Welcome to the Plasticene

You might [or more likely might not] have noticed a marked shift here at the blog away from content with any hope of lifting environmental, sustainability or human-culture topics up into the radar. The blog readership has morphed far away from those interests as far as my efforts could touch.

This doesn’t mean my interests and concerns and hopes have changed–only that I do not beat myself up anymore over the lack of interest of blog readers on matters that seem to me of most urgent importance and therefore of top-level interest.

One of those recurrent themes was the notion that we have entered a new era of human relationship with the planet–a human-dominated tyranny called the Anthropocene.

And even now, from time to time, I’ll post links on those former topics upon which I would have editorialized and opined, but only in the form now of links, and this, more for my own filing of resources than to expect you to read them or comment about them.

So with regard to the Anthropocene, I’ve voiced the notion in the past that it ought to be called the PLASTICENE because it is our laying down of a geologically-brief statum of humankind’s signature effluent. I imagine some distant-future visitor to a people-less planet finding this most persistent evidence of our existence deep in the dust of time. Who were these people?

I’ve said this somewhat as a joke, but now I’m seeing more and more being written about our flagrant dumping of petroleum-based chemical=laced plastics as one of the most foolish things our species does/did to itself. I offer you a few examples, FYI.

And I have just one word for you, Benjamin: plastiglomerate

Future Fossils: Plastic Stone – NYTimes.com

DailyDirt: What Will Humanity’s Legacy Be? | Techdirt

‘Microplastics’ imperil marine life in Tampa Bay, worldwide | Tampa Bay Times

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. For good or ill, the first thing I thought of when seeing today’s title was “plasticine porters with looking glass ties,” which of course is entirely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    I normally read you via Feedly, so I rarely click through to your site to comment. Now that I’m “here,” though, I find it hugely ironic that one of the sidebar ads on this post is for BP. Hmmm…

  2. Ads, Thinking of ending their tiny contribution towards overhead expenses of blogging and giving awayme in other fashions.

    Google ads are visitor driven so maybe you were looking for a gas station in google? It is weird what we can be served w regard to our purchases and search engine queries. Good to hear from you!

  3. As always, I love your word play! Serendipitously, just last night I saw a brief posting about the La Brea Tar Pits (which is actually redundant, since “brea” means “tar.” Kind of like shrimp scampi. But I digress…) which is a pre-eminent site for Pleistocene fossils and was a favorite spot for me to visit in the Days of my Youth.