Home » ‘Plastic – An Autobiography’ – Allison Cobb’s poetic journey into the personal & ecological crisis

‘Plastic – An Autobiography’ – Allison Cobb’s poetic journey into the personal & ecological crisis

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Nick Breeze

Climate journalist and host of Shaping The Future podcast.

Allison Cobb | Plastic An Autobiography

In this episode of Shaping The Future I speak with author, Allison Cobb, about her new book titled ‘Plastic – An Autobiography’.

With poetic sensitivity, Allison explores the complexity of how plastic has become part of our lives and how this material, that can endure for generations, has been wilfully categorised as a ‘single use’ disposable product becoming as ubiquitous as food with a highly toxic indigestible after-life.

Interview with Allison Cobb about her new book, ‘Plastic – An Autobiography’

This autobiography is also personal, linking the horrendous WW2 invasion of Poland with her ancestors who also worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory on the now infamous Manhattan Project to create the first atomic bomb.

This is a story about complexity, personal journey and the plasticity of all life as we venture forth into the next big existential challenge of preventing climate and ecological collapse. 

Thank you for listening to Shaping The Future – there are many more episodes coming so please do subscribe and also consider supporting this work via Patreon. 

Time stamps:

1:30 – ‘I wanted to write about the anthropocene, the geologic scale human impact on the planet, in a way that made it personal’

3:00 Dupont, “See to it that American’s are never satisfied” – consumer capitalism has proliferated across the world.

5:20 – Heidegger’s essay ‘The Thing’ – technology reduces everything to its use value.

7:30 The baby albatross with ingested plastic as emblematic of the disposable culture.

10:00 Complexity through personal stories that give us hope through empathy.

13:00 How are we doing in terms of the global collective tackling these huge ecological challenges.

15:00 The role of artists and creators along with every human to make the global shift.

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