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"Plastic Continent" roughly the size of Texas in the Pacific

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posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 05:14 AM
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The other continent


Laura Rose
From DivineCaroline.com) - When I heard about the "Plastic Continent" in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I have to admit that I thought it was just an urban myth or an overreaction by some extreme activists.

Much to my dismay, what I found by searching the Internet was that it was more of an understatement than an exaggeration. There it was "3.5 million tons of trash, 80 percent of it plastic" a mass twice the size of Texas. Yes, TEXAS!

At a cost of billions of dollars to clean up the mess, no country wants to take responsibility for it, and so it has continued to grow at a rate of tenfold per decade since 1950.

Sea turtles mistake plastic sandwich bags for jellyfish, and birds feed their young bottle caps and other plastic chards, unknowingly filling their stomachs to the point that they die of starvation. Beaches once scattered with drift wood and seashells are increasingly covered in plastic debris.

If you live in San Francisco, you now know why the Board of Supervisors, led by Ross Mirkarimi, outlawed the use of plastic bags in grocery stores and other retail outlets. Every city needs to follow their example and make this a priority.

Right now, there doesn't seem to be much that we can do about the garbage dump that churns between San Francisco and Hawaii, but we can do our part to keep it from growing.

1) Tell everyone you know about the Plastic Continent. The first step in solving any problem is awareness.

2) Use reusable shopping totes.

3) Get rid of the plastic sandwich bags in your child's lunch box, or at least reduce the number you use. Replace them with reusable containers or, at a minimum, rinse them and use again.

4) Buy a stainless water bottle. Make it a policy among friends and organizations to bring stainless bottles to soccer games and other sporting events and outings.



5) Write to your local, state, and national political leaders. Encourage them to outlaw the use of plastic bags. Know that lobbyists for plastic manufacturers are very influential; we need to influence with our letters and our votes.

6) Watch what you consume. Our lifestyle of constant consumerism and instant gratification hasn't just hurt our wallets, it's hurt our environment.

SOURCE:climate.weather.com...

[edit on 3-9-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]

[edit on 3-9-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]




posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 05:18 AM
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I guess we will only learn to stop crapping where we eat when it really smacks us......



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 05:58 AM
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Originally posted by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
I guess we will only learn to stop crapping where we eat when it really smacks us......


But... we don't eat out in the middle of the ocean. We eat on land, because it's hard to move food to your mouth when you're busy trying to stay afloat.

Yeah, we eat the fish from the water... but the fish crap in the water too. Some other fish eat those fishes crap. Rabbits eat their OWN feces. Pigs root in theirs.

Really... everything poops. We gotta poop somewhere, and I'd rather not poop in my pants. So I'll go somewhere else. Most animals do that. Then other animals crossing their path get to step in that poop on accident.


I'm not trying to say we shouldn't be managing our waste far more responsibly (littering is a bit pet peeve of mine, and most of the stuff in that plastic continent comes from land-based litter swept out to sea by storm drains). I'm just pointing out the silliness of your statement.


This news is pretty old anyhow. Welcome to the party.

This thing really needs to get taken care of somehow, but while it's here, it's a fascinating example of complexity and emergent phenomena. A butterfly flaps it's wings in LA, and a man in Tokyo loses a plastic bag in the wind. Amazing.

[edit on 3-9-2009 by Lasheic]



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 06:09 AM
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reply to post by Lasheic
 


The difference is that we dont poop plastic bags -.-'

So i dont understand your point.. We are talking here of non-organic stuff.. Not poo..



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 07:30 AM
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Wow! I had no idea how bad it gotten...
I heard in Africa there are plastic bags flying around everywhere (forget which country) so they made it illegal to get new ones...
Should happen here too. So often I buy one thing put in a plastic bag I refuse. Such a waste. Same with all the individually wrapped products.

Reminds me of Futurama when Fry has the individually wrapped cookie halves and icing and opens them all, puts them in the machine makes an oreo, then eats the icing and throws out the cookies!!



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 07:52 AM
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This issue at hand is that no country is willing to take resposibility for it.

The Pacific Garbage Patch. I think thats what they call it. A swirl of garbage.

