3-11-2020: Five Reasons to Be Hopeful This Wednesday
March 11, 2020
I start these Hopeful Wednesday posts usually a few days earlier, and add bits and pieces of good environmental news that I see over the week. I never know what the actual Wednesday will bring. This Wednesday morning I had thought we were going to be hiking in the Grand Canyon and having coffee at a local lodge there. Instead, COVID-19 happened and I was able to get an almost full refund on Hotels.com and I’m pretty sure Razelle who was behind hotels.com chat box is now an Instagram friend https://drplasticpicker.com/covid-19-and-curtailing-travel-razelle-m-from-hotels-com-helped-us-save-over-345/. Instead this morning, I am sitting at home and Mr. Plastic Picker is making his first coffee with a new small French Press that is plastic-free and sharing a cup with his mother. We will go on a hike this morning when the kids wake up.
A few days ago when I started this blog piece, I also would never have predicted where the US is at politically. I had donated $5 for the first time to Senator Amy Klobuchar about a week and a half ago before the first Super Tuesday. Now the second Super Tuesday has passed. Vice President Joe Biden has almost won the the Democratic Nomination. Mr. Plastic Picker and I since the disastrous election 4 years ago, have a great distrust of the political news and political pundits. We mostly ignore the commentary on CNN, Politico and Huffington Post and read their coverage with a grain of salt. Most of their coverage seems to be just to generate clicks. Political commentators accomplish very little in life. Sometimes I wonder if they should pick up some litter? But the delegate count is real and we can rely on that, and this household is happy that perhaps in less than a year there will be someone in the White House that will support the Western Monarch Butterflies and the Break Free From Plastic bills that are still sitting in congressional committee.
So with the current state of the world, Dr. Plastic Picker already has my plan of what I am going to do to help avert complete health care industry meltdown during COVID-19 by helping to publicize #flattenthecurve and promote social distancing. I also have alternate work plans on how I will operate as a middle manager in case some of our workers need to be quarantined https://drplasticpicker.com/covid-19-the-health-care-system-will-only-work-if-we-all-think-of-ourselves-as-essential/. Then we also have the plastic pollution crisis we are chipping away day by day.
I am on my 174th bag of plastic pollution collected, 648th salvaged item, 147th blog post, 165th Instagram Post, and 627 Instagram followers. Our family has effectively donated $2405 to Effective Environmental Organizations, yet our savings rate is higher and so is our networth because we have decided to stop mindless consumption. That money has saved 7,022 Acres of protected habitat through the Rainforest Trust. This has mostly been Peruvian Rainforest, Marine Protected Areas off the Western Coast of Africa, and Kenyan Rangelands. That has saved an already existing 150,000 trees in the Rainforest because the Amazonian Rainforest are our lungs. Through simply switching our search engine to Ecosia instead of Google, I have now helped plant 8 new trees . https://drplasticpicker.com/ecosians-drplasticpicker-has-always-liked-alien-like-names-change-your-search-engine-to-ecosia-they-plant-trees-you-become-an-ecosian/ Dr. Plastic Picker can assure you I am a very ordinary pediatrician is a very ordinary middle-management role, and I am most hopeful because I have realized how much a very ordinary person can do.
So here are Five Reasons to Be Hopeful This Wednesday, 3-11-2020.
- Delaware River is Being Rewilded: This was published on February 25, 2020 in the New York Times. The Delaware River has had successive dams placed since Revolutionary War times by early American settlers. But “removing dams reconnects fish habitats, lowers water temperature, speeds water flow and improves water quality.” Species that expect to finally be able to return to their ancestral spawning grounds in Pennsylvania are American shad, hickory shad and striped bass. There is a conservation hero named Dr. Jerry Kaufman from the University of Delaware who leads the University’s Water Resources Center and is part of the Brandywine Shad 2020, “a nonprofit that hopes to remove or modify all 10 remaining dams on the 23-mile Delaware section of the creek over the next three years.” As the New York Times reports, “The return of shad and other migratory fish to the creek will not only restore an ancient natural rhythm but will also nurture other wildlife like bald eagles that prey on the fish, while their decomposed bodies, post-spawning, add nutrients to the waterways.” Rewilding rivers is vital to saving our planet. “In Delaware, Dams Are Being Removed to Spur Fish Migration” by Jon Hurdle published Feb 25, 2020 in the New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/25/science/fish-dams-delaware.html.
- Judge Tosses Oil and Gas Leases on Nearly One Million Acres of Public Lands: This was reported on EcoWatch which is a great environmental newsletter. US Chief Magistrate Judge Ronald Bush ruled that $125 million worth of leases issued under a new Trump policy would be thrown out and a full 30-day comment period by the public would be allowed. This includes land that is important for the greater sage grouse whose population has fallen from 16 million to fewer than 500,000 https://www.ecowatch.com/oil-gas-leases-public-lands-2645367415.html .
- US House Democrats Seek Documents about Nestle: One of the greatest frauds perpetuated to the world’s people is that plastic water bottle companies make water. They make plastic bottles and steal water. Nestle Waters North America steals water from the people in Michigan and my home state of California. Two US Congressmen has sent request for information regarding the “company’s US groundwater extraction, revenues from bottled water sales, advertising, expenses, quality testing and plastic use.” Our family is now boycotting most Nestle products. We’d rather spend our money at small businesses anyway.
- COVID-19 Finally Pushes China to Ban Consumption and Farming of Wild Animals: CNN reports that “a strict ban on the consumption and farminig of wild animals is being rolled out across China in the wake of the deadly coronavirus epidemic, which is believed to have started at a wildlife market in Wuhan.” https://cnnphilippines.com/world/2020/3/6/China-wild-animals-food-coronavirus.html Our household watched the almost decade old movie Contagion, which is earily similar to the current crisis – but of course with a much lower mortality rate. The scene where the bat eats the banana, and the partially eaten banana contaminated with the bat saliva drops to the ground, and then that is eaten by a piglet, that is then caged and transported to a Macau casino chef. And then the chef feeds that to Gweneth Paltrow. That scene I think has almost tipped me over to full vegetarian. I hope my friend the vegan anesthesiologist reads this line. It was very powerful.
- Fifth Year of Declines in Rhino Poaching: I read about this on the BrightVibes feed, which is great by the way. I highly suggest it. They report decline in rhino poaching as South Africa clamps down on crime syndicates. “It’s the 5th consecutive year of reductions following major crackdowns on organized crime syndicates.” Our family loves rhinos, and the World Wildlife Fund was the first organization our children wanted to donate to. They chose to give $25 to donate the Conservation Workers who are armed to protect the Rhinos in their sanctuaries https://drplasticpicker.com/donation-round-up/
So five wonderful reasons to have real hope, and not just false optimism. Sometimes I am not sure how to gauge the usefullness of this Dr. Plastic Picker endeavor. I genuinely enjoy picking up ocean plastic because what I find is so interesting. I genuinely enjoy writing. I always realized I was a bit of an off-kilter person but now I am old enough to truly embrace it. But I do think I’m making a little big of different. Here is one of my Dr. Plastic Picker bags in Brazil! A friend through the amazing world of Instagram. And I know of at least five Instagram followers that tagged me, and said specifically I inspired them to litter pick! Yeah. With that I will clean up by inbox and work on some trash art today. Hopefully will go for a hike with Mr. Plastic Picker and our two tall children.