Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 38 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/25/18

The Future of the Planet Looks Like "Wall-E"

By       (Page 1 of 7 pages)   1 comment
Message Robert Scheer
Become a Fan
  (26 fans)

From Truthdig

A scene still from the 2008 film
A scene still from the 2008 film 'WALL-E.'
(Image by (Pixar))
  Details   DMCA

The story has been lost in the miasma of Donald Trump's scandal-ridden presidency, but its implications for the U.S. and much of the West cannot be overstated. In April, after ending imports of 24 kinds of scrap last year, Beijing announced that it would be extending its ban to dozens of other materials. And while environmentalists have hailed the move as a "big win for global green efforts," a rash of countries are suddenly scrambling to dispose of their recyclables.

Dianna Cohen of the Plastics Pollution Coalition believes that a plastics crisis has arrived.

"We suddenly have to deal with our own waste, basically, now," she tells Robert Scheer. "And then, also, the costs of recycling are increasing, and you have to think about how many trucks are needed to create it, how widely it's dispersed, et cetera. And that's a big expense. And then plastic production -- internationally, but [also] internally in the United States -- is really ramping up right now, and it's going to continue to explode. So we have a very big problem on our hands. It reminds me of that movie 'Wall-E,' or 'Idiocracy,' where people live in a world that's just full of waste, it's just a wasteland, like a garbage dump."

In the latest installment of "Scheer Intelligence," Cohen explains how plastics and the burning of fossil fuels are interrelated, and why recycling alone can't save us. "Recycling is a really cool idea -- I put things in my recycling containers, where I live in Hollywood," she says. "And I wouldn't dissuade anyone from doing that, if there is some kind of infrastructure set up in your town where you live. But just because something could potentially be recycled -- does it actually get recycled? I think that's an important question to ask."

Later in their discussion, she addresses some of our largest corporate polluters -- all of them American and European companies -- and just how thoroughly inadequate their sustainability efforts have proved. "I think in the time since we founded Plastic Pollution Coalition in 2009, there have been three different sustainability directors for Coca-Cola that I've met. These companies often, when I've spoken with their sustainability directors, say, 'Oh, we're working on a bunch of great stuff, it's going to be fantastic.' And I say, 'I can't wait to see.' [We really need to] hold these corporations responsible for all of the packaging that they use for their products."

Click Here to Read Whole Article

Robert Scheer: Hi, this is Robert Scheer with another edition of Scheer Intelligence, where I hasten to add the intelligence comes from my guests. In this case, Dianna Cohen, who is the leader, or cofounder, of the Plastic Pollution Coalition. And a really worthy operation, really important to saving the planet. But I have to start with a sort of sick joke: when I think about plastics I think about Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, right, and this uncle or somebody comes up to him as he's graduated and gives him the key word for life: plastics. And you know, at that time, back in the sixties, I guess as late as the sixties, the whole assumption was that plastics would liberate us; they were great, they were cheap, you could be everywhere, you could make cars out of them, you could -- you know, everything. And throw 'em away, and life was going to be great.

So plastics really were identified with the good life and modernization and so forth. And you are one of those people who have spoiled the party. And there are some headlines about that that you can give us; just, you can't, I mean you can't get a straw unless you ask for it, right? You're the one that's been doing all this, and you've been doing it for a long time. And again, I don't want to make light of it, because you head a great group, and it saves fish and birds and you know, everybody else, and you'll tell us that. And it's a great menace to the world. So give us the headlines on this evolving story.

Dianna Cohen: Well, I mean, I think it's important just to state that plastic pollution is a global crisis. And it's not a crisis that -- in a sense it's in your face, in a sense it's not. When we hear about something, like when we had the BP oil disaster, that was a physical thing that you could see oil spilling out. And plastic is a little more nefarious than that, because we are using it all over the world every day --

RS: Well, plastic is oil, right?

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Robert Scheer Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Robert Scheer is editor in chief of the progressive Internet site Truthdig. He has built a reputation for strong social and political writing over his 30 years as a journalist. He conducted the famous Playboy magazine interview in which Jimmy (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Christopher Hitchens: Reason in Revolt

The Peasants Need Pitchforks

Robert Scheer Hosts Dennis Kucinich -- an Unpredictable American Original

Obama Pulls a Clinton

Geithner and Goldman, Thick as Thieves

How Little We Know About the Origins of 9/11

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend