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Plastic Perception: Yi Yu, Week 12+13

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

本周评论已添加中文版。


What is Plastic Perception?

Plastic Perception inherits the essential purpose of the Beth Terry’s Plastic Challenge, which is to bring consciousness to one’s usage of plastics in everyday life. In addition, Plastic Perception aims at analyzing my habit of plastic use and putting such habit into a larger context. A bigger context means anything not under my direct control. It implies asking questions such as “where does this plastic come from”, “how will the plastic be treated after going to the landfill/recycling center”, “how and why was the plastic created in the first place” etc.


Week 12 (2020/12/31-2021/01/06)


Week 13 (2021/01/07-2021/01/13)


Plastic Perception: Yi Yu, Week 12+13


Location: Los Angeles, California, United States


Name: Yi Yu (Stephanie)


Week: 12+13 (2020/12/31-2021/01/13)


Total weight: 162g (wk.12) + 168g (wk.13) = 330g (11.64 oz)


Commentary of the Week |本周评论

Imagine a world without any questions. Everything has an answer, every mystery gets an explanation. However, “question” is an artificial concept. As long as there’s humanity, questions will keep appearing. Speaking of environmental protection, every environmentalist and any new media could list a few urgent crises awaiting to be solved. No matter where we are on Earth, we seem to share a crisis. Unfortunately, we usually come across the problems with no solutions in hand. The truth is, problems aren’t born with resolutions, but with unknown. It isn’t any secret that the unknown distresses us. The fact that anxiety is so predictable and hard to resist makes it easily being manipulated. Certainly, I’m not here to criticize the news media and environmental organizations for spreading alarmism. I simply try to encourage the readers (and myself) to read the news and reports etc. with a critical mind.

想象一个不存在问题的世界。所有的疑惑都有答案,所有的谜题都被解开。不过说到底,“本来无一物”,问题是一个人造的概念,只要有人的踪迹,问题就会持续出现。说到环境保护,任何一个环境主义者和媒体平台都能数出多个亟待解决的危机。不管我们处于地球的哪一端,我们似乎都可以共享一个危机。可惜的是,我们往往只了解问题,对解决方案却无从入手。事实是,伴随着问题产生的并不是解决方法,而是未知。未知让我们焦虑并不是意料之外的事。正因为它如此容易预测和难以控制,焦虑情绪总是被轻易利用。我不是要诟病媒体和环保组织每天都危言耸听,我只是希望读者们(以及我自己)能够怀着批判性的态度阅读新闻和报告等等。


Recently I’ve been listening to Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All written by Michael Shellenberger on Audible. Shellenberger reanalyzes certain environmental statements and knowledge that we’re used to. For instance, he points out why the Amazon rainforest shouldn’t be “Lungs of Earth”, why forestation isn’t the panacea to solve all our problems, and a series of other issues we’ve heard of but haven’t comprehended enough. The book is quite long, but I think it’s worth a read.

我最近在Audible听Michael Shellenberger写的《Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All》(直译:不再启示录:为什么过度的环境警报会伤害我们所有人)。作者从科学的角度去重新分析我们习以为常的环境知识,比如为什么亚马逊热带雨林不应该被称为“地球之肺”,退耕还林并不是解决环境问题的最佳答案等一系列我们听过却对原委还不够清晰的事件和说法。这本书篇幅较长,暂时还没有中文译本,但我认为值得一读。


Last but not least, I’d like to discuss the meaning of creating this blog. Similar to the majority of authors, I hope the content I’ve created could bring empathy, novel perspectives, and even inspirations. On the other hand, these articles serve as a documentation of me being an environmentalist. I believe in the goal I’ve been striving for----a society paying more responsibility to the environment, but I doubt if I were making enough contribution for the greater scheme. Photographer DeShui Yu mentioned this while making a commentary on contemporary photography, “this work is a refraction of the current life, but not a direct interference of the societal reality, and such direct interference might face a more substantial number of difficulties and pressure”. Although my work is made of words, not light and shadows, the difficulties and pressure of “direct interference” suggested by Yu still concern me. My enthusiasm for writing has decreased lately, perhaps it’s because I am about to face an ideological turning point. Shellenberger mentioned in his book that “growing up, things become less black and white”. I agree with him as growth itself is full of confusion. I quest the answers and meaning as I continue tapping my words on the keyboard.

最后我想要探讨创建这个博客的意义。像大多数的作者,我希望我创作的内容可以给读者们带来些共鸣,看事情的新角度,甚至是启发。另一方面,这些文章是我在环境保护之路上的心得记录。我相信我愿意为之努力的目标——一个对环境更具责任感的社会,但我不知道我的这些努力会不会有太多贡献。摄影家于德水在评论当代摄影作品时提到“这样的作品是对当下生存现状的一种折射,但是并不是对社会现实的直观介入,而这种直观介入可能会面临更大的困难和压力”。虽然我的作品并不又光影组成,而是又文字组成,但于德水提到的“直观介入的困难和压力”却也是我所面对的难题。近日来我的写作热情有些退减,也许是因为我面临着一个思想上的瓶颈或是转折点。Shellenberger在书里提到,在成长的路上,事情变得越来越不黑白分明。我很赞同他的说法,成长本来就是充满困惑的。我边书写边探索问题的答案。

 

Wrote on Jan 17, 2021

Los Angeles

二零二一年一月十七日

于洛杉矶

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