The Trashing of the Pacific Ocean
Man is destroying the Earth at an alarming rate. From greenhouse gases to deforestation to overfilled landfills loaded with plastic products that will last longer than the dinosaurs did, we are slowly poisoning our future on this planet.
As huge chunks of Antarctic ice shelves plunge into the ocean at rates unprecedented in human history, right-wing political pundits decry the warnings of ecologists and scientists, claiming that there is nothing wrong and labeling these scholars as mere alarmists. These self-righteous know-it-alls stand on their soapboxes ranting that there’s no need to spend money to protect our oceans or save a couple of bald eagles and a few trees when so many people are out of work and can’t afford health care. The Earth can take care of herself.
Yes, I believe the Earth will take care of herself. But at what cost – the extinction of man? How many examples of our abuse do we need before we make radical changes? I recently read about a problem I knew nothing about, a massive plastic floating debris field, called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located a thousand miles off the coast of California… Composed mostly of bits and pieces of plastic, this “patch” spans hundreds, maybe thousands of miles of open ocean, possibly being as large as the state of Texas. Yes, I said Texas!
These tiny specs and flecs of plastic and garbage float just below the surface like confetti and change positions with the pacific ocean basin’s currents. This soupy-mix of plastic filled sea water also includes huge masses of fishing nets wreaking havoc on the nearby ecosystems.
This patch is not like a traditional landfill. If you were to fly over the area, you would not see some giant plastic mass floating on top of the ocean. This has been created by decades of dumping trash off boats and ships and from trash that has been washed out into the ocean from beaches. Over time, this plastic debris has been broken down into tiny little confetti-like pieces that will simply not go away on it’s own for centuries or longer.
These tiny plastic pieces are really toxic stuff. Along the Pacific Islands, dead birds are turning up in alarming rates with their stomachs full of this plastic. What other animals are eating this plastic? As the larger animals and marine life eat the smaller animals who eat the plastic, this plastic will eventually make it into the human food supply, if it hasn’t already.
Aren’t you disturbed by this? Isn’t it time to seriously do something? There are events occurring today, like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the have never, ever occurred in the history of the world. EVER. While many events, like ice ages, have been repeated throughout our planet’s history, these unnatural man-made contributions seem to be excelerating these natural phenomenons at an unprecedented rate.
Will Mother Earth survive all of this? You betcha. Life always finds a way. For proof, take a look a Love Canal or Chernobyl. Even though man has deserted these sites, nature has reclaimed them with a vengeance. So life will go on, but if we don’t do something now, the chances are that the life that does go on won’t be man. Good luck, cockroaches. I hope you treat the Earth better than we did. And please don’t forget to rate this post.