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.















2050AD
[ 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.






















Connect with me

in this life of ours scattered across this tiny sphere






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, Printler.com

Scandinavian.Fitness, are you in need of a sound and fierce fitness voice?. Get in touch with this Viking.
Scandinavian.Fitness by Mike

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
To the daisy that is my sun and inspiration

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Last Few Published Books and Articles

  • Anthropocene: Volvo heralds the global end of the combustion engine-powered car.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes





    the end of the combustion engine-powered car.
    Anthropocene is the science & footprint of you and me on Planet Earth



    This marks the end of the combustion engine-powered car.
    Volvo going all in on Electric engines in their car offerings.
    Starting 2019, every Volvo will make use of an electric motor.
    To top it off, Volvo will also make use of a completely climate neutral manufacturing operation by 2025.

    And while this is just one good ol car manufacturer crossing over to the better side of car manufacturing, Volvo will of course not be alone in this transition.
    Just as we see energy producers working their ass off to transition to a cleaner world without fossil fuel in their portfolios, car manufacturers are now all in on making safer ( autonomous cars ) and cleaner ( fully electric cars ) vehicles.

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

    Quality time needed: 10 minutes





    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.

  • Planet Earth: open letter for our planet, health & mutual future to Merkel and our G20 leaders before their meeting with Trump.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes





    Dear Chancellor Merkel.
    contemporary life is the science & art of Planet Earth



    Dear Chancellor Merkel, I am writing you in your role as one of the more public representatives of Europe ( and the prosperity of the entire world ).
    Billions of people reject Trump’s attempts to divide the world on climate change and our mutual health and wellbeing. His disregard for science and public progress, education, and health.
    And as such, we call on you to lead the G20 meeting towards a healthier and more sustainable future, with or without the involvement of the USA or any other country and leader that is willfully turning its back on the future of humanity, our planet, science, health, and equality.

  • Equality is a healthier life: Hell on earth can be found inside the hollow neglect that is life on GB road in Delhi, India.

    Quality time needed: 9 minutes





    The weight of the world is just a fleeting moment
    contemporary life is the science & art of Planet Earth



    India is a wonderful nation of immense potential and filled with fascinating heritage and culture, but it can also be quite a sad and horrible place for women and children.
    We have the ever present and immense pollution and poverty. The inequality that seems almost steeped in the seams of its old and rich history.
    And almost always guided and directed towards the poor, and more than anything females.
    You also have something even worse, related but different. And this sordid face of the underbelly of the rapidly changing but still traditional Indian society is best represented by a road that could be described as the road to hell on Earth.

  • The magic of Midsummer, a pagan day of life, harvest, endless sunshine, sex and joy in Scandinavia.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes





    midsummers magic.
    contemporary life is our own art



    Wishing the entire world a wonderful midsummer with this silly midsummer poem and summery views which you can read beyond the break.
    creativity is a combination of having a thirst and desire for the discipline of exploring the world, and a fully alive spirit to consume all that life has, and to finally, spit it all out in a new shape and form for others to indulge in.

  • Planet Earth: As if straight out of the cutesy book 'wind in the willows', the good ol and extremely photogenic water voles ( Arvicola amphibius ) returns from the brink of UK extinction.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes


    water voles ( Arvicola amphibius ) returns from the brink of UK extinction.
    contemporary life & science is our own art



    As if straight out of the cutesy book 'wind in the willows', the good ol and extremely photogenic water voles ( Arvicola amphibius ) returns from the brink of UK extinction, with a little help from the human hands that orchestrated its near extinction in the first place.
    As such, Kielder Forest in Northumberland, England will now get to see 700 Scottish highlander water voles invade and conquer its lush and serene country setting in the summer of 2017.
    Not by accident, nor is it born in a devious water vole plot to reclaim the mainland of the United Kingdom.
    Instead, this is one of the many wonderful rewilding wildlife and sustainable projects going on in Europe right now.

  • Endangered wildlife: Malawi national park and the return of the Cheetahs.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes


    fewer than 7000 adult cheetahs are estimated to survive in the wild.
    contemporary life & science is our own art



    Cheetahs have already disappeared from more than 90 percent of their natural habitat in Africa ( not to mention in other areas such as the middle east ), and the wild population continues to decline in an unsustainable way.
    Today fewer than 7000 adult cheetahs are estimated to survive in the wild.
    Making the cheetah one of the world's most endangered land living apex predators.

