Sunday, May 09, 2010

What Remains

I've posted Chris Jordan's photographs on HH in years past, but I haven't before showcased his pictures of albatross remains. The images are powerful reminders of the too often unseen and unconsidered impacts of our species' prolific, reckless consumption.

On his website, Jordan writes of the series, "Midway: Message from the Gyre,
"These photographs of albatross chicks were made in September, 2009, on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.

To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world's most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent."
Today, as crude oil continues to spread over the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon rig, we'd do well to remember that one of the significant uses of crude oil is the production of petroleum-based plastics. Individually, we can help alleviate our reliance on offshore oil wells and imported oil by consuming less plastic and recycling what we must use.

Photo credits: all images, Chris Jordan

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