Anthropocene: a single strand of atoms, a prescient story about plastic litter, our warming oceans and individual health.

Plastic litter, a prescient story.
Anthropocene is the science & art of life on Planet Earth

At some point in life, you might discover yourself having walked far enough outside the map that plots the discourse of the common life that society expects all to follow beyond their birth, and at this point of discovery, this is where you might realize that you can cut out all the distractions of the buzzy bees, and the perceived connotations of what people stubbornly claims to be "just how it is", all while they seemingly refuse to see how things actually are.

And once you do, the void of white noise and people without words of meaning to express, all the colors and moving shapes from all the non-essential patches that weaves together to raise a banner of hollowness will start to dissipate.

Slowly disintegrating from that inner stage where they all battled for your time and attention until you have found yourself with enough focus and vivid clarity to notice that the smallest strand of grass and all the atoms that you never managed to see before, all of a sudden are clearly visible, forming a world encompassing strand of grass that transforms into a towering tree of life.
Stretching around the world as it ties it all together.

[ Oceans run the risk of having more total weight of plastic than fish.]

And in that moment, if you look just to the right of you, beyond the soil you have dug your feet into, and instead allow your gaze to see the slowly moving surface of this world's wet water, you will clearly start to see the plastic litter that now lives inside the fish that keep swimming in a blue-tinted room with walls that slowly seem to be closing in.
Depleted oxygen keeps being replaced with pieces of plastic litter, plankton that give sway to even more man made garbage, changing levels of salt, currents of warmth and cold changing place and relevance.

And further out, in an old boat, an old fisherman sits beneath the burning sun.
He is talking about the warming weather, the relentless heat and torching light.
"this is not how my summers used to be," the man tells his phone, or perhaps, more plausibly, he is talking to a living breathing, human being on the other side of that sheet of glass and metal.
Seemingly oblivious as the conversation drags on, he drops a bit more plastic into the sea.
And beneath the boat, just below the surface, a nearby fish slurps it all up, every piece of litter that bounces into its watery realm.

The fish does not particularly like this food, but it is hungry and the ocean is so warm and unpleasant these days, it is hard to breathe, and all the new baby fish the last couple of years seem to be so strange and weak, and ever fewer of them seem to be born each year.
And this strange food that makes it quite ill and tastes so dull and tepid is everywhere, so it better try and eat it because nothing else seems to be around.
After all, bad food has to be better than starving to death.

And as this scene plays out in all its sad glory, behind the old man, a couple in the prime of their life, the wonderful 40´s, fit and toned, and sexy naked, seem quite busy on their laid out towels, not with fishing but with the joy and pleasure of something quite NSFW.
Unaware of the man, or the wind, they keep on grunting, in sweaty moans and pleasures, as the wind rips a plastic bag away from their strawberry picnic, and as they climax, the bag lands afloat out in the water.
Later that day, once they have finished their NSFW fun, they seemingly forget to pick up the bottled water they brought with them.
Leaving a can of plastic to dissolve and breakdown in the sand and rising tides for the next 500 years.

A few weeks later, the old man finally catches that same fish, not with his net, or his rod. No, this strange fish just jumped into the boat, and silently quacked with its swinging tail and open mouth as it seemed to say, "please end my suffering, I can not stand this toxic water for much longer". "I am starving and I am ill, please kill me".
Later that night, the old man grilled his new found catch, carving the tasty scent with his mind as he grabbed his fork and knife, and carved into the fish, he finally noticed after a bite or two, that its emancipated insides were in fact filled with nothing but plastic litter.

The real situation behind our short whimsical story, Seafood and our plastic litter

Did you know that scientists at Ghent University in Belgium quite recently calculated that people who eat seafood, such as bivalves, these days ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year just from bivalves alone.
Other commercial seafood in Europe and all other places in the world which have been found to contain an increasing amount of microscopic plastic is commercially caught and sold fish such as cod, haddock, and mackerel. While other studies indicate that man-made litter is already present in as much as 35% of all seafood that is on sale at fish markets around the world.

It is also a frequently increasing occurrence to notice plastic bags and other human-made litter inside stranded whales, seabirds, seals, turtles and sharks.
At times, the plastic litter found inside these sea-dwelling animals are so widespread that they literary starve to death, unable to digest and get rid of the plastic that is trapped inside their bodies. On top of this, as many as 140 000 whales end up entangled in plastic litter every single year. And if we instead of whales take look at the situation for marine living birds, marine biologist Jan van Franeker of Wageningen Marine Research in the Netherlands reveals that in one of the albatross species he studies, roughly 90 percent of all the albatross birds have some form of plastic litter in their digestive system.

And one low key aspect of our daily human life that contributes in a significant way to the increasing amount of plastic in our oceans and seafood is all the people that continue to buy bottled water ( and use plastic bags in grocery stores ) and all the other disposable plastic products and wrappings we make use of in our daily life´s production and consumption.
A few numbers in regards to that bottled water.
One million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number continues to increase despite bottled water providing zero benefits over properly produced tap water.

