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The surprising economics of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 10:31 PM
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In a nutshell, as more and more countries modernize, the greater the strain on the environment and the Pacific Ocean is ground zero for the battle between man and his environment. The reason as stated by the article in Science Magazine is that the developing nations with the highest pollution output are dumping major pollutants into the Pacific; namely, China and India. China dumps 25 times more trash into the Ocean than the US but of 192 countries surveyed, researchers discovered that humanity dumped 10.5 billion to 28 billion pounds of plastic waste into the oceans in 2010 alone — about 1.3 times the weight of Egypt's Great Pyramid at Giza. Modernization and Wealth creation is the driving force so says the article.



It's hard to overstate the sheer scale and pace of the economic change that's going on in the developing world right now, particularly in China and India. They're playing catch up, adopting economic methods already pioneered by the developed world. And they're doing it an astonishing rate that's putting enormous pressure on the global ecosystem.

You can see that in the study's projections. China's waste output into the ocean is expected to double between 2010 and 2025, and India will far more than double. The United States will increase as well, but at a much smaller rate and from a much lower baseline.

This dynamic is actually common. The economics of ecosystem use is still pretty young, but what you generally find is that poor and up-and-coming countries — in South America, Africa, and Asia — do the most damage in areas like land use, ranching, farming, water consumption, etc. If you break down the data from the Global Footprint Network, China exerts far more pressure on its ecosystems per capita than America in terms of crops, grazing, foresting, and fishing.

But where America blows everybody out of the water is carbon emissions per capita. That's what gives you those numbers about how we'd need four or five planets for everyone to live like Americans do.

The critical thing to realize is that China and other similar countries largely have to be in this position. They're trying to lift the living standards of hundreds of millions of people, and the decrease in extreme poverty over the last three decades is one of the great global humanitarian achievements. As Jambeck says, economic development is both the cause and the solution: as China and others pass through to the other side of the process, their waste management infrastructure will catch up, bringing their per capita waste creation more in line with America's. It should play out the same way in areas like cropland use, forestry, etc.


So countries modernize and get themselves out of poverty by destroying the environment? Oh, the irony, ATS. There isn't enough Earth for this to be feasible, and I fear that things are already coming to a head with the set-up as it is now. As the world population increases there will only be the need for more resources and more trash produced-leading to our own demise; wildlife suffering, ecosystems being destroyed, etc... There's a lot of wealth being generated in developing countries as they modernize but is it worth it? What says ATS?

theweek.com...




posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 10:41 PM
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Good good, the plan is coming along nicely. Those whales won't know what hit em.



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 10:44 PM
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1.NOAA seems to be implying that while the plastic issue is important, there is no great garbage patch:
response.restoration.noaa.gov...


2.With respect to CO2, temperatures have been flat for over 18 years, according to satellite data
lh3.googleusercontent.com...

3.Moreover, CO2 is actually added to greenhouses to boost plant growth to 4 times normal levels or more. Greenhouse operators actually install machines to create MORE CO2
www.johnsongas.com...

E.G. Added CO2 is very good for the plant growth and the planet - not a pollutant. CO2 levels were far higher during the time of the dinosaurs, a time where biodiversity was very high

The current hype has more to do with attempts at justifying gov control of our lives and lining politicians pockets with OUR money.

Don't fall for it
edit on 1-3-2015 by M5xaz because: typo



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 10:55 PM
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originally posted by: M5xaz
1.NOAA seems to be implying that while the plastic issue is important, there is no great garbage patch:
response.restoration.noaa.gov...


2.With respect to CO2, temperatures have been flat for over 18 years, according to satellite data
lh3.googleusercontent.com...

3.Moreover, CO2 is actually added to greenhouses to boost plant growth to 4 times normal levels or more. Greenhouse operators actually install machines to create MORE CO2
www.johnsongas.com...

E.G. Added CO2 is very good for the plant growth and the planet - not a pollutant. CO2 levels were far higher during the time of the dinosaurs, a time where biodiversity was very high

The current hype has more to do with attempts at justifying gov control of our lives and lining politicians pockets with OUR money.

Don't fall for it


I gotta admit that your take on things sounds better than what the article is saying. I just hope there aren't any catastrophic changes as the environment shifts to a warmer setting.



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 10:56 PM
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originally posted by: lostbook
What says ATS?


I tried finding the Great Pyramid using Google Earth and memory. Wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. It's not really all that big when compared to the scale of the Earth or the country of Egypt in general.

I've heard it said that the Great Pacific Trash Heap was larger than the state of Texas, and I wasn't able to easily spot that (never did in fact). Last I heard, it had up and vanished, or sunk, or something. Aside from birds eating it ... I wonder whether or not it's worth the hand wringing ... but that's just me.

Now, you take Fukushima ... and fundamentally change the radiation levels of the ocean(s) ... and you've got my attention. We seem to have mostly forgotten about that.



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 11:06 PM
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a reply to: lostbook

Gore's movie made 35 predictions that ALL FAILED:
scienceandpublicpolicy.org...

Like many politicians, Gore cares only about F*king you over TO TAKE YOUR MONEY

...And GORE CARES ABOUT actually F*king people over, period
www.huffingtonpost.com...


Politicians - scaring you for sex and money....bastards....



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 11:41 PM
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originally posted by: M5xaz
a reply to: lostbook

Gore's movie made 35 predictions that ALL FAILED:
scienceandpublicpolicy.org...

Like many politicians, Gore cares only about F*king you over TO TAKE YOUR MONEY

...And GORE CARES ABOUT actually F*king people over, period
www.huffingtonpost.com...


