Today, it is Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 8:10 pm. in Southern California.
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These images astounded me. Honestly, I was utterly delighted, out LOUD. Some might think these images constituted some form of abuse, but I’m thinking it’s quite likely the dogs rather enjoyed the extra grooming and attention. They certainly seem to radiate a pleasant attitude in the images.
The Seaplex research ship is finishing up its exploratory voyage into the Great Pacific Gyre. This gyre is a huge continent-sized area in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that is now serving as a slow swirling repository for plastic bits of debris in every square meter down to a considerable depth…
The Chief Research Scientist offered up a profoundly revealing quote on today’s Seaplex blog:
“The next time we cut the small boat’s engine to pick up a piece of trash, we noticed that the ocean’s surface was covered in polka dots of tiny plastic. Though we’d been pulling up plastic in our nets for days, seeing it freely floating about, not bunched up in a net, was shocking. The magnitude of the problem suddenly came crashing down on me – how could there be this much plastic just floating in a random patch of ocean a thousand miles from land?”
Updated: 5:48 PM 8/12/2009 The News is In
Researchers Finding Much More Plastic than Expected
It’s hard to imagine finding plastic garbage fragments and bits throughout the huge Pacific Ocean. But, researchers are doing just that. From the very start of their journey, they are netting plastic with every tow sampling.
Images below: See the plastic bits floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles from land. The Scripps Institute Research vessel is reporting its findings.
Giant Floating Garbage Patch: The Scripps Institute Reseach vessel has officially reached the huge “Great Pacific Floating Patch” in the Pacific Gyre.
Today, they report finding much more plastic than expected. In fact, they are finding it everywhere, even from the beginning of their voyage.
One of the observers describes what they are seeing: “It is a soup of bits, pieces and strands. If you look out over the water you see a beautiful cobalt blue ocean. If you look down you see a little bits of things that were once important to someone probably 1,000 miles away…
Most of the water has plastic in it. With the obvious and already stated fact that the ocean is huge, it is the job of the scientist to put the numbers into perspective…”
They are collecting small feeder fish, expressing concern that the small feeder fish that are eaten by larger predator fish may be eating fragments of plastic, thus absorbing chemicals and toxins directly into their systems. Since we eat the larger fish that feed upon these feeder fish, we would be ingesting these pollutants from our seafood.
This seems to be a more serious problem than they had imagined. Although they are glad they were able to reach their destination, discover exactly what they were looking for, they find themselves somewhat somber and a bit depressed having seen the severity of the problem.
They also are reporting via CBS 8 that a large number of sea turtles, birds, mammals and fish sea life are dying due to the marine debris.
The researchers will be investigating ways to clean up the “toxic mess.”
Previously Updated: 9:42 AM 8/4/2009 Project Kaisei Embarks to Investigate the “Dump”
Sylvia Earle “Explorer-in-Residence”
National Geographic, Mission Programs
“Solving a problem starts with knowing that you have one. Project Kaisei vividly shows how discarded plastics are clogging the ocean, causing a major problem for the planet’s vital “blue heart,” entangling marinelife and insidiously killing as it accumulates in the food chain, from tiny plankton to great whales. Best of all, the mission highlights hope with ideas for positive action.” http://www.projectkaisei.org/
Note: The Project Kaisei team will embark on a multi-week expedition to the “Plastic Vortex” from the West Coast in order to:
– Study and document the marine debris found in this area of the Pacific Ocean;
– Test catch methods for removing the debris;
– Conduct research on the chemical interactions of marine debris in the gyre and select fishes and wildlife related to persistent organic pollutants (POPs);
– Understand the needs required to undertake an eventual large scale clean-up of the waste material;
– Test technologies for conversion into an economically viable by-product: diesel fuel.”
Updated: 4:01 PM 4/26/2009
A giant, almost endless plastic soup extends
a wider distance than the length and breadth
of the United States, right smack in the middle
of the Pacific Ocean.
