January 15, 2008

I’ll Cross That Natural Bridge When I Come To It

Good morning, photo fans and welcome to our Wednesday montage of nature’s wonders. Today we are venturing out to my favorite sunset spot on the west side, Natural Bridges State Beach. Where there is now just a single arch there used to be three. Back in November there was an extremely low tide that allowed me to do some exploring in the remaining arch. There were loads of sea stars and anemones (photo #5) all along the sea walls but there was one shocker. I came upon a crab being slowly devoured by a sea anemone (photo #6). It was amazing to see nature taking its course but as we know the meek shall perish, especially in the NFC East.

Speaking of nature, I don’t know about you, but I am always seeing plastic bags littering the sides of our highways. Well, one of the super powers is trying to do something about this not so fantastic plastic. China is banning free plastic bags found at shops, supermarkets and take out joints and ordering customers to be charged for any they use. The rules take effect on June 1, which is barely two months before Beijing hosts the Summer Olympic Games. The bags are also banned from all public transportation, including planes, buses, trains and rikshaws and from airports and scenic locations. Companies caught breaking the new rules face fines, forfeiture of goods and no moo goo gui pan at office parties.

Environmental organizations, including Greenpeace, praised China, stating that “China is ahead of the U.S. with this policy”, although they still trail the United States in developing prospects for major league baseball, NBA basketball, pro football and NHL hockey. Ping pong is whole other story. The Chinese use up to 3 billion plastic bags a day, more than any other country in the world. China also uses more than 37 million barrels of crude oil in the production of these bags.

The flimsy bags are often used once and discarded. According to a statement from the government website gov.ca, “Our country consumes a large amount of plastic bags. While convenient for consumers the bags lead to a severe waste of resources and environmental pollution because of their excessive use and low rate of recycling. The ultra-thin bags are the main source of the ‘white’ pollution that are choking our cities, farms and waterways. We should encourage people to return to carrying cloth bags, using baskets for their vegetables.” They had no recommendations for fruits but I’m thinking styrofoam boxes would be a no-no.

When the ban goes into effect China will join such countries as Ireland, Uganda, South Africa and North Dakota. Bangladesh banned plastic bags four years ago when officials realized they blocked drains and led to flooding. Last year San Francisco became the first U.S. city to outlaw plastic bags in supermarkets because of the poor play of the 49ers. Look for Raider fans to demand Oakland city officials follow suit in the very near future.

That’s our natural plastics show for today. Birthday wishes go out to the my old friend Natalie Serber, a former Santa Cruzer now residing and writing in Portland. Look for Natalie’s name soon on the New York Times best seller list. So enjoy the agony and the ecstacy and the snowy egret that was text messaging (photo #4) in a pond at the Bridges. And try not to be so crabby. Later.

1 Comment »

  1. Your titles are so darn clever.

    Comment by Wendi — January 16, 2008 @ 6:06 pm

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