Eco-fiction discussion

Margaret Atwood doesn't like plastic

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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 68 comments Margaret Atwood Has Some Fixes For A Crisis That’s Slowly ‘Killing Us’

Apparently for some people, eco-fiction is simply entertainment.

This article appeared in Yahoo's Entertainment section. Why Yahoo would list this article as entertainment is beyond me except maybe they thought that an author like Margaret Atwood writes fiction, so if she had anything notable to say it would be entertaining.

The original source of the article was Huff Post collection of articles about plastics.

I have been seeing these articles about plastic popping up here and there but did not realize they were all saved in one place.

It is listed under Huff Post Impact section, but they have a section that is ocean oriented where all the plastic pollution ocean articles are listed in one place.

The Impact section is a collage of articles apparently relating to social issues, but the main Impact page does not clearly indicate how to get to the Ocean section.

This only shows how unworkable the current system of indexing is on the internet and how easy it is to be over looked. If you know where to look you can find it, but if you don't know, chances are you wont easily find it.

Basically we need to treat plastic like it is radioactive. Keep it locked up, don't throw it around like it was garbage, account for every piece of it.
This can be done by replacing plastics with items that are made of
Easily Biodegradable materials
Natural Fibers
Pure Carbon

Wood is a possibility but them we'd probably run out of trees, weeds would be better.

message 2: by Charlene (new)

Charlene D'Avanzo | 12 comments Interesting - thanks. There was a piece in the NY Times, I think, that featured a famous designer who uses plastic bits from the ocean to make her clothes.

message 3: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Arthur Richard Branson, the gazillionaire who may be suffering "consumer's guilt" is now marketing a line of clothing made from plastic garbage.

I read in a stack of old Sierra magazines in my bathroom that for every human on earth, there are 700 pieces of plastic garbage produced PER YEAR. Do the math and you might need your calculus calculator to get up into those exponents.

As soon as you create a market for weeds, say scotch broom here which WAS used to make brooms, people will start planting MORE of it. At the root of all human primate behavior is greed and why not? We only get a few decades. Blow it out while you still can! The prob is the source--the manufacturers have no burden/cost of what they use to make their products, dumping it on to us. Last year, when I worked at Lake Tahoe, I was driven almost to tears by the hundreds, thousands, of water bottles we picked up not to mention the hypocrisy of all those people with their "Keep Tahoe Blue" bumpstickers on their very clean Land Rovers. Capitalism offers the manufacturers Get Out of Eco-Jail Free cards for disposal of their products and this is the problem. CA is a little better on this front but not good enough.

Thanks for posting.


Thanks for posting Robert.

message 4: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Arthur You also point out the confusion about our genre--I like your comment that because she writes eco-fiction, her concern about the environment must somehow also be fictional, entertainment only...but Yahoo? Not exactly cutting edge Bob. The writers are probably millennials with little to no science education. I should know...

We need a national conference on Eco-fiction to thresh (thrash?) it all out. Wish I had a million, would sponsor it.


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 68 comments Book Giveaway

Junk Raft: An Ocean Voyage and a Rising Tide of Activism to Fight Plastic Pollution

Far from being a gloomy treatise on an environmental catastrophe, though, Junk Raft tells the exciting story of Eriksen's fight to raise awareness and solve the problem of plastic pollution, contributing to a fast-growing movement to stem the tide of trash.

message 6: by Mary (new)

Mary | 41 comments Virginia wrote: "Richard Branson, the gazillionaire who may be suffering "consumer's guilt" is now marketing a line of clothing made from plastic garbage.

I read in a stack of old Sierra magazines in my bathroom t..."
ASLE's conference in July has ecofiction as one of its main streams. Unfortunately, I cannot go, but I'm hoping they will film some of the panels.

message 7: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 68 comments The situation of allowing people to experience something in the virtual word [such as book] is that the experience could stay there. Perhaps the better the mechanics of the story, the easier to read, the less likely something other than another book being purchased is the end result. Making a story structure difficult to read only results in the book being put down.

We are past the age of debate. Margaret Atwood isn't debating plastic. She is saying there is no other option but to treat it responsibly.

In this case, responsibly means not using them unless there is absolutely no other choice.

It doesn't mean we continue to make everything out of plastic, and then recycle that plastic back into everything we are still making out of plastic.

Don't plastic clothes shed plastic fibers into the oceans?
Do we think the oceans care if the fibers came from clothing made out of recycled plastic?
At the very least, for plastic fiber clothes, we are suppose to:

1) wash them less often,
2) use front loading machines,
3) buy a special bag to trap the fibers.