The nations that travel to space should unite, put money together and send it to space, one capsule at a time. As many times as they go up there anyways, it would be one solution. At least it wouldn't be hear on Earth. Its a long shot, and would never happen.

Seems like everyone is on the same page. No one wants to take responsiblity for their actions. Especially countries that pollute.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 07:54 AM
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reply to post by havok
 


They should simply harvest the trash and use it in a Plasma Gassification Furnace to generate electricity.
linkity link



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 07:56 AM
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fail without pics

2nd line



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 07:59 AM
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reply to post by Picao84
 


Well then, you should find fault with his analogy - not my response to it. I even stated directly that I was just poking fun at the illogical analogy in plain text, because I thought my intent might be misunderstood by some, not picking up on the clear contrast between my statements about about the poop and the statements about the plastic. I guess I severely underestimated the reading comprehension abilities of some people here.

But if you want to drag it out and make the analogy between "trash" and "poop" anyhow, you have to make the connection that "Trash is a waste product". Right? Animals produce waste products as well. Ours is no different, just more sophisticated and less biodegradable. Theirs has a competitive ecosystem over thousands of years to adapt creatures to use other creatures trash/poop. We've only been making plastics for less than a century now. (and, while not plastic, we have see the emergence of nylon digesting bacteria, so it is happening with our trash and toxins too.

And really, when was the last time you saw a beaver clean up and deconstruct their dams when they're done? They disintegrate, break apart, flow down river, and the sticks are used for other things. We see that happen with our trash as well.



www.ted.com...



The mycelium is producing enzymes -- peroxydases -- that break carbon-hydrogen bonds. These are the same bonds that hold hydrocarbons together. So the mycelium becomes saturated with the oil, and then, when we returned six weeks later, all the tarps were removed, all the other piles were dead, dark, and stinky. We came back to our pile, it was covered with hundreds of pounds of oyster mushrooms -- and the color changed to a light form. The enzymes re-manufactured the hydrocarbons into carbohydrates -- fungal sugars. Some of these mushrooms are very happy mushrooms. They're very large. They're showing how much nutrition that they could've obtained. But something else happened, which was an epiphany in my life. They sporulated, the spores attract insects, the insects laid eggs, eggs became larvae. Birds then came, bringing in seeds, and our pile became an oasis of life. Whereas the other three piles were dead, dark and stinky, and the PAH's -- the aromatic hydrocarbons -- went from 10,000 parts per million to less than 200 in eight weeks. The last image we don't have -- the entire pile was a green berm of life.


So... yeah. While I by NO means suggest we just dump our trash everywhere and let nature deal with it, what I am suggesting is that we are a natural product of a natural environment. And our advanced "poop" is also a natural and emergent product of an adaptive system... and it WILL be incorporated into the ecosystem.

The question is... do we want that? No. It is radical and accelerated change which WILL lead to ecosystem collapse. By the time it can fully recover, we'll have "new trash" they aren't adapted to... and even then, if a species depends on our trash for it's survival and an ecosystem is adapted for our junk, then we go extinct... we collapse the ecosystem again since we no longer produce that trash/waste.

We can do FAR better, IMO.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 08:11 AM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


I resided on the west coast for many years specifically Northern California and wondered about the garbage scows I used to see going up and down the coast. In retrospect I was in denial of what was happening with the trash. This is really a sad state of affairs "a trash island twice the size of Texas" my god. I for one will stop using plastic products and looking further to see what I can do to mitigate my share of trash.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 08:31 AM
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I am yet to see any photos of this 'rubbish island'. Here are some other threads on it for you...

www.abovetopsecret.com...
www.abovetopsecret.com...

EDIT: Infact, unless I'm missing something all I've heard is a lot of extreme talk about how big this thing is... "Thousands of football fields", "The size of Texas", "Twice the size of Texas".

I'd like to deny ignorance on this story but at the moment I only have hearsay to go by. Seems a bit sus' to me to be honest.

I 've seen the story three times and never seen a picture of a floating island that is 520,000 square MILES. That is twice the size of Texas according to Google. That is huge.