And if you are looking for a concrete global number, in total that means that 480 billion plastic drinking bottles were sold in 2016 around the world.
And sadly, less than 10% of those 480 billion bottles ever end up properly recycled, the rest get willfully tossed around, burnt or discarded in a wide range of inappropriate ways, contributing to the increasing amount of harmful litter, pollution and toxins in our food and world, on land and in our oceans and lakes.

Other severe issues are countries that lack proper waste management, such as Indonesia, the world's second largest marine pollutant, which despite being so heavily dependent on healthy fish food and clean oceans and nature continues to increase the amount of plastic litter they show straight into the oceans.
More or less poisoning the well the entire nation depends on.

Globally speaking, humanity has of now produced 8.3bn ton of plastic since the 1950 when we first started mass-producing plastic products. A number which equals one billion elephants ( if Earth actually had one billion elephants that is ). And even worse, the total amount of produced plastic is sadly expected to rise to roughly 35bn ton by 2050. And as you read that number out loud, keep in mind that almost all of the plastic we use and produce in the end, end up being tossed into the ocean or discarded in unsustainable landfills.

A sad reality, which, as our marine life and seafood now directly shows us, do not float around as serene garbage without real life consequences, the human-made pollution and mountains of garbage is not just hanging out in a serene tropical island where no person or animal will ever get affected by it. Instead, in the end, our man-made pollution always end up in the things we eat and breathe. Our man-made litter and toxins hide in the water we swim in, the pleasant warmth we shower in and it lives in the things we drink.

And that is why the world we live in, is the science and art of you and me. Life in the Anthropocene will always be what we have mutually made it, day by day. Displayed perhaps better than most things by the recently discovered and previously pristine and uninhabited island in the south Pacific with roughly 18 tons of plastic garbage littering its beaches and polluting the local wildlife and waters. Despite not a single human being ever having lived there.
Go figure people, because that´s all on you.

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Views from Earth by Mike Koontz
My photography and writing as it is represented on G+

Healthier living, Fitness and Health, the facts and science by Mike Koontz
My popular health and fitness column on G+

Contemporary life in the Anthropocene by Mike Koontz
Random thoughts on life column over at G+

My personal fav print, 'a norse summer song' at Printler, check it out and buy it today :).
Fine art print by Mike Koontz,

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Related article, man made air pollution.
Air pollution article and human health, published by Me

Related article, Bivales study.
Science study, plastic litter in bivalves

Related article, The Environmental right.
The environmental right, article by me

Related article, Indonesia and marine pollution.
External article: Indonesia, plastic marine litter

Related article, study, debris in seafood.
Study: debris in seafood

Writer and fine art photography

Mike Koontz
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Last Few Published Books and Articles

  • 'At the bridge to Asgard, sprouts and roots grow the ever tree'. Here we live in the age of Anthropocene.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes

    sprouts and roots
    A healthy you, is a healthy world.
    Life in the Anthropocene.

    'At the bridge to Asgard, sprouts and roots grow the ever tree' through the gates of life and death, and the turning of the Midgard snake.
    We walk beneath a starry sky, weaved by light and dark and obscured shades our eyes can not see.

    We melt and turn the tides of time, as we spill the soil between our fingers.
    It drips back down to where it came from, all while the ants and worms grow unseen layers of brand new soil.

  • Fitness & Health: 'Health at a Glance' is a European health report covering obesity around Europe in 2017.

    Quality time needed: 7 minutes

    Health at a Glance
    A European health report 2017
    Fitness & Health.

    Health at a Glance is a European health report for 2017. And in it the United Kingdom is revealed to be Western Europes most obese nation.
    So, perhaps, fish and chips and beer just isnt the best of national food obsessions.
    Another important highlight that bounces right back at you is how obesity in the UK has increased by 92% since the 1990s ( it´s been increasing in every nation btw, but good ol England is leading the pack ).

    And since we also know by now that obesity & overweight is not just about a individual increase in body fat %, which would have been perfectly fine and all down to personal preferences in body composition and aesthetics, but instead is directly tied to a huge increase in several health issues, such as diabetes & cancer and severely decreased quality of life and longevity.

  • Anthropocene & the annual 'good country index' is back for its worldwide summary with the year 2017. And Scandinavia once again dominates.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes

    the good country index 2017
    Life beyond 2028.

    Sweden once again dominates the good country index, sort of making it an annual business as usual reveal in other words.
    Sweden is followed closely by another Scandinavian country, namely Denmark, which, is no real surprise, the Nordic nations can be found at the top of the world, year after year, after year in a long range of beneficial, quality of life metrics and studies.

  • 9 million annual deaths due to worldwide pollution in air, soil, water. Life in the Anthropocene.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes

    9 million
    annual deaths due to worldwide pollution
    The art of living.

    Every year the number of people that die prematurely due to worldwide pollution keep on increasing. And right now that pollution in water, soil, air, chemical or work-related pollution is already taking the life of 9 million people around the world.

