Thinking and Talking about Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia

An Inconvenient Practice (via Plural Art Magazine)

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A recent video released by British diver Rich Horner, showed him swimming through the waters of Bali. Only he wasn’t just swimming amongst the exotic sea life, he was also swimming through an astounding amount of rubbish and plastic that had covered the sea so overwhelmingly it almost seemed as though there was more plastic in the sea than fish.

Shockingly, this state of affairs could well become reality. 

While Horner’s viral video is eye-opening, it isn’t the first of its kind to surface. All across the internet, you will find videos of people and animals swimming in polluted oceans, oil spills, sea creatures which have consumed plastic particles, burned and injured orangutans being rescued from fiery infernos they once called home, and so much more.

If that isn’t bad enough,  we have also experienced unprecedented weather conditions and natural disasters seem to be commonplace. Our overuse of the earth’s natural resources and careless disposal of waste has contributed to climate change, the dissolution of the natural world and an all-round negative impact on the environment.

The facts certainly don’t paint a pretty picture.

Globally, the impact of climate change has had catastrophic results, with millions of people being displaced by disasters from 2008 to 2016, of which there are a staggering 24.2 million new displacements by disasters in 2016 alone. Evidently, weather-related hazards, in particular, storms, brought on the majority of all new disaster displacements in 2016.

Frighteningly, these numbers are set to rise.

According to some estimates, the ratio of fish to plastic in the ocean will be 1:1 by the year 2050, with the amount of plastic possibly even outnumbering fish populations. Some of the predictions in Al Gores critically acclaimed 2006 film about climate change, An Inconvenient Truth, such as rising sea levels and the melting of the Antarctic ice sheets, have also become realities. 

How the Conversation is Evolving

Regardless of this picture of doom and gloom, all may not be lost!

Environmental efforts have started to gain more ground in communities all over the world. With information and resources becoming more accessible than ever before, communities have been incorporating eco-friendly habits into their everyday life. Governments around the world have also been implementing policies to help minimise their carbon footprints. In 2017, Kenya imposed strict bans on the use of plastic bags. While not without its own difficulties in implementation, the ban has seen significant success in the country. It has even indirectly improved aspects of sanitation in Kenya, with the nation’s citizens refraining from creating “flying toilets” (Google them, they are horrifying as they sound).  

The rise of the “zero waste” movement has also become popular with people adopting lifestyles that produce little to no waste. Prominent figures such as Bea Johnson and Lauren Singer are even able to fit years’ worth of trash into a single mason jar. Accordingly, the mason jar itself has become a symbol of “zero waste.”

 

Read the full article by Sumedhaa Hariram on Plural Arts Magazine.

 

ArtsEquator Radar features articles and posts drawn from local and regional websites and publications – aggregated content from outside sources, so we are exposed to a multitude of voices in the region.

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