Of course this is happening. Right? Just like all those fluorescent energy saving bulbs didn't end up in landfills, didn't put mercury into the ground that never had mercury in it before.

What's wrong with these solutions, is it perhaps that gazillionaires, and captains of industry, and the manufacturing industry themselves are supplying these solutions which don't fix anything but do put money in their pockets, which is what they really want in the first place. You don't become a gazillionaire by helping people out. You get there by taking things from people who don't have the facilities to process the raw resources they own, so they get paid pennies on the dollar so someone with a lot more money can use those cheap resources to make far more money, and not kickback any of the proceeds to the people on the ground who pay the price they never got paid every day of their lives.

Sustainability is another one of those words with so many meanings. For a lot of people it means that you keep doing what you are doing, only you do it in a responsible [another one of those words] manner so that you can keep doing it over and over again. It really just means only spend the interest of your investment, not the principal. Like recycling one use plastic items into plastic items than can be used more than once. It looks good on paper, but we are still using plastic.

message 8: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 68 comments Tales from The Warming, by Lorin R. Robinson is available as a goodreads giveaway until June 16. A set of 10 short stories dealing with climate change.

message 9: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Arthur I intentionally included in Birdbrain Ellie being taunted for washing and drying, reusing her plastic bags, recycling--something my own family did to me esp before "green" went semi-mainstream like it is now. Boy did they make fun of it! There was a price to pay for setting the stage for the "green" movement of today, the main focus of my book.

message 10: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Arthur Mary wrote: "Virginia wrote: "Richard Branson, the gazillionaire who may be suffering "consumer's guilt" is now marketing a line of clothing made from plastic garbage.

What is ASLE? Can you post information about it on this group site maybe under a new thread? Conferences, etc.?

message 11: by Robert (last edited Jun 13, 2017 11:49AM) (new)

Robert Zwilling | 68 comments

Association for the Study of Literature and Environment

ASLE seeks to inspire and promote intellectual work in the environmental humanities and arts. Our vision is an inclusive community whose members are committed to environmental research, education, literature, art and service, environmental justice, and ecological sustainability.

Worth looking into, membership cost is based on income.

message 12: by Mary (new)

Mary | 41 comments I wanted to try to post their schedule, but it downloads as a PDF on my computer. See and click the 2017 final schedule.

Maybe if we can get a way to view some of these panels, if they are recorded, that would shed some insight into the far-reaching prism of eco-fiction, but I will start a new thread if they post some videos.

message 13: by Robert (last edited Jun 14, 2017 12:12PM) (new)

Robert Zwilling | 68 comments Land development is a complete cradle to grave belief system right up there with organized religion that is supported by the government because developed land always has a bigger tax value. It crosses all nationalities, philosophies, ages, in short it is a universal belief system.

People First is based on the idea that there are no immediate consequences of actions for anything done to the natural world. People will do all they can to prevent land from going back to it's original state. Even though the publicity is getting bigger for preserving the land, the amount of land set aside for not being developed is becoming an increasingly smaller percentage of the land being developed and redeveloped.

Here is an interesting collection of articles that does a good job of illustrating the compromises involved in trying to do anything.

message 14: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Arthur Robert wrote: "

Association for the Study of Literature and Environment

ASLE seeks to inspire and promote intellectual work in the environmental humanities and arts. Our vision is an inclus..."

I don't see any scientists. Is this a science-based group? It appears to be English majors only taking on the mantle which is admirable but in a way, makes my point. Prob. need more diversity than one discipline. Invite the Ecological Society of America to it and I'll go.

message 15: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Arthur Robert wrote: "Land development is a complete cradle to grave belief system right up there with organized religion that is supported by the government because developed land always has a bigger tax value. It cros..."

Robert, didn't I sent that link to you? Love the story about Pamela and Anil. Used a film about them in my ecology class. Anyone can restore a piece of land. I have monarchs on my milkweed this summer afer nursing them along, planting more. Nature is very responsive, grateful, if you just give her the tiniest chance to restore herself, get out of the way.

message 16: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 68 comments My list of links is so long I am constantly rediscovering things and then posting them so that others might see them.

