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  • Writer's pictureYi Yu

Plastic Perception: Yi Yu, Week 12+13

Updated: Feb 26, 2022


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.


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.



Wrote on Jan 17, 2021

Los Angeles



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