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floating plastic island in the pacific twice the size of Texas

This is really messed up.

Mission to Break up Pacific Island of Rubbish Twice the Size of Texas | CommonDreams.org

Quote:
Mr Moore found bottle caps, plastic bags and polystyrene floating with tiny plastic chips. Worn down by sunlight and waves, discarded plastic disintegrates into smaller pieces. Suspended under the surface, these tiny fragments are invisible to ships and satellites trying to map the plastic continent, but in subsequent trawls Mr Moore discovered that the chips outnumbered plankton by six to one.
Plastic Soup | Granville

Quote:
In the middle of the near-deserted North Pacific, where marine life is limited and wind is practically non-existent, the all-too-common pieces of floating trash are the only visible indication of an ocean-altering problem lurking in the dark and churning waters below. Garbage from all over the globe collects here and has created an underwater landfill that spans an area estimated to be at least twice the size of Texas.


Interestingly, it’s the smallest plastic particles—polymers—that are the most dangerous. Magnets for oily toxins like DDT and PCBs, the polymers absorb and concentrate these chemicals up to levels a million times higher than they would be in the ocean alone. And, tiny as they are, polymers are eaten by creatures at the bottom of the food chain; the toxic chemicals work their way up and end up right on your dinner plate.

They’ve conducted two research expeditions (in 1999 and 2008) during which they discovered the gyre’s plastic content is climbing at an alarming rate.

“In 1999, we found six times more plastic than plankton in the patch,” says Charles Moore, founder of Algalita. “In 2008, in the convergence zone that flows into the patch, we found samples with [plastic to plankton] ratios of 40 to one.”
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:53 AM
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I posted a pic of this in the "random pics" thread, and it was called PARF.
Not sure why the survival of humankind could be considered a political issue.
Old 09-28-2009, 10:57 AM
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Time to move this to PARF
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:04 AM
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This is not PARFy

It's pollution.

Nevermind, now I understand why it's PARFy. PARF is pollution too.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:09 AM
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How is this possibly political? It's an environmental issue, which is (or at least should be) completely bi-partisan.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:12 AM
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Actual trash from the Gyre




Not from the Gyre, this is on a beach in HI

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Old 09-28-2009, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christien View Post
How is this possibly political? It's an environmental issue, which is (or at least should be) completely bi-partisan.
Because the people who work for this organization are hard-core environmentalists.
Past history has shown us that these types of people often greatly exaggerate conditions in order to generate interest and grant money.
That may or may not be the case in this situation.

Their financial statement reveals that they recieved $750,486 in grant money in 2008, up considerably from the year before.

A company I worked for for 9 years is a major contributor. They contribute to keep certain other groups off their back. Kinda like they used to do in chigaco and New York a long time ago.
It is hardly bi-partisan.

Let me ask you a question:
if they put out a report that stated there was a little plastic floating in this area but it's not enough to seriously worry about, how much money do you think they'd collect in donations and grants?

Now, I think we can safely say there is a garbage patch, it is real, it does exist.
But how big is it and how severe is this problem?
We have a few posters in this thead that are ready to declare that the end is near and the world and human race is in danger!
Based on what?

This is taken from NOAA's website (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration)
Quote:
How big is the “garbage patch”?
There's really no accurate estimate out there on the size of this debris hot spot. The STCZ, which contains the debris, does not have distinct boundaries and thus the debris in this area cannot be accurately measured. The STCZ is an enormous area without an even distribution of marine debris--it might be a net here, or a buoy there, then in other areas a good-sized swath of litter items, or sub-surface pieces.
Estimates of size can vary from hundreds of square miles to hundreds of thousands of square miles depending on who is doing ther estimating.

Some folks like to make it sounds like it's one giant solid pile of junk. It isn't.
It's an area where trash and garbage is more concentrated than in other areas.

Let's look at it from a reality standpoint, OK?


Old 09-28-2009, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john70t View Post
I posted a pic of this in the "random pics" thread, and it was called PARF.
Not sure why the survival of humankind could be considered a political issue.
Let me guess, your major was in drama ...
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:19 PM
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must be leftovers from the DNC.
Old 09-28-2009, 01:44 PM
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Its the world's 8th continent and there are mermaid tears involved. We'd better take this seriously. Where do I send my check?

I can barely stomach National Geographic any longer. Things have really gotten carried away.
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Old 09-28-2009, 01:59 PM
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I'll make a deal with you "green" folks....Since I already recycle my plastics, I'll buy a Prius the day ALGORE stops jetting about to warn us about burning fossil fuels...

On second thot...screw the alarmists. I take that back...I love the sound of a throbbing V-8 and the sound of a screaming flat 6.
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwd72s View Post
...I love the sound of a throbbing V-8 and the sound of a screaming flat 6.
he he....he said "throbbing".
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:37 PM
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As much as I tend to sympathize with issues like this, I don't think calling this "floating island of garbage" is accurate. I saw a report on TV about this recently and it is hardly an "island". That conjures up images of some massive, floating pile of garbage that you could walk across. In reality, you could be right in the middle of this "patch of garbage" and not even see anything.

Sure, there's lots of non-biodegradable crap out in the ocean, but this is not the huge deal they are making it out to be.
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Old 09-28-2009, 02:51 PM
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sammy thinks everything he doesn't like is political

re "this org." -- do a search and you should find some of the scientific reports on this -- that "org." did not find this rubbish heap

it is unclear how much damage it is doing - surely seems doubtful that it threatens the "survival of humankind"

all of you need to relax...
Old 09-28-2009, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyg2 View Post
Because the people who work for this organization are hard-core environmentalists... snip
Well, to be honest, I have a hard time swallowing the concept when they say it can't been seen by satellite imagery because the particles are too small, so I'm not even really a believer that it's all that big of a problem.

Nevertheless, it's only people who are entrenched in dogma, right or left, that insist issues such as this are political (i.e. the other side believes in it, so therefore I must disagree because I disagree with their politics). It's belief systems like this that bog governments down with partisan politics, and are one of the reasons democracies don't function well.

I'm sure anyone, right or left, will have plenty of "talking points" as the current jargon goes, to dispute this and carry on the R vs L endless arguments which serve to get us nowhere.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:43 PM
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actually, small particle size is one of the problems -- it increases the surface area for release of plasticizers, which are known to disrupt the endocrine systems of animals

people eat some of the animals, so....

BUT, no one knows yet how big a problem it is.
Old 09-28-2009, 03:54 PM
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If anyone could come up with a way to clean it up I would be interested. For the last hundred years ships have been dumping their trash at sea and this is what we get. I don't think many do it anymore but how can anyone be sure. Not being allowed to dump trash at sea is like outlawing whaling, people still do it.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:54 PM
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It is very real, though as stated above it isn't a physical "island" in the literal sense. The gyre (there are a few) acts as concentrators for all the crap that ends up in the ocean.

As for the ramifications, at some point "dilution is the solution to pollution" will fail to work.
Old 09-28-2009, 04:08 PM
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Out in the middle of the ocean- Away from people. What a great place for the dump!
Old 09-28-2009, 05:05 PM
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What size island of trash in the ocean is worthy of concern?
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:15 PM
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