Mother Nature is very responsive, and when she can't express herself in one zone she will go to another zone. The insect world has been battling human development for a long time, and is doing remarkably well. The more we attack them, the stronger they get. Things we like, like butterflies, bees, really big cute beetles, they're disappearing, but the small size guys, it's business as usual for them. With all the new diseases they are carrying they must be having one hell of a party. I guess it's an inside joke between Gaia and Mother Nature that those diseases don't bother the bugs but can be really nasty for us, even twenty years later, we can still feel the bite.

message 17: by Robert (last edited Jun 17, 2017 02:21PM) (new)

Robert Zwilling | 68 comments

It goes under the heading of everything on this planet is connected to everything else.

I have a saying, If you can see it, by any means possible [includes TV or web], then you can feel it [as soon as today] because the insulation of time and space has been wiped out by technology.

A lot of people think of the erosion of the insulation of time and space as being related to erosion of the land and other geophysical changes, which use to take many years to have an impact but can now appear overnight.

Money is also meaningless as an insulator against the micro world which houses as many nano worlds in it as there are stars in the universe. Insects represent one of the main intersections of the macro world and the micro world. I wouldn't be surprised if insects are able to successfully implement the wayward micro chips of plastic into their bodies.

If you can see the stuff crawling out of the oceans of melted permafrost, then it is a safe bet it is capable of landing in your area within weeks. It's traveling at the speed of business.

message 18: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 68 comments Water is safe but don't put it up your nose

Brain-eating amoebas have been detected in two water systems in Louisiana

---while officials say tap water is safe to drink, they are urging people to avoid getting it in their noses. ---

If it is safe, why can't you get it in your nose?

Trumps game is simple, its called pay to play. If nothing else, technology has done a bang up job of making it easier to price and collect. Live long and thrive is left in the past. This is why the world has someone like Trump for a president, and probably deserves it.

Trump's support is based on the commonly shared belief that money is the answer to everything. Money feeds people, their vehicles, their lodgings, their lives, accessories, investments, insurance policies, and brings drug comfort to people's minds when they have enough or more than enough to get by. It is the common denominator for everything. Needing money is the other side of the bell curve, nothing changes, only the scope of the illusion.

To insulate a piece of the world from the outside world all you need is money, a lot of money. The circle closes.

After running around the world plucking this and taking that back to the homeland, some people have decided it's time to clean up the act, not realizing that the act they want to clean up is actually the rug under their feet. Demolish and replace isn't going to happen anytime soon.

The global genetic foundation is fueled by organic plasma and that vast pool of plasma is composed of an infinite number of separate pools, as many stars as in the sky, from a few microns wide to thousands of miles across and miles deep. Some of the fluid is crystal clear while others are thick as the mud it is. It all contains bits, pieces, bags of genetic noise, from viruses and microbes to metal ships flying underwater filled with curious beings.

All this activity has stirred up a flurry of microbes that are none too friendly to us. In fact, they are here for the next big thing that comes after the current reigning species has built a global size house for the next act. The plastic in the soil and water is not for our benefit. Anyone knows that. Its for what comes after. Laws based on paper instead of common sense are paper thin.

The regrown patchwork forests and fields interspaced with asphalt lots, chemically preserved lands, buildings flushing everything away just under the carpet of life, all that is exactly what ticks need to thrive. The micro world contained within these decntralized global reservoirs is looking more and more like the real world we have terraformed on a massive scale, and a planet sized job it was.

Too bad the microbes repopulating the world's global genetic foundation are not here to help us see the future. Maybe it's just a race to fill the world with nanobots fueled by plastic that will clean up the world for us, and will know where to stop.

message 19: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 68 comments New weapon against bacteria is from 1915

Scientists are dusting off a long-forgotten weapon to cope with modern bacteria

Modern bacteria in this case are ticked off old fashioned bacteria that are expending extra energy to keep the antibiotic genes in play. We stop harassing them and they will stop utilizing the antibiotic gene shield. After 4 billion years of continued existence, they know how to deal with pests.

message 20: by Robert (new)

Robert Zwilling | 68 comments Scientists baffled by strange sea creatures near Alaska

"Scientists say the creatures are pyrosomes, which are tropical, filter-feeding spineless creatures usually found along the equator. They appear to be one long pink tube, but in reality, they're thousands of multi-celled creatures mushed together, generally about 6 inches (15 centimeters) long."

The article mentions that the Pacific is a bit cooler than last year, sort of suggesting that it is a little weird to see the tropical guys washing ashore now. They are alive.

This might mean that the shifts happen over decades, and not over periods of years as we are accustomed to clocking time. By the time we see the changes, the underlying change has already happened.

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