    Let us think about that for one more second, every single year 9 million people end up dying prematurely due to the modern day pollution we all contribute to.

  • Health & Fitness science: Maintain healthy mitochondria through exercise-induced mitophagy.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes

    Health in muscles and heart.
    Life is your own art.

    New research once again showcases how exercise improves muscle health and, exercise capacity and how that positive mechanism with perpetual fitness regimes in the end greatly improves general health and longevity for each individual.
    Allowing continued fitness activity to become one of the finest predictors we have of general mortality and biological health and wellbeing in any given population and individual.
    This particular study was published in the journal Nature Communications and it digs deep down inside our bodies as it takes a long look at how exercise helps the body and mind keep healthy and strong by transforming and maintaining our body on a cellular level.

  • Anthropocene & the human health. Plastic litter in our salt, tap water, honey, fish & food. Land and soil and blood system.

    Quality time needed: 6 minutes

    Plastic Litter
    Tap water, Sea salt & Food.
    Life in the Anthropocene.

    In Europe, 72% of all tap water contains 1.9 fibers of plastic litter per 500ml of water.
    That number increases to 94% of all tap water in the USA which contains 4.8 plastic litter fibers per 500ml of water. And worldwide 83% of all tap water contains plastic litter.
    But the issue of plastic contamination in our water is not just about tap water, nor is it, as we have previously talked about, only a concern with sea food. This is a growing man-made health issue which has been going on for a very long time and by now it is part of every aspect of society and our natural world.
    For instance, scientists found plastics in products in studies on Chinese Sea salt in 2015.

  • Anthropocene: A long form article called Indonesia

    Quality time needed: 8 minutes

    17,000 islands & almost 260 million people
    Life in the Anthropocene.

    Indonesia is by all accounts one of the world's most populated nations with its soon to be 260 million strong population scattered across an astounding 17 000 islands. Another fascinating aspect of life in Indonesia is that in total its population is made up of over 300 different ethnic and linguistic groups that combined speak over 700 different languages.

  • Books & Publishing: How and where to buy or read 'Wings of a Raven, 2028AD'

    Quality time needed: 2 minutes

    Wings of a Raven, 2028AD.
    Book 1 in my mature, new adult Sci-fi universe.

    Wings of a Raven, 2028AD.
    Price: $2.99
    Print length: 147 Pages
    Publication date: August 2017
    ISBN: 9781537855714
    Read it at your local library or right here at my own 'a Norse View' library.
    Or if you so prefer you can buy it from your fav book store for 2.99US$.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 12, Running and the shock impact of each step.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 12 in our School of Fitness.
    Today's question, running is a super healthy aspect of any fit & healthy lifestyle. But the brunt of running too often also put intense pressure and wear on feet and knees and tibia since our lower body absorbs almost all of the impact while we run.
    So how often do the average runner ( in general ) smash their delicate feet's and shin bone into that immovable ground per minute while they are ramping up the miles.

  • Fitness School, Do you know the right answer?. Question 11, Let us talk about that mighty beast Deadlift and all the stuff it activates.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes

    Fitness School
    Do you know the right answer?.

    Question number 11 in our School of Fitness.
    Today's question is as follows, which muscles are activated when you are busy killing it in the gym with the majestic "Deadlift" exercise.
    A lot of people rightfully think of Deadlift as the great full-body exercise. But what do you actually engage and stimulate when you go at it with this bad boy.

  • Science study: High Energy Food vs cancer risk and body fat increase in Women aged 50+.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes

    High Energy Food
    vs Cancer and increased body mass.

    In a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers investigated the relationship between dietary food choices which contain a high-energy density ( DED ) and the cancer risk and body mass increase in women aged 50 years +.

  • Book: 'Wings of a Raven, 2028AD'. The first book from the near future book universe 2028AD created by Mike Koontz. Mature and at times naughty storytelling and explicit events hide behind each page of this sci-fi tale. Less than 40 000 words.

    Suitable for a mature audience. 17+ and up. Adult storytelling and explicit events.
    UHD audio video book reading TBA
    Vacation read ( Three+ Nights Bed time read )
    'Wings of a Raven' By Mike Koontz is the first book in a shared contemporary book universe called 2028AD. Mature and at times even naughty storytelling and explicit events lurk behind each page as we traverse the known familiarities of planet Earth and the uncharted vastness of the universe.
    And if at any point and turn, you feel that you need more from this charming sci-fi universe, reach for the abyss of the dark world wide web and the home of every book and short story that relates to 2028AD right here at
    The first book in this sci-fi universe, is delivered with a touch of abstract horror, and the pleasure and kink of sensual and sultry naughty love. Mixed with moments of life and death, science, and space exploration, pollution, sex, war, poverty, famine. The man made horror and climate change.
    In the 2028AD universe Earth is a world wrought in chaos. And it is a place where hope and despair tumble and take turn with the trembling steps of colonizing other planets while the oceans on planet Earth keeps rising.
    Photography, and writing by Mike Koontz
    2018, a Norse View Imaging and Publishing

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