Podcast Episode 125
Plastic Ocean: the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

with our guest: Charles Moore

Charles joins me today to share the story of his journey from seafaring adventurer to oceanic environmentalist whistleblower. He describes the moment he first discovered the overwhelming sight of the garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean. He also explains how it led him to meet Ricky Grigg, a ‘surfer scientist’ who was the first such scientist to live in an underwater environment. Charles talks about how our relationship with consumerism and need for pristine goods and disposable packaging is one of the main contributors to plastic waste in our oceans. Charles breaks down the hard facts of this pollution, explaining there is no single ‘bad guy’ to blame because the world’s population is collectively at fault, and therefore the solution will have to be “a world historical revolution in the consciousness of the individual to stop polluting plastic.”


Quotables from Captain Charles Moore

“Life is about liberating oneself from those things that constrain it.” – Captain Charles Moore

“What life is increasingly about today is extricating oneself from those forces, which have invaded our mind space and created a kind of moronization of the populace as a whole.”

“For me what life is about is the struggle to become free from the society that is so oppressive at this time in history.”

“The importance of being different is the importance of being able to see a new world, a better world.”

“A citizen of the stone age knew more about what to do with a stone than a citizen of the plastic age knows what to do with plastic.”

“You can’t give a hurricane a higher wage and make it go away.”

Show Notes

This week on The School For Good Living:

  • How encouragement from his parents made Charles understand it was good to be different
  • Why umbrellas are Charles’ waste collectors’ item of choice
  • Why it’s important to have hands on experience conducting experiments
  • Why plastic is not a clean, sterile, harmless material
  • Why we need to be radical in the retooling of production methods for the future
  • How planned obsolescence and the world of advertising encouraged people to define themselves by the products and brands they invest in
  • How hyper productivity creates hyper waste
  • Why Charles thinks there is no difference between Chinese communists and American capitalists when it comes to production and consumption
  • Why pollution data was pitted against impact evidence
  • Why Charles has appointed himself Ambassador of the world’s garbage patches
  • The terrifying statistic of the oceans’ garbage patch coverage
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