Readability

Trashed World

[cap­tion id=“attachment_106188” align=“aligncenter” width=“300”] Kanapou (Hawaii) in 2012. Cite.[/​caption]

by baldilocks

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruit­ful, and mul­ti­ply, and replen­ish the earth, and sub­due it: and have domin­ion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every liv­ing thing that moveth upon the earth.

– Gen­e­sis 1:28 (KJV)

Think­ing about skip­ping the fish course after read­ing this. For­ever.

Envi­ron­men­tal­ists expressed con­cern in Octo­ber 2016 after a team of researchers from The Ocean Cleanup Foun­da­tion sur­veyed the vor­tex of trash pil­ing up between Cal­i­for­nia and Hawaii, spot­ting chunks of plas­tic glued together mea­sur­ing more than a yard.

[It’s a] tick­ing time bomb because the big stuff will crum­ble down to micro-​plastics over the next few decades if we don’t act,” Boyan Slat, founder of Ocean Cleanup, a non­profit that helps remove pol­lu­tion from the world’s oceans, told Newser at the time.

The size of the trash pile has nearly dou­bled in size since then, con­tain­ing at least 79,000 tons of plas­tic — “a fig­ure four to six­teen times higher than pre­vi­ously reported,” Sci­en­tific Reports said.

Researchers gath­ered 1.2 mil­lion sam­ples dur­ing a multi-​vessel expe­di­tion in Octo­ber 2017, exactly one year after their pre­vi­ous test.

They used large nets to scoop the debris and took sev­eral aer­ial images to exam­ine the extent of the GPGP.

Large items such as bot­tles, ropes, plas­tic bags and buoys were the most com­mon objects spot­ted in the pile. Fish­ing nets had an over­whelm­ing pres­ence, account­ing for nearly half of the weight of debris picked up by research vessels.

Los Ange­les and other munic­i­pal­i­ties may have had a point when they decided to “ban” plas­tic gro­cery bags. They’re not actu­ally banned; one just has to pay for them, now. Reusable bags are now ubiq­ui­tous, if the door­knobs in my apart­ment are an indi­ca­tion, but I do use plas­tic bags as lin­ers for my trash can. I’m rethink­ing this.

But what about bot­tled water? I do recy­cle every empty con­tainer, but what hap­pens to them after that?

And though most Amer­i­cans are con­sis­tent recy­clers – opti­misti­cally speak­ing – what about cit­i­zens of other coun­tries, the one to the south of us, for example?

For years, we have been inun­dated with pro­pa­ganda about the alleged calamity of Global Warming/​Climate Change – what­ever it’s been called this decade – as if indi­vid­u­als or gov­ern­ments pos­sessed the abil­ity to do some­thing about the weather.

Then, come to find out that an ocean con­tain­ing a continent-​sized trash heap is a true prob­lem that human beings can fix, or, at least, try not to make worse. I’m not usu­ally a col­lec­tivist, but this is a prob­lem that all of human­ity owns.

I look for­ward to our bet­ters mak­ing a global issue out of this. For once, I would listen.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng has been blog­ging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She pub­lished her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-​GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

Kanapou (Hawaii) in 2012. Cite.

by baldilocks

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

— Genesis 1:28 (KJV)

Thinking about skipping the fish course after reading this. Forever.

Environmentalists expressed concern in October 2016 after a team of researchers from The Ocean Cleanup Foundation surveyed the vortex of trash piling up between California and Hawaii, spotting chunks of plastic glued together measuring more than a yard.

“[It’s a] ticking time bomb because the big stuff will crumble down to micro-plastics over the next few decades if we don’t act,” Boyan Slat, founder of Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit that helps remove pollution from the world’s oceans, told Newser at the time.

The size of the trash pile has nearly doubled in size since then, containing at least 79,000 tons of plastic — “a figure four to sixteen times higher than previously reported,” Scientific Reports said.

Researchers gathered 1.2 million samples during a multi-vessel expedition in October 2017, exactly one year after their previous test.

They used large nets to scoop the debris and took several aerial images to examine the extent of the GPGP.

Large items such as bottles, ropes, plastic bags and buoys were the most common objects spotted in the pile. Fishing nets had an overwhelming presence, accounting for nearly half of the weight of debris picked up by research vessels.

Los Angeles and other municipalities may have had a point when they decided to “ban” plastic grocery bags. They’re not actually banned; one just has to pay for them, now. Reusable bags are now ubiquitous, if the doorknobs in my apartment are an indication, but I do use plastic bags as liners for my trash can. I’m rethinking this.

But what about bottled water? I do recycle every empty container, but what happens to them after that?

And though most Americans are consistent recyclers – optimistically speaking – what about citizens of other countries, the one to the south of us, for example?

For years, we have been inundated with propaganda about the alleged calamity of Global Warming/Climate Change – whatever it’s been called this decade – as if individuals or governments possessed the ability to do something about the weather.

Then, come to find out that an ocean containing a continent-sized trash heap is a true problem that human beings can fix, or, at least, try not to make worse. I’m not usually a collectivist, but this is a problem that all of humanity owns.

I look forward to our betters making a global issue out of this. For once, I would listen.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!