If You Care About Birds, Watch This 4-Minute Video

This morning I opened my e-mail inbox to discover a headline I simply couldn’t ignore: People Should Know About This Awful Thing We Do.

In light of all the awful things I already know we do, I just wasn’t sure that I would be able to handle learning about yet another.

But I clicked anyway. And after watching the four-minute trailer, I was in agreement. People Should Know.

The film’s blog site gives more information about this amazing project:

“Midway Atoll is a collection of three small islands in the North Pacific, and one of the most remote places on earth… located near the apex of what is being called the Pacific Garbage Patch, a swirling soup of millions of tons of plastic pollution. In fact, much of this plastic can not be seen at all, but it can’t be avoided as it comes ashore on these pristine beaches and in the stomachs of the birds.”

National Geographic explains:

“An ocean gyre is a circular ocean current formed by the Earth’s wind patterns and the forces created by the rotation of the planet. The area in the center of a gyre tends to be very calm and stable. The circular motion of the gyre draws in debris. Debris eventually makes its way into the center of the gyre, where it becomes trapped and builds up. A similar garbage patch exists in the Atlantic Ocean, in the North Atlantic Gyre.

“Plastic products can be very harmful to marine life in the gyre. For instance, loggerhead sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish. And many marine mammals and birds, such as albatrosses, have become strangled by the plastic rings used to hold six-packs of soda together... As microplastics and other trash collect on the surface of the ocean, they block sunlight from reaching plankton and algae below.”

Some readers might be familiar with the film’s director, Chris Jordan, from his stunning images of excess. He is a master of bringing numbers into perspective. From cigarette butts to mushroom clouds, Jordan brings our attention to the urgency of changing our behavior and, by extension, our world.

As the film’s narrator, Jordan eloquently poses a question that leaves me, for one, wondering.

Do we have the courage to face the realities of our time? To allow ourselves to feel deeply enough that it transforms us and our future?

Related Stories:

It Must Have Been Lovely
Designed to Fail?
The Conscience: Our Guide to a Truly New Year

Post Image courtesy of markuso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Carrie-Anne Brown

sad video but thanks for sharing

Siti R.
Siti R4 years ago

ought to be circulated in schools as part of their civic education views.

Claire T.
Claire T4 years ago

'Fantastic Plastic' it was once called but that along with polystyrene helped fuel the 'throwaway society'. We can certainly all of us do better at trying to limit this plus other types of waste we create. What really bother's me though is how people throw these things away without a care in the world. How people can consume food on say trains and then just leave their paper and plastic rubbish on the floor of that train for someone else to enjoy instead of being responsible. In a sense we are like a disease which is leaving behind a legacy of waste and destruction for future others.

Tim C.
Tim C4 years ago


Melania Padilla
Melania P4 years ago


Donna Ferguson
Donna F4 years ago

this is so extremely sad and haunting! I make an effort to recycle everything I can, but there's little individual behavior can do. I can't afford to join the organizations that cost $. Thank you.

Kit B.
Kit B4 years ago

We have to actually care beyond writing a comment or signing a petition.
We have to make demands that efforts to clean up the oceans and water ways not have a just the occasional speech from a politician but Action and it will have to be long term action. Cleaning up oceans is one beginning, preventing this from reoccurring becomes the next step. We can do this, it is technologically possible, we must have the will to do this. We must lead the political leaders to understand that this is far more real and important than the latest craze about hating Obama or Obama care. This is real, it is killing our life giving oceans and of course birds and it slowly the dead ocean will kill us. That does require future think.

Susan M.
Susan M4 years ago

This absolutely destroys me, i cry and feel like screaming out to humanity....'what is the matter with people...why do humans continue to have no respect for their own planet, this is the place we inhabit, it is our home, our responsibility to care for it. How can soooo many people be sooo stupid. After all this time and all the knowledge we have acquired, people just don't get it.

Lynnl C.
Lynn C4 years ago


Shanti S.
S S4 years ago

Thank you.