    But not all hope is lost and there is not just a global consensus that the situation as it is is impossible for the cheetah but plenty of hard work is also being done to rectify the near extinction that awaits the cheetah.

  • Homo Sapiens, the mutant child and our planetary surfboard on which we surf the Universe. Updated June 2017.

    Quality time needed: 11 minutes


    We surf across a sea of gravitational waves.
    contemporary life & science is our own art



    Planet Earth. Our bluish marble of brown and green.
    Apex species. Planet Earth is inhabited by a rapidly evolving and diverse humanoid species which as this planet's current primary apex predator is actually made up by a wide range of multiple hominid species mutually forming it's diverse genetic origin and lineage.
    Mutant name. Contemporary humans.
    Planetary trajectory, unknown.
    The entire planet, solar system and milky way galaxy dart and weave, jump and spin all over the place inside the known universe. It might feel as if it is this solid zen-like teacup of calmness, but in reality, it is constantly changing shape and form, mass, speed, and trajectory.
    The speed of planetary travel can be measured as millions of kilometer per hour. ( Not millions actually, just 828,000 kilometers per hour to be exact )

  • Why death metal speaks to my soul with the richness of the subtle and earthly beauty of the Scandinavian landscapes.

    Quality time needed: 7 minutes


    death metal speaks to my soul with the earthly beauty of the Scandinavian landscapes.
    contemporary life is your own art



    Life is this endless canvas of soft and hard, varied in the raw and softly spoken whispers, and inside of that endless change and variation it gladly have room for differing taste in music, and my kind of metal is absolutely not for everyone :).
    As such I have never been surprised that most of the same people that find something pleasingly calm or beautiful in my writing and photography usually consider it an absurd contradiction that I so happily mix it up with grinding death metal of various shades.
    But for me it speaks with the same voice.

  • The wildlife gardener and the way that life slowly carves the mountain into a sculpture. Water pollution and the influence of beavers and farmers.

    Quality time needed: 4 minutes


    This is the way that life slowly carves the mountain into a sculpture
    contemporary life is your own art



    It slowly happens over time, you know, by the hands of natural evolution and life itself, it happens through every second of every day that ticks us by. From the way the earth turns, and the soil grows, the way that water and wind erode things over the course of eternity.
    It happens through the tunnels that ants and termites build and the way that sand polish stone.
    The way we walk and swim, build and leave behind things, the water that carves its own changing path through the rocky cold mountains that run through our entire planet. It is seen in the roots of the trees that refuse to die after 10 000 years and slowly crack the ground open.

  • Fine Art & living room products by Mike Koontz. Available for purchase now.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes


    Your living room
    contemporary art & style



    Every person carries with them their own style and touch, in person, clothes, fitness, thoughts, sex, books, movies, passion, music and life.
    The way you are and see the world carries through in everything.
    It shows in the gym, and the board room, the way you handle your lover, and in the style and feel of your living room.
    The person that you are is not just reflected in those things, but your surroundings in life and nature and home speak back to your inner self and carries with it real significance for how much you, in turn, will enjoy both life and the castle you call your own home.




    This is my contribution to your life.
    Fine art for the living room walls.
    Duvet covers for the continental bed and snugly warm blankets for both autumn nights and the cold winter.

  • Short story: 'The Gateway Earth Chaebol, 2028AD'. a short stand alone sci-fi story from the near future book universe 2028AD created by Mike Koontz.

    Quality time needed: 14 minutes


    The Gateway Earth Chaebol
    A 2028AD stand alone sci-fi short story.



    'The Musk colony' as it was informally called could right now be thought of as a real but still very challenged success simply because the fleet had actually managed to reach their destination and somewhat to his own surprise, the entire fleet was still operational, bruised but functional.
    And considering how space travel and logistics had been prone to so many errors in the decades leading up to their unparalleled launch, the fact that they were all here, it was nothing but amazing. Taken for granted by the crew, by now at least, but still nothing but amazing.

    And while it was true, that they still had not actually put any human feet on the ground. Or even landed a single ship or UAV.
    We had reached our destination.

  • Warfare by Megaponera analis. A day in the life of termites and ants and what it can tell us about the importance of Earth day, science and fact based education.

    Quality time needed: 9 minutes


    Warfare by Megaponera analis.
    The Science of healthy living.



