Human Industry #poetry #earthweal

A tide of plastic is upon us,
every day, we are bombarded, 
it is so seamlessly sewn into the fabric of our lives, we scarcely notice:
plastic packaged fruit and veg
plastic bags still everywhere
plastic trays protect the meat we eat
and the ‘earth friendly’ vegan products too
plastic helps prevent food waste, but spoils the earth
plastic is a product of the Oil Industry

Petrol is a product of the Oil Industry 
we worry about the price of petrol, not the cost
we fail to see the simplest things that we can do to help the planet: use our legs
walk, take the bike, wherever we can
our talk of change is just hot air, or gas

Gas is a product of the Fossil Fuel Industry 
the Fossil Fuel Industry enriches dictators and would-be empires
we think only in terms of bringing the price down
never of reducing the consumptive cost
‘More, more, more!’ We cry again, at war within ourselves 

War is a product of the Oil Industry 
the Fossil Fuel Industry 
the Defence Industry
a product of Human Industry
but Human Nature still
possesses the capacity to change:
the radical hope we might succeed, remains.

© 2022 All Rights Reserved.

Written for Brendan’s Radical Hope challenge at earthweal.

50 thoughts on “Human Industry #poetry #earthweal

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  1. I especially adored,your finale/summary stanza Ingrid … but your entire poem, is precisely my thoughts about the oil industry and the constant/persistant human consumption of “Plastics” …. superbly penned my friend …

  2. Thought-provoking words! The need of the hour certainly is for every human being to realise how fast we are hurtling towards the end and take corrective steps to slow down this speed. Hopefully the realisation will come soon.

  3. The oil industry is a scarecrow to peace. As long as there’s no proper alternative, dictatorship will be hard to root out because, far more than anywhere else, it’s entrenched in the oil producing territories and the rulers there grow rich from it. But there’s still a loose thread of hope.

  4. Our existential truth. But that hope remains — if anything at all, this will be our greatest moment that should have happened at least 50 years ago.
    Thanks for the gorgeous poem. I bless you.

  5. My daughters and I don’t own cars, but walking everywhere because of the pandemic has totally changed our habits–we were just talking about it. I used to think nothing of jumping on the subway or bus but now the weather would have to be really bad, or I’d have to be going more than 2 miles. If people want to, they can spend less time in cars. But packaging–I have tried and tried to think of a way out of that dilemma. Unless you raise everything you consume I’m not sure how you start. And it’s so true we don’t think of the lager picture for any of it. (K)

  6. I love what you have done here, Ingrid. Love how the last line segues into the next stanza.
    The message is equally important. We are all guilty and the louder we beat the drum, the sooner people may awaken! ( I hope so) ❤️

  7. Plastic has to be the worst invention, it is seeping into everything, including our DNA……….we are drowning in it. I love your line” We worry about the price of petrol, not the cost.” Exactly.

  8. A wonderful expose on truth, Ingrid. The ending is hopeful, yet, requires being in action toward effecting this change, as you so eloquently express. Excellent! 🌎

  9. Thanks Ingrid – Oil dependency and the growing tide of plastic inundation didn’t happen all at once, but its cumulative toll reaches a threshold (tipping point?) where all of life is threatened by it. Poems like this are like saplings growing a different forest. As war becomes intolerable and unacceptable, so too the power and money of extraction. We hope.

    1. If there could be one good thing to come out of it, it would be this…at least we are now thinking about where our fuel and oil comes from!

  10. The irony of it is that it was the environmentalists who demanded to use plastic instead of cutting down trees for paper. When I was a child, milk, juice, and soft drinks came in glass containers which were recycled. The products tasted better in glass, and it was more sanitary. Now, environmentalists are screaming about plastic – a problem they helped to create. As for oil and gas, too many lives are dependent on them right now to suddenly shut off the spigot. As technology evolves, so will our dependency on oil and gas decrease. The oil and gas companies are some of the leading companies when it comes to creating alternative energy. They know that the future is not in oil and gas. This is a wonderful poem that describes a serious problem. Thank you, Ingrid!

    1. Paper is not without its problems either, as it often has a higher carbon footprint than plastic. I think we need to develop those carbon neutral technologies ASAP, not run down the oil and gas reserves so a very few can get rich…not easy to do, but certainly with the political will it would be achievable!

      1. Agreed, Ingrid! I know that Chevron Corp. is working on a process to make renewable fuel out of plastic. That would certainly solve a lot of the plastic pollution!

  11. It’s the long sad story of our species since the Industrial Age that we seem to always focus on “..the price.. not the cost..” of things. Perhaps the most radical thing we can do right now is hope. This poem is well-said, well-imagined and well thought out, Ingrid.

  12. It seems that petroleum has so many different uses. Petroleum products are ubiquitous, and most of them are bad for the environment! Plastic in particular is problematic because it is not biodegradable, though some is recyclable. Gasoline is notorious for polluting the air. “War is a product of the oil industry.” The political and human cost is something that needs to be counted as well as the environmental impact!

    Your poem is beautifully written and incorporates the various issues associated with fossil fuels. Amazing, Ingrid! <3

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