We truely are making a big damn mess.

The Pacific Trash Gyre

Please watch this video

Isn’t the internet a wonderful system for disseminating knowledge ? Yes it is, but what you do with that knowledge is beyond the control of anybody. I learned about this and I was instantly concerned, many people will find it horrifying but it will have little effect on their lives.

News to me like this, adds again and again to my utter disgust for us as a race. Displaying our ignorance, decadence, arrogance, stupidity and greed for all of the Earth to see. Earth and beyond even. What would an advanced Alien species think of us if they saw this ? We truly are an infant species, we have a lot of learning and repairing to do; they would pity us and may not even waste their time with us. (Read up on the Fermi-Paradox)

Anyway, enough conjecture. In the same email I learned of this immense problem (7 million tons of plastics covering an area twice the size of Texas) I also learned of this project.
It is ultimately aimed at cleaning up the mess, but also studying what can be done with the waste; recycling and processing into a form of diesel fuel.

This is a pretty shocking time in our history. We have created a very unnatural “resource” right in our own ocean that we are now looking at turning to our advantage. (just like extracting methane from landfills) And this problem has built up over a very short time, since the late 70’s ? (it was discovered in 1988)

It is truly an incredible time to be alive and to be conscious of our problems. Educate yourself !

Here is a good article that states more than I did here.
Heck why not just include a google news search link for “pacific trash”

Further to arguments on climate change, if all the IPCC data and scientist testimonies are not enough for some people, and they still rail about how we’re not having any impact on our planet, this right here is proof we can have a sickening effect on a planet’s system within 2-3 decades.

I’m also seeing a lot of folks saying that we can fix this problem if we (the US) avoid plastics in our daily lives. Are you insane ?
It isn’t the plastics that are the problem its what people do with them after they are deemed “unusable”.
EDUCATION is the problem, in our country and in the many developing and poor nations that have no recycling centers to turn to at all, no government programs and no officials that care that their municipalities dump waste directly into the ocean.
China, India and many pacific rim nations are all contributors to the problem, if you think not buying water bottles will have any effect on the trash in the pacific you don’t have the full picture.

World wide education and awareness is the solution. The US has a huge recycling industry to turn to USE IT.
(all the while, reducing your use of plastics IS a good idea, in conjunction with recycling, and heavy reuse.)


5 thoughts on “We truely are making a big damn mess.

  1. Thanks for reminding me about this!

    I find every time I hear a news story I try to prioritise it… I find this sort of thing really hard to get a handle on. How much of an effect does this stuff have (I’m especially ignorant of what problems sub-millimetre particles will cause)? Where’s it coming from? What’s my impact? How can I help? – But the thing that bothers me most isn’t /this/ problem: If this was the only environmental problem we’d caused, then it wouldn’t be so bad. But combined with overfishing, climate change, ocean acidification, heavy metal pollution, soil erosion, deforestation, land use change, excessive water extraction, eutrophication, over population, smog, DDT/dioxins, pesticides, oil spills, etc I really do start to feel like we really are ‘making a big damn mess’.

    This isn’t a reason to give in! We just need to try harder to turn things around.

    PS Interesting article that tried to quantify the amount of plastic floating about out there:

  2. The Algalita found that the ratio of plankton to plastic was about 6:1
    And also that birds are mistaking the tan colored plastic peieces for krill. They studied the amount of tan plastics compared to everything else, and I think in bird feeding areas it was much less.

    Theres a good video on youtube by the chief scientist onboard, will probably come up under Algalita.

  3. Sorry, I didn’t mean to suggest it wasn’t a problem. More that I don’t understand what effect microscopic bits of plastic do. Besides stop animals finding real food. I assume that having huge quantities of polymer fragments – possibly sub-cellular in size – scattered throughout a creature’s body would have bad effects. I just don’t know what they are. Does anyone? I wonder how much plastic we’ve got in /us/? If anything will make a difference to policy it’s the health of /wealthy/ /westerners/. (note that environmental issues that predominantly affect the poorest people – eg climate change, leaded fuel, etc are often sidelined).

  4. Thats true, it will affect the food sources and health of poorer nations first. I saw a lot of photos of larger birds mistaking larger peices of plastic for food, regurgetating it for thier chicks and them dying as a result of a stomach filled with pastic bottle caps and random crap.
    That alone is pretty horific, but yeah until a few hundred, maybe even a few thousand people in the US or somewhere close die of plasticiser caused cancers, it won’t be a ‘real problem’

    I don’t know the facts but I’m pretty sure that plasticisers in the food chain could causer cancer, and maybe already are. And not just from the pacific ocean; certain plastics approved for making say childrens feeding bottles mean that the youngest members of our society recieve the highest PPM of plastics in thier food, nobody really has any idea what this will do in the long term. (this could just be alarmist, as I only heard this from the movie “The Story of Stuff”)

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