulation. If that’s not good news for a plastic picker, I don’t know what is! https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/sobeys-plastic-bags-2020-1.5230433
- Indonesia will ban single-use plastic bags by June 2020. This law has teeth as it includes fines and termination of licenses in shopping centers. This ban applies to “single-use plastic bags in modern department stores, supermarkets as well as traditional markets.” https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/01/07/jakarta-to-ban-single-use-plastic-bags-by-june.html. I left a comment as drplasticpicker, “This is wonderful! We are an organization of pediatricians in Southern California and we thank Indonesia. We are all connected. We pick plastic on our beaches to save the oceans. Thank you to the Indonesian people!!! We must fight plastic pollution together.” Again plugged the blog.
- Javan rhinoceros Numbers Have Increased to 72: Our children in the Plastic Picker household have a special love for rhinos. Javan rhinoceros are critically endangered but after four new calves were spotted, their numbers have increased to 72. Let us pray for this iconic species.
- Diego the San Diego Tortoise Returns after Helping his Species get over 2000: This news story was catchy and I think semi went viral and even made it to the NYTimes and CNN. Diego is an over 100 year old Giant Tortoise from the Galapagos island in Ecuador. His species was critically endangered on it’s native Espanola Island in the Galapagos. He was loaned from the San Diego Zoo to Ecuador where he pretty much was just going around procreating and was very popular from the females. That population began at just 2 males and 12 females, and now has over 2000 tortoises – 40% of them his progeny! Go Diego. @drplasticpicker welcomes you home to San Diego.
- Bangladesh bans Single-Use Plastics in Coastal Areas: Bangladesh was one of the first countries to ban single-use plastic bags, and now lead the way by banning single-use plastic cutlery in hotels and restaurants on the coast. Dr. Plastic Picker also stopped by their internet blog space, “Thank you Bangladesh for being a leader in reducing plastic pollution! Thank you also for now banning single-use plastics in hotels and restaurants. We are a group of pediatricians in Southern California, and we are hoping that our state can be as forward thinking as you. We need to all work together to fight ocean plastic pollution!” Plugged the blog again.
- Giant Eagle Plans to Eliminate Single-Use Plastics by 2025: Giant Eagle operates 474 stores across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and Maryland. There company has announced that it will be free of single-use plastics throughout it’s operations by 2025.
- New Jersey Bans the Shark Fin Trade: Last week New Jersey’s governor Phil Murphy signed a law banning the practice of shark finning. Our blog cares enough about this that I signed in and commented, “Thank you New Jersey! We live in So Cal but my husband is from Linden, NJ. Thank you for fighting for our oceans and Sharks. More sharks mean more biological diversity and hopefully mitigating climate change. Thank you! Thank you!!! We visit once a year.” Of course I had to plug the blog! But here is their bloglink in return https://www.nj.com/politics/2020/01/shark-fin-soup-now-illegal-in-nj-as-murphy-reels-in-praise-from-conservationists.html Sharks serve an outsized function in the ocean and combating climate change, as they are apex predators and maintain balance in the oceans.
- My Friends: The last reason to be hopeful is that I am hearing from my real life friends. One of my mom-friends who walks also South Mission Beach sent me a picture of a flip flop she picked up with a text “where is @drplasticpicker when you need her?” But she picked it up and I think had fun doing it! After we published the interview with Dr. Rachel Guest https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-rachel-guest-pediatrician-and-nature-defender-5/, one of her co-workers who admires her and works closely with her texted me back, “Thanks for sharing this … it’s an eye opener for me to be more aware of our environment. Sometimes I get caught up in [life]. I can be more aware of my surroundings and all of us can benefit from it.” Inserted love smiley emoticon. And I texted back, “I’m so glad. I think if everyone tries a little bit, it makes a bigger difference than a few person being extreme zero waste.”
So it is 615am, and it is the hump day and I can smell the weekend coming. I can smell the beach. Not too many days until I can spend the glorious mornings looking at Whimbrels, Marbled Godwits and cleaning the beach. I hope this blogpost has made you more hopeful as well, and maybe encourage you my friend to pick up a piece of plastic, refuse a single-use plastic or go to beach. Signing out and returning to mommy duties – @drplasticpicker. I’ll correct my grammatical errors later today.
The next week’s installment 1-22-2022 https://drplasticpicker.com/1-22-2020-five-reasons-to-be-hopeful-this-wednesday/