UPDATE 9:37 AM 8/4/2009 – Scripps Embarks…
Scripps Scientists Aboard Research Vessel to Study Huge Garbage Dump
“From August 2-21, a group of doctoral students and research volunteers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego will embark on an expedition aboard the Scripps research vessel New Horizon to explore the problem of plastic in the North Pacific Gyre.
The Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition (SEAPLEX) is the first of its kind and will focus on a suite of critical questions. How much plastic is accumulating, how is it distributed, and how is it affecting ocean life?
The researchers hope to provide critical, timely data to policy makers and combine Scripps’ long tradition of Pacific exploration with focus on a new and pressing environmental problem. ” http://seaplexscience.com
This plastic “continent” stretches a distance wider than the United States and can be 90 deep or greater in places. It’s growing by leaps and bounds due to extensive plastic waste cast off by a “throwaway” mentality of the world’s consumers.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Garbage
There’s a continent of garbage in the Pacific gyre. (Gyre: swirling center region of the ocean’s currents)
There’s garbage all over Mt. Everest – it’s “notoriously filthy.”
Some garbage can live a million years… or more.
Landfills pollute worse than… chernobyl. Then expel vast quantities of toxic gases.
Plasma” can obliterate garbage. (Discovery Link to Plasma Gasification)
See more about Plasma, below.
According to Charles Moore, garbage growth is so extensive that the expansion of this island of trash seems virtually unstoppable, and may eventually, sooner than later, choke off the world’s fish supply.
Currently, over 90% of the world’s larger consumable fish stores are gone, depleted.
In addition, if the destruction of plankton is severe enough, oxygen levels will diminish and the world’s atmosphere is at risk.
There are many foreseen as well as unforeseen repurcussions to the huge accumulations of non-biodegradable waste in the world’s oceans.
Animals are indeed dying in record numbers exceeding hundreds of thousands. Seabirds feed their young colorful plastic bits, and the baby birds die a slow death. Sea mammals perish in netting and plastic coils and strips and die from poisoning as well.
Almost all fish are becoming contaminated with plastic bits and chemicals – even the tiniest fish. As Charles Moore says, “You can buy certified organic produce, but no fishmonger on earth can sell you a certified, organic, wild caught fish.”
The only solution: To stop the plastic at its source. It would be impossible to clean up the ocean. No country or power has the money or wherewithal to remove even a small proportion of plastic trash.
Here’s a little note sent by a friend to their pastor. Religious or not, has some interestingly good points… : )
Dear Church Pastor –
So sorry missed you this Sunday – but how about putting your sermon online? That way, wouldn’t have to go…
Wouldn’t that be GREAT?
Please let all the people at your church know to be more welcoming and loving and stop walking around so clicquish with stern churchly looks.
If I had a church I would go around with a big fat smile looking everyone in the eye with love pouring from every vein.
I would say hello to everyone and clasp their hand with both of mine. I would encourage my flock to love each other like they love themselves, and do something fun and nice, like hand each other $1 and give each other a handshake or hug.
Okay the $1 is over the top.
At my church, NO FROWNS allowed. As their pastor, I would wander around before church always welcoming, especially the down trodden and EVEN the tax collectors.
I would introduce people to each other.
At my church, there would always be a little cookie table where you could buy a little treat to eat while loving the Lord.
There would be a joke of the day – something to laugh about. I would sternly admonish my flock to not be stern.
I would rail against this guy –
It would be a cool church.
LUCKILY this will NOT come to pass as i could NEVER have a church for reals.
Your beloved flocklet,
PS: Thank you for praying for me – i can tell you are!
Tourist with Large Posterior
Squashes Small Donkey into Flat Patty
Okay, i jest a bit and bridle… Message to all tourists – have a heart. If you’re overweight, don’t cause your donkey’s legs to buckle.
Video below (just took it down, sorry, link below instead) shows one furry fellow’s back legs giving in due to the huge weight of the overflowing woman atop.
Someone once told me a story about their father’s donkey who wept tears while he was being beaten… Tears poured from the little guy’s eyes.
For some reason, the video I previously posted above was ponderously slow so took it down. It’s rather like the gait of the ponderously thighed tourist… Sincere apoloplectics because of it. Sky News Article Here.