Politicians - scaring you for sex and money....bastards....


Maybe that's the case but as I said before it IS happening whether or not politicians try to take advantage. I can see it happening in the world today: sinkholes, viruses, extreme heat, extreme cold, glacier melt, stronger storms, consecutive yearly heat records broken, shift in the gulf stream, increase in strong eq's, volcanoe eruptions, and on and on.....

This should be the focus, not a politicians effort(s) to try and take advantage of this situation.



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 11:59 PM
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It is definitely a huge issue, and has an impact on the ecosystem, but there is no actual "island of garbage" floating around there. Vice did special on it in 2012.



I watched it awhile back, pretty informative.



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 12:08 AM
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a reply to: M5xaz

Forgot to add:
1. the author of the article cited by the OP is Jeff Spross, not a scientist but an economics reporter
2. Jeff Spross used to work at Think Progress
3. Think Progress is owned by the Center for American Progress Action Fund
4. The Center for American Progress Action Fund was started with millions given by George Soros in 2003
5. George Soros stands to make BILLIONS with Cap and Trade Carbon "credits", literally selling you air for MONEY, YOUR MONEY, paying off politicians along the way to grease the skids.

Do you think for a second private-jet-set Soros cares for one second about the environment ?
THINK!

Always follow the money
ALWAYS!



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 12:35 AM
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The problem with threads such as this one is that they ignore history.

Europe raped and destroyed the vast majority of their forests. So did the UK and them America came along .... there is not much left of those forests. Once they were huge!

But that was in the past. How much crap did the industrial revolution put into the sea?

What of the radioactive wastelands currently in existence in the US.

What of the thousands of atomic tests carried out by the US and Europe.

But hey .... it is all China's fault and India's as well.

They are both doing what every (now) developed nations have done in the past, but hey, forget all the inconvenient history and just concentrate on blaming the current two biggest ones.

P



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 01:03 AM
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Garbage is certainly a problem, especially plastic. I have a condo down in the Bahamas on one of the more remote islands. The beach that faces the Atlantic, just so much garbage on the beach. Not from residents on the island. Sometimes I find things that are decades old, all chewed up by it's journey in the ocean. One time found some parts from an old 50's GE washing machine. I have personally seen a bird eat a piece of plastic, choke and die...



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 01:07 AM
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a reply to: lostbook

If there is that much plastic and reusable waste in the Pacific (which there is), why wouldn't a mega recycling firm or garbage company collect what is there and then melt it down and sell it to firms? Is it not cost effective to have a giant ship collecting the waste, patroling the garbage patch, and melting it into reusable product on the boat, or at least bundling it into giant cargo blocks of plastic to e melted onshore? It seems that if it were worth it, it would be happening. And if the costs outweigh the expenditures, then an environmental group would help the funding.



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 06:53 AM
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a reply to: iDope

Ummm...that's a very good question...Over a year ago I E-mailed the UN agency for the environment (championsoftheearth@unep.org) and asked them whether there were any plans by member nations to clean up... this...mess...however...I have yet to hear any response back from them......glad I didn't hold my breath on that one...

I suppose that there's not a whole lot of real concern for issues such as this...even amongst agencies claiming to "champion"...such...

I even thought of creating a foundation to clean it up but was unsure how to proceed on that front...any suggestions...?




YouSir
edit on 2-3-2015 by YouSir because: of too much space...



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 07:24 AM
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This issue of ocean junk seems similar to the Space junk issue where the PTB just don't seem to have an answer to the problem. I'm sure the possible solutions have been mulled over and plans may even have been drawn up for how to deal with it. However, no plan of action has been decided on.

Maybe the environmental problem is already past the point of no return anyway so they figure to just ride things out.



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 07:26 AM
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a reply to: pheonix358


Ummm...yeah...your right...lets all just sit on our thumbs cause the way back machine tells us that during the industrial revolution...why...it was a-okay...Then just extrapolate that forward...ad infinitum...ad nauseam...until we're all up to our gills swimming in swill...

Better yet...why not wait until every little backwater third world nation has it's go at deforestation and Beijing air quality...
Yep...that sure sounds like a solution to me...

OR...maybe we could all get off our collective thumbs and actually spend a few dollars on a solution going forward...What do you think about that...................hmmm...?






YouSir



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 07:34 AM
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a reply to: iDope

inhabitat.com...

A teenager has actually invented something along the lines of what you're saying.



The device consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world. Instead of moving through the ocean, the array would span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel. The angle of the booms would force plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it would be separated from plankton, filtered and stored for recycling.

Read more: 19-Year-Old Student Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From the World's Oceans | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 08:14 AM
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Deleted - somebody has posted same above.
edit on 2-3-2015 by and14263 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 08:47 AM
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a reply to: M5xaz



Way to use some bogus rationalization to make it sound like we are not causing too much destruction to this planet. Most of the links you provided are NOT legitiment sources of science information, instead sources of bogus and misleading information. The great garbage patch is real, though it is not an 'island of garbage' as some seem to imagine it. CO2 is a problem, and this planet is loosing plant life as a result of human activity.....

The fact is humanity continues to cause great extinctions around the planet, we continue to trash and pollute the planet and forums like these where good minds are supposed to brainstorm



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 09:03 AM
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a reply to: pheonix358

Russia is still 49% forest, Russia also being the largest country on the planet, so there is no shortage of forest, Germany still has large forests, as do most east European countries, even hedgerows help to absorb carbon dioxide, although if we want more food, we will need more CO2.



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 12:03 PM
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Are there people in Europe and the United States actively dumping plastic into the ocean? I want to know who these people are so they can be prosecuted.




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