Saturday, February 09, 2008

"Plastic Soup" of Floating Garbage in Pacific

Good lord, are we trying to go extinct? When I look at what mankind has done to this world, and the dangers that await us in the coming decades - global warming, deforestation, acidic oceans, mass extinctions - I really do wonder about us. We're caught in a death wish.

This report comes courtesy of The Independent UK. 100 million tons of plastic garbage floating through the Pacific currents. This "plastic soup" now covers twice the area of the continental United States. What the bloody hell is the matter, here?

It's at this point that the Supreme Being must seriously be reconsidering the Dinosaurs.

There are consequences to our actions, people. Our Western culture celebrates instant gratification and materialism and a throwaway attitude. We just toss something off and forget about it. But all this garbage and waste will not disappear. The consequences to this wastefullness and stupidity will be visited upon us and our grandchildren. That is, if our grandchildren aren't condemned to extinction.

So that settles it. No more plastic. We shouldn't be using any of it, anyways...aren't you aware that plastic is a petroleum product? Haven't we already decided that getting off our oil addiction is our highest priority? You pay some dictator hard-earned money for a barrel of oil. He uses that money to maintain repressive regimes, which leads directly or indirectly to domestic (and then international) terrorism. The oil we buy goes into our vehicles and industries, and threatens our lives with pollution, disease, and climate change. And then, as a final mark of our idiocracy, we throw away endless mountains of disposable waste.

The civilizations of the past have left their monuments for future generations. Sad and tragic, then, that this may be our final legacy. Get off your chairs and start the revolution today. Do it now! Find ways you can begin to make a difference this very day.

An excerpt from The Independent:

According to the UN Environment Programme, plastic debris causes the deaths
of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine
mammals. Syringes, cigarette lighters and toothbrushes have been found inside
the stomachs of dead seabirds, which mistake them for food.

Plastic is believed to constitute 90 per cent of all rubbish floating in
the oceans. The UN Environment Programme estimated in 2006 that every square
mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic.

Dr Eriksen said the slowly rotating mass of rubbish-laden water poses a
risk to human health, too. Hundreds of millions of tiny plastic pellets, or
nurdles – the raw materials for the plastic industry – are lost or spilled every
year, working their way into the sea. These pollutants act as chemical sponges
attracting man-made chemicals such as hydrocarbons and the pesticide DDT. They
then enter the food chain. "What goes into the ocean goes into these animals and
onto your dinner plate. It's that simple," said Dr Eriksen.

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