Dictated by Roz at 21.07 on May 21st and transcribed by her mother Rita Savage.
Position: -08.19040S 153.62320E
I had an interesting conversation this morning with Dr Kiki Sanford during our regular weekly podcast at twit.tv/roz and it got me thinking. We were talking about the evils of plastic but I found myself almost defending the horrible stuff. It seems to me the plastic itself is not the problem, but the ways we have chosen to use it.
Like so many other things plastic can be used or it can be abused. You can use your TV to watch fascinating documentaries, to visit places you would never otherwise see, to learn more about all kinds of things, or you can watch reality TV and soap operas. Likewise you can use the internet to connect with on-line communities, to collaborate with colleagues overseas, research any subject under the sun, or you can browse porn sites.
Similarly there are lots of good uses for plastic: for example on my boat I have many invaluable items that would not work so well if made from any other substance: waterproof cases, electronics, life jackets, buckets – but why use just toxic, non-biodegradable substances to make “disposable” items out of it, generating these items by the billion to be used for a few minutes and then dumped. It just doesn’t make sense.
There is a very short-term list of items like plastic bags and bottles. Then there are the longer-term items which are just as bad but harder to avoid: shampoo, conditioner, body lotions, toothbrushes, household cleaning products, food packaging. As no-impact man showed it is really hard to live in the twenty-first century without generating plastic trash.
As consumers we cast our vote every time we buy something. If you have found clever ways to reduce your plastic consumption, please log on at ecoheroes.me and share your tips with the rest of our ecohero community.
The good news, and the bad news: if all we have to do is change the thinking. It is not the world we need to change, it is human behaviour.
Other Stuff: I was very sad to hear that among the creatures most seriously impacted by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill are turtles and whale sharks, my two favourite marine animals. Incidentally oil is used in the production of plastic so if we used less plastic we would need less oil.
And now enough about the environment. Back to me. Today I managed to make some progress west and now getting very close to that diagonal line dividing the Solomon Sea. See maps from a few days ago. In theory, once I cross that line, I should get out of this fast, south-flowing, current (between one and two knots) and into more neutral waters before finding the north west flowing current up the coast of Papua New Guinea.
But I am not getting much cooperation from the elements. The prevailing winds are supposed to be from the south east but I have experienced mostly light westerlies instead. Today I noted with concern that I am less than seventy miles from Woodlark Island, which more or less marks the start of that long chain of islands leading up into Papua New Guinea and I am heading straight for it.
In other words I need to turn the corner of this big hairpin and start heading north west. And soon! But the winds and the currents are not helping. A change in conditions would be very welcome. Any time now would be good. Hello, up there – is anybody listening?
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