Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
I am very happy to welcome Kevin Albin, author of Stonechild, here today and thank him for the opportunity to share his thought provoking guest post with you, together with more information about both him and his book as well as a link to a competition for readers of Stonechild . . .
I expect you’ve heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or GPGP as it’s known. That floating island of rubbish, mostly plastics, in the Pacific Ocean. Swirling ocean currents have a calm centre, which allows this waste to amass. Apparently, the GPGP is 1.6 million square kilometres in size, which equates to two of Texas or three of France.
You might be picturing an area made up of floating plastic bottles and packaging, and may ask, why can’t we just hoover it all up? It’s not that simple. Modern plastics are not good a biodegrading, they just break down into smaller pieces, and much of the GPGP is micro-plastics, less than 5 mm in size. The water has become a sort of cloudy soup, much of which is toxic to marine life, and can end up on our plates. There’s a sizeable amount of fishing nets and buoys, which cause entanglement problems for seals, sea lions and even whales. Plastic bags, of course, which look a lot like jelly fish to a passing, hungry turtle, and we’ve probably all seen dramatic photos of sea life with a stuck cotton bud or six-pack plastic ring around its neck. Something we may not have thought of is that this opaque sea, cuts out sunlight, a serious problem for algae and plankton, which are a crucial part of the food chain.
So, how does all this waste get there. Some originates from the land. We throw things away and this ends up in our rivers and then out to sea. This includes our beach practices, fishing and farming, and a large part, through maritime transport as things are thrown or fall from ships. Just to give you some idea of the problem, there are five of these floating islands — two in the Pacific, two in the Atlantic and one in the Indian Ocean, with the GPGP being the largest.
What about all the plastics we have been diligently putting into the recycling bins? Well, it doesn’t really work. Back in the 1980s, the plastics industry was under pressure and came up with the idea of recycling. It placated us all, we were happy, but in truth, the cost of separation, cleaning, and recycling has never been cost effective. The process carries its own problems with pollution and transportation, and it is still cheaper to manufacture the raw material than to recycle.
Have we been tricked into believing that all was well? Maybe, to a degree, but we should bear some of the responsibility, in asking or even demanding to know what is happening with our waste. It’s difficult to find an exact figure but it is only somewhere between 9 and 12% that is recycled, so just because something is marked as recyclable doesn’t mean it gets recycled.
The plight of the world at the moment is somewhat dire, it’s why I chose to write my novel Stonechild, where the statues of London come to life with an important message on conservation and try to convince us to take urgent action. The problem with plastics is just one issue amongst many others that I chose for the purposes of this article. We cannot rely on industry to do the right thing with regards to our planet, they have a commercial interest, and similarly with governments. It’s we the people who need to educate ourselves to the truth, and to force change.
Thank you again, for this insightful guest post, Kevin, I really hope we can all work together to change things for the better.
Read on for more information about Kevin’s book, Stonechild, and himself . . .
Where do we go to when we die? Imagine human consciousness embedded in the molecules of a statue. So, when the statues of London come to life, it is a spectacle like non other, and they come with a specific message, and an offer we cannot refuse.
As the world reels in this wonder of science and religion, Molly Hargreaves has other plans and she sets out to prove that things are not as they seem.
Chased, captured and confined, Molly confronts the statues and her own fears. But who can she convince? The people are welcoming, the Government has succumbed, and the police try to act, but how do you shoot stone and metal? Be prepared to be run ragged around London on a mystery worthy of the great Sherlock Holmes.
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/2BfnoWs
A word puzzle for the readers of Stonechild and with a prize to be drawn on the 10th December, which is Human Rights Day. Here’s the link with all the details https://kevin-albin.com/book-kevin-albin/puzzle-time-for-readers-of-stonechild/
Author Bio –
I served 25 years with the police in the UK, eight years of which were with a tactical firearms team. In 2002, I took a career change, and retrained as an International Mountain Leader working across the globe guiding on mountaineering trips and expeditions.
I have led many trips to the jungles of Borneo, my favourite destination, an enchanting place that has sadly seen much deforestation. My trips were based on education and conservation.
In 2011, I won the Bronze in the Wanderlust Magazine World Guide Awards for my work..
It was whilst working on a corporate training day in London, when I pictured a statue coming to life to give my clients the answer to the clue they were working on. The rest grew from there.
My hope is that my writing will continue to spread the word on conservation and protection of all species.
I live in France.
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