1-22-2020: Five Reasons to be Hopeful This Wednesday
January 22, 2020
Saving the world from catastrophic climate change is a monumental task. It will take billions of us mobilizing and changing our way of life. No matter what, the climate has changed and we will have to adjust to the new world. But we still have time to mitigate some of the effects of climate change. I have so much hope every day, because I now listen and notice things. I notice my fellow humans changing. People are waking up. I see others picking up litter. People ask me, what is plogging? Children are encouraging their parents to stop buying straws and single-use plastics. Colleauges have agreed to join me in activism on the AAP Climate Change and Health Committee and Climate Action Now San Diego Chapter https://drplasticpicker.com/you-have-given-me-courage-drplasticpicker-joins-in-with-the-aap-environmental-health-section-and-climate-health-now/. I think I am one of billions mobilizing and in the end this story will have a happy ending. But we have to earn that ending, by acting now and making changes and putting our time and money where it is most useful. But in the meantime, let me share with you some hope so that you do not despair. Despair never helped anyone. Remember I am not peddling false optimism, but hope that is earned if you also are taking concrete actions.
Five Reasons To Be Hopeful This Wednesday, 1-22-2022
- Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Protects the Florida Everglades: Greta Thunberg said in her recent speech at the World Economic Forum that the left and the right and the center have all failed. I believe that saving the oceans is a non-partisan issue, and Republicans and Democrats alike love the earth. Some of my closest friends are Republican, and they are putting in solar panels, opening up small businesses and concerned every day about our earth. The key is to rebuild community and a sense of shared purpose. We can only do this if we are all in this together. The South Florida Sun Senital wrote that Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, “announced a massive land buyout that will kill a plan to drill for oil in the Everglades. The state will buy 20,000 acres in western Broward County owned by Kanter Real Estate LLC, which had won approval for an exploratory oil well, a project that had generated international outrage. The price is $16.56 million to $18 million, depending on when the deal closes.” I encourage you to read further and see what positive environmental actions this Republican governor has made. Certainly he is not perfect, but neither are any of us. I know. All that plastic on the beach I pick, it comes from all of us. https://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-ne-everglades-oil-drilling-buy-20200115-aefh3yaq6rcrdaekhpjclnszry-story.html
- Elon Musk Releases All Tesla’s Patents: This news was Janury 2019 but at that point drplasticpicker did not exist and I was not fully paying attention to environmental news. But in retrospect this is huge, and tells you that Elon Musk “gets it.” About a year ago, Elon Musk announced that he had released all of Tesla’s electric car patents as part of an effort to fight climate change. He said that Tesla “will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.” He did this on behalf of the environment. Wow.
- China Bans Plastic Bags and Other Single-Use Plastics: Last week China announced that it will ban non-degradable bags in major cities by 2020, and in all cities and towns by 2022. Restaurants will be banned from using single-use straws by the end of 2020 as well. It goes without saying that China is a large population so any systemic changes they make affects the Pacific Ocean quite a bit.
- Malaysia Sends Back Plastic Waste: This last week, Malaysia is also putting it’s foot down and refuses to be the dumping ground for the developed world. The country sent 150 containers of plastic waste back to 13 mainly rich countries. This was reported by multiple news outlets but the Business Insider put it best with it’s title, “Malaysia sent 4,120 tons of plastic trash back to 13 rich countries, saying it refuses to be the ‘rubbish dump of the world.'” This includes “Forty-three containers full of trash were returned to France, 42 to the UK, 17 to the US, and 11 to Canada.” Recycling is not the answer. End of story. Now we have to deal with it as we should. https://www.businessinsider.com/malaysia-return-plastic-trash-rich-countries-us-france-canada-uk-2020-1
- Costa Rica Has Banned Styrofoam: Anyone who has done a beach cleaning, plogging or litter picking knows how horrible styrofoam is. Well Costa Rica has banned styrofoam. This is wonderful for the world, as Costa Rica can be an example for all of us. This is wonderful especially because as Global Citizen reports, “Plastic is a major environmental pollutant in Costa Rica which accounts for only 0.03% of the earth’s surface but contains 6% of the world’s biodiversity. To preserve one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, plastic waste and other forms of pollution have to be controlled and kept in check.” https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/costa-rica-to-ban-the-use-of-styrofoam-containers/
There are many more reasons to be hopeful. I take screen shots of the weeks hopeful stories, and this week I didn’t have space to let you know about Redondo Beach approving a ban on polystyrene and single-use plastics, Microsoft announcing it’s plan to go “carbon negative” by 2030. and a small village in Sikkim, India banned single-use water bottles.
And I am reminded that optimism is foolish, but hope is earned. And I am hopeful because I can look back and see what a very ordinary person can do in the moments that I used to sit looking at my Weight Watcher’s App or being in an airless gym. Without much effort, I have now collected 132 bags of ocean bound plastic, and salvaged 561 items from the beach. And rather than being fed mindless news about the Kardashians, I am instead actively creating and this blog. And this is my 113th blog post, and I reached a high of 270 page views yesterday, and now at 278 instagram followers. And our family is buying less things and eating more real food not encased in plastic, and in the magic of anti-consumerism we have reduced our shopping and have less trash in our trash bin. And I found a pair of black pants I forgot I had in my closet that look good still! Now that is hope!
Continue reading with the following week’s Hopeful Wednesday message https://drplasticpicker.com/1-29-2020-five-reasons-to-be-hopeful-this-wednesday/