[edit on 3-9-2009 by and14263]



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 08:34 AM
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If this is TWICE the size of texas, they're no real reason why it hasn't been caught on camera via google earth or something similar. I mean, that's 537,640 square miles... that's nearly the size of Alaska.

I want pics or it didn't happen.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 08:42 AM
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reply to post by Ecidemon
 

I'm slowly finding some... not in any sort of context though and not that huge.
www.weoped.com...

Ed: Sat view> www.greenopia.com...



[edit on 3-9-2009 by and14263]



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 08:42 AM
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reply to post by havok
 




The nations that travel to space should unite, put money together and send it to space


Yeah... we can't even get health-care passed, something that directly benefits the people, and you think everyone is going to be honky-dorey with having their taxes jacked to shoot garbage into space @ $6,000/lb? Socialized Garbage Disposal? GLOBALIST garbage agenda? Sorry, but it ain't gonna happen. Besides, we have enough junk floating around up there to keep track of.




No one wants to take responsiblity for their actions. Especially countries that pollute.


Did you know that about 50% of America's electricity is generated by burning coal? To download 1Mb of data over the internet, is the rough equivalent to burning a charcoal briquette? Despite what the industry claims, there is no such thing as "Clean Coal". Just sequestered and stored, like toxic waste. What happens to a local environment if that CO2 leaks out in concentration? Geological instabilities? So just being here and talking about reptilian takeovers and aliens and ghosts and pointless crap is wasting quite a lot of energy that could be getting conserved or used elsewhere. Would you give up 5 additional hours on the net a week to take responsibility? Carbon Credits?

It really is a very complex issue, especially on the global scale of countries working together or sacrificing. I can see why nobody wants to do it... but eventually someone is going to have roll up their sleeves and do something. Likely not until, when it becomes cost beneficial. In the mean time, I say put more research funding into solar panels and lab-grown meat, as well as developing new and unique bacteria/organisms which can help take care of some of this stuff cost effectively through the biosphere. All of which will be here in the next 20 years.


Originally posted by ScaredCabbage
fail without pics

2nd line


No... fail without pics... FROM SPACE!

Otherwise, look, I know this is a conspiracy theory site but... ah... this isn't a big secret. Do a Google image search or something.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 08:44 AM
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reply to post by Lasheic
 


Sat view here>
www.greenopia.com...

Not sure on source etc



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 08:46 AM
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reply to post by and14263
 


12 more pictures here.
I guess it does exist!
www.treehugger.com...



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 08:47 AM
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And they wonder why Sharks and other predatory fish are preying on humans.

Whales and dolphins beaching themselves...

With this current administration... I'm starting to feel like them. What's the use... *sigh*



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 08:55 AM
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Originally posted by and14263
reply to post by and14263
 


12 more pictures here.
I guess it does exist!
www.treehugger.com...


Still not seeing a 200,000+ square mile patch as claimed. I'm not saying there isn't a bunch of garbage, because we know there is, but that isn't what this is about. Where is this mobile island? And I'm not buying the green swirl they claim is the garbage patch.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 08:59 AM
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reply to post by Ecidemon
 

Yeah I hear you here. I was thinking the same thing myself about the size and the sat view picture. I was kind of taken in at first but I think you're comments are definitely valid.
I guess it's another way of making us fear global warming, fear the thought of not recycling and generally keep us from some real truth.

Nothing changes then.


[edit on 3-9-2009 by and14263]



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 09:00 AM
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I saw this story at c2c the other night and it just sickens me, what got me is that it is from thousands of miles away but accumulating in the Pacific.

Even though we have 'some' regulations on the debris, other countries such as Japan and China are not as precautious and their stuff mixed with ours is just making a bad situation even worse.

We have the ability to do so many things why not create some way to gather and dispose of this problem?

I remember reading about the puppies they found in the mess. The bio hazzards are there we know, aids infected needles, ebola, plague, typhoid you name it. And then people eat the fish caught that have been feeding off this mess, whew, we realllly need to work on our planet before attempting to reach to the stars and beyond.

When articles like this come out, it only makes people retreat back from the reality of the world we live in rather than standing united to fight against the pollution we are creating as a whole.

With strandings and death of our aquatic species at an all time high, what on earth are we thinking? It is the pollution.



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