Saturday, November 13, 2010

Message From The Yeti

I joined my daughter and her fellow fifth graders at the Catalina Island Marine Institute last month. I learned a lot of things, some of which I already knew. I learned that in a full wetsuit with hood and booties, I resemble a blue yeti. I learned that it takes 200 years for a plastic water bottle to biodegrade when exposed to sunlight.  They should print that on the packaging.  A Ziploc baggie, takes half as long. I have waged a war on plastic this year. I hate it. It is a sign of our genius and our demise.  I have been getting all sorts of clues lately that we, as humans, are faced with the challenge of harnessing our own intelligence. We are too smart for our own good. Until we learn to tone it down a bit, behaving more like animals, we are doomed. DOOMED (to live in and amongst an ocean of saran wrap, Ziplocs, packaging and stupidity).

When I was in Panama last month, as we swam in the warm waters with the whales, we encountered some alarming patches of ocean that were laden with bits and pieces of trash, mostly plastic. The funny thing was, when I swept up a bunch of pieces, I noticed that on every available surface, barnacles had made the floating plastic their home.  I think that is where the ironic part of the story is. The animals on the planet will cope, adapt and evolve. It is us who will be saddened and disgusted by the state of our surroundings. We will not want to swim in the filthy water, the insult of someone else's carelessness. We will not want to live like humans, too smart and too dumb at the same time. 

The yeti says, be more connected to the earth and the nature kingdom today. Abandon your foolish human ways. Think "what comes from the Earth goes back to the Earth" and try to live closely to that idea. We are smart enough to evolve on our own. We do not need a disaster to force our change. We don't even need threats and doom to force us with fear. We just need to use our wit but remain part of nature, as the childlike part of us knows how to do. Yeti sez: go play in water, or soil, or play in both - make mud.

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