30 Mar

MIDWAY JOURNEY III – Open Hearts, Broken Hearts

It’s the mid-point of our current journey and Chris Jordan checks in from an albatross-covered field on Midway Atoll to share the abundant sights and sounds, as well as the realization that all albatross chicks here likely have plastic in their bellies.

16 Jul

MIDWAY JOURNEY II – Kaleidoscope, a poem by Victoria Sloan Jordan

In this poetic offering, a plastic filled bird carcass becomes a symbol for awakening.

Filmed and edited by Jan Vozenilek

Music by Christen Lien

12 Jul

MIDWAY JOURNEY II – Junk Food III – Looking into the Mirror

Chris Jordan peels back the ribcage of a decaying albatross chick to reveal yet another belly-cargo of plastic. The ever present bottle cap is joined by a ballpoint pen cap, fishing float, and other assorted plastic junk from the human world that albatrosses forage from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, mistaking it for food.

Video by Jan Vozenilek
Written by Victoria Sloan Jordan
Music by Christen Lien

03 Jun

A visit to Cortes Island

A walk on the shores of the remote and wild Canadian island of Cortes illustrates that plastic is polluting even the most remote and beautiful corners of our planet.

Midway Journey members Chris Jordan, Manuel Maqueda, Jan Vozenilek and Bill Weaver reunited in May 2010 to attend the Media that Matters conference in Hollyhock, Cortes Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Music by Christen Lien

Video by Jan Vozenilek

13 Dec

Plastic Beach

In the Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a king who was cursed to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity.

A beach cleanup on Midway Atoll made us feel just like Sisyphus.

There are millions of tons of plastics present in our oceans, and these are constantly fragmenting into smaller and smaller pieces which are scattered throughout the water column and present, in different densities, throughout all the worlds oceans.

Contrary to what many people believe, there are no visible islands of trash anywhere –even if some areas, the gyres, accumulate higher densities of plastic pollution. In actuality, what is happening is much more complex and scary: our oceans are becoming a planetary soup laced with plastic.

To make thing worse, these tiny pieces of plastic are extremely powerful chemical accumulators for organic persistent pollutants present in ambient sea water such as DDE‘s and PCB‘s. The whole food chain, invertebrates, fish, sea turtles… are eating plastic and /or other animals who have plastic in them. This means that we are. Like the albatrosses on Midway, we carry the garbage patch inside of us.

Cleaning up this mess is not feasible, technically or economically. Even if all the boats in the world were put to the task somehow, the cleanup would not only remove the plastics but also the plankton, which is the base of the food chain, and is responsible for capturing half of the CO2 of our atmosphere and generating half of the oxygen we need to breathe.

But even if this problem was solved too somehow, the amount of plastic that we could capture, at an immense cost, would be a drop in the bucket as compared to the amount that flows into the ocean every day.

No matter how hard we push, in terms of technology or money, the boulder will be rolling back down the hill, throughout eternity, unless we stop putting more plastics into our environment.

The good news is that we can do this. We can do this now. We need to start a social movement that spreads virally and creates a critical mass of concerned citizens who pledge to move away from our disposable habits, and who raise their voice to reject and reverse a throwaway culture that might be profitable, but whose consequences are intolerable.

Video by Jan Vozenilek
Written and narrated by: Manuel Maqueda
Music by Christen Lien www.itsnotaviolin.com

Click here to see a satellite image of the exact location of this video (click on ‘view map’ and zoom all the way in.)