Blog Action Day (The Great Pacific Garbage Patch)

In Blog Action Day, Rich on October 15, 2010 by Two Barbers Tagged: , , ,

Although the name may sound slightly reminiscent of an old Peanut’s TV special, there is nothing funny or innocent about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  This floating plastic dump is twice the size of Texas and despite efforts to clean it up, continues to grow at an exponential pace.  It sits in the center of the Northern Pacific Ocean, and because of it’s position in the vortex of the horse latitudes gyre doesn’t shift or break up, it just accumulates mass, destroying more and more of one of the most important oceanic ecosystems in the world.

Every day birds and other sea creatures are eating plastic particles from this island and developing cancer or dying of asphyxiation as a result of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  These lower members of the food chain are then consumed by larger animals such as dolphins, game fish, sharks, even humans, who in turn also get sick and die.  In effect this is simultaneously destroying animals integral to the food chain at every level.  The effects of this tragedy aren’t just felt by the North Pacific ocean but by the entire globe, you are not safe from it no matter where you live on the planet.

This is just one of the more blatant examples of the damage we’re doing to the world’s oceans and as a result the planet as a whole.  Species that we all grew up admiring are becoming endangered or even extinct at rates never before seen in the history of man.  On top of that, clean drinking water, perhaps our most essential resource, is becoming a scarce commodity.  We may feel relatively unaffected by throwing an empty chip bag or plastic bottle on the ground, but the reality of the situation is it will probably end up here.  It will contribute to the pointless death of some living being, and it’s effects will somehow reach you or someone you love at some point.

Before you throw trash on the ground, think not only about the effect it’s going to have tomorrow but the kind of desolate, barren existence you are creating for your descendants.  To find a solution may be difficult, but doing your part is as as simple as carrying the virtually weightless piece of trash the extra half a block to properly dispose of it.  A little effort goes a long way…


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