    They came marching in at dawn, shoulder to shoulder they formed long winding columns of wordless but well-armed soldiers in gleaming dark armor that stretched as long as the eye could see. 500 men passed us by with the rising sun painting the light of this new day behind their backs. But this would not be a day of peaceful tranquility under the light of the rising sun, instead, the sun rose up from beneath the horizon as the herald of war and death in what we all knew would turn out be just another day in their relentless campaign.

  • Healthy living: The bad health curse of smoking, almost 7 million dead people and 150 million health related issues in one year due to smoking.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes


    150 million health related issues in one year.
    The Science of healthy living.



    Almost 7 million dead people around the world in one single year ( 2015 ), due to smoking.
    Making it account for 11.5% of worldwide deaths during 2015.
    Out of the roughly 7 million dead people, 52.2% lived in four countries, China, India, the USA, and Russia.

    13 countries, Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Iceland, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA have showed significant year-to-year rates of decline of smoking between 1990 and 2015.

    But while an increasingly lower percentage of the global population keep up with the filthy and unhealthy habit of smoking, as time goes by due to our global population increase the total number of smokers is still going up, and it is now close to 1 billion people!.

  • This is a story of salt: The female perspective, your health and the 2.5 million people that die worldwide every single year due to excessive salt consumption.

    Quality time needed: 12 minutes


    A story of salt, the outcome, your health & the female picture.
    The Science of healthy living.



    Let us start from the tail of the end. Because we all know that every good tale comes equipped with an end that makes the rest of the story worth reading.
    And as such, the developing story of salt is a story of the roughly 2.5 million deaths around the world which could be prevented each year if global salt consumption was to be reduced below the recommended levels.

  • Health: A life of health and fitness is in truth exactly like a game of chess.

    Quality time needed: 5 minutes


    A life of fitness is a game of chess.
    The Science of healthy living.



    When it comes down to health and fitness, and the cerebral battlefield of chess the simple truth is that they are very much alike.
    There are no unearthly and illogical surprises waiting in the dark of night that will upend and change the actual fabric of the landscape.
    Your opponent can not cast fiery magic and summon demons from the netherworld to do their bidding.
    Instead what we have is a beautifully defined field of known and still developing, yet for now, unknown for you and me facts and variables, and the vast amount of personal choices those known, but evolving facts allows us to make.

    And at every step of that personal journey, chess and fitness will leave you standing as the sole commander, at a vast field made up of pure facts and deductive knowledge and the cause and consequences that every single choice will give birth to.

  • MMA and 'The People that Bleed': Meet Brad Picket.

    Quality time needed: 3 minutes


    The People that bleed
    UFC fighter Brad Picket



    'The people that bleed' is our own label for a series of videos, all produced by UFC, that I feel show us a more real and nuanced, intimate perhaps view of the actual soul and personality of the real human being that makes up the flesh and bone, heart and thoughts behind the bravado and attitude of the MMA fighter persona.

    In this 9 minutes long video, we get to meet Brad Picket (25-14 MMA, 5-9 UFC), a tiny blue collar sized UK based fighter whom retired after his final UFC fight on march 18, 2017 against Brandon Vera.

  • Health & Fitness: The unhealthy reality of the MMA style weight cut. A BBC documentary.

    Quality time needed: 7 minutes


    The Unhealthy Practice of MMA weight cutting
    The Science of a Healthy Life



    For most people getting a bit more fit, and healthy by eating cleaner food and less calories and working out more is a great life improving choice.
    And for most, that will lead to health improving reductions in unhealthy body fat levels and body weight. But as we previously talked about in another article, when you are already in shape, rocking a fit and toned body, eating healthy amounts of healthy food, doing weights and cardio, there comes a limit where dropping even more in body weight and body fat becomes damaging and unhealthy instead of health and fitness improving.

    And beyond that basic reality, you have the insanity of MMA and Boxing weight cuts that far to many pro fighters go through just so they can fight in a weight class that they are to athletic and big to actually be fighting in.
    I am saying that because MMA style weight cutting is not something that anyone interested in health and fitness should ever do.
    Period.

    Neither should pro fighters in my own opinion. In a ideal world you would be the only one doing MMA style weight cuts, allowing you to fight people 20 to 30 lbs smaller than you, with much shorter leg and arm reach, 20+lbs less muscle mass and all the disadvantage that would give them in strength, endurance, strike impact and absorption.
    But you see, when every other fighter do the same weight cut, no one benefits, and everybody suffers from the exact same detrimental and unhealthy exhaustion that MMA style weight cuts are. With less fitness come fight night and potentially worse health for the long haul as the only real result.

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