Double Death

Now comes Deborah Bird Rose, professor in the Environmental Humanities Program at the University of New South Wales and a founding member of the Extinction Studies Working Group. Her brief essay appeared inside the fascinating Multispecies Salon; images from Washed Ashore added by DP.


Below, a photograph of a crab on Henderson Island, where the phenomenon of double death appears in full swing, amidst an estimated eighteen tons of plastic waste, the highest concentration of plastic pollution yet documented, though we suspect the worst is yet to come.

Jennifer Lavers, from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania commented on the fate of crabs inhabiting the plastic beach:

“This plastic is old, it’s brittle, it’s sharp, it’s toxic. It was really quite tragic seeing these gorgeous crabs scuttling about, living in our waste.”

Tragic, possibly, though another word also comes to mind: criminal.



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