I mentioned yesterday in a post about some crazy Providence that John and I went to a screening of the film Tapped, which was held at the Duke Marine Lab. The other people watching the movie were, I am assuming, mostly Duke undergrads there for a semester and a handful of graduate students. It made me miss college– gathering together with a bunch of people your age who are passionate about causes and want to do something about it. Oh Davidson…

The documentary was, of course, pretty horrifying. The health hazards of plastics. How it all ends up in the sea, breaking down in to ever smaller pieces of plastic, getting swallowed by fish, etc. How the chemicals that go into any kind of plastic are harmful & not monitored by the FDA or anyone else. How the plants where the plastics are made cause all sorts of trouble: see here, here, and here. Poor people who live close to these plants (and who can’t move because they can’t sell their houses now that everyone knows about the contamination) are dying at alarming rates. In America. In Corpus Christi, Texas. The Body of Christ, indeed. (see picture below)

I couldn’t say the pledge of allegiance at school the other day. I went to help out with field day, and I knew that “liberty and justice for all” was coming, and I just couldn’t choke out those words. Maybe relative to a lot of places we’re pretty good; we could be living in a communist fascist police state regime or something but my God! Big companies can buy their way out of anything, and have money left over to buy hundreds of thousands of acres of land in Paraguay (a country with one of the largest supplies of water in the world).

It’s so overwhelming. The first thing you want to do is just to stop using plastic at all. But honestly. How can we escape plastic? Contact solution bottles. And cases. Shampoo and conditioner, plastic wrap, ziplock bags. The linings of canned goods. Flip flops. Sunglasses. Toothbrushes. Plastic makes life so easy. And sure, there are good uses– the medical field, for instance. Containers for water in emergency relief situations. It’s so easy to just not see the trash in the ocean, the people in our own country who are dying because of the production and consumption of plastic, the huge water companies (Coca Cola, Nestle, Veolia, Suez, etc.– see here for a great article in Vanity Fair about the global implications of this stuff) who are sapping water from some of the poorest places in the world for profit. Does it really matter what Coca Cola is selling water bottles for in Africa? Apparently not enough to make us stop buying their products…

I honestly don’t know what to do. Other than trying as much as possible to eliminate buying plastic things. Beyond that I’m not sure. I do know that God will restore all things, and I pray that he hastens the day. I do know that God fights battles for us (“The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent/still” Exodus 14:14). But I don’t think that means we sit and do nothing and don’t speak up. It’s like in The Last Battle. It looks like a lost cause, but you still go down fighting.

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