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"Trash Island" discovered in the Pacific Ocean

Berlin, February 24th. An entire "island" composed of trash has been discovered in the Pacific Ocean. It is as large as the Central Europe.
According to the German magazine "Geo", plastic objects prevail among the trash. The "island" weights approximately three million tons in its entirety. This is six times greater than a number of natural plankton.

Scientists claim that the "island", situated between California and Hawaiian islands, forms circular ocean currents which now accumulate wastes by the shores of Japan and the US and bring it to the center of the Ocean.

Source: http://newsfromrussia.com/science/2004/02/24/52469.html

News from Russia 27.Feb.2004 18:56

NS

Now that's one reliable source!

That's one fake looking "island" 28.Feb.2004 01:34

eek

somebody's been messing around with Photoshop again.

It wouldn't suprise me if someday it happened... 28.Feb.2004 01:52

h

"It is as large as the Central Europe." -- ha ha

Really though, it wouldn't suprise me if someday this did happen.

Here's a more truthful article: "Cousteau Finds "Horrifying" Trash on Desert Islands"

 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/07/0728_030728_trashhawaii.html

did they gyre and gimbal in the wabe? 28.Feb.2004 07:22

Susan

Is this about the North Pacific Gyre?

From an article published by CBS News...

"Day after day after day, when I came on deck I saw objects floating by: toothbrushes, bottlecaps and soap bottles," says Captain Charles Moore.

As plastic ages it crumbles, leaving so many tiny fragments that Moore found seawater in the Gyre contained more plastic than plankton, the tiny sea life that many ocean creatures feed on.

To jellyfish, the plastic particles seem like food.

"It's like putting them on a plastic diet," says Moore. "It becomes part of their tissue."

 http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/06/eveningnews/main591770.shtml
The video (recommended) has a great image of a floating basketball encrusted with shellfish.

also Google on -- North Pacific Gyre trash

The problem *is* plastics 28.Feb.2004 11:08

xyzzy

YYa gotta love the following line from the plastics industry in the CBS article:

> "Put another way: Plastic doesn't pollute, people pollute."

It totally misses the point. Yes, improper disposal is a key part of the question. However, when things like, say, paper-based wastes are improperly disposed, they quickly disintegrate and decay in the environment. Plastic lingers, and lingers, and lingers, and ....

Disposal of plastic-based products is a classic example of a fault-intolerant process. Blaming it all on the disposal process is unrealistic. Suppose Boeing's newest aircraft was found to be very susceptible to crashing after a certain relatively common type of pilot error. What had formerly been something that pilots could recover from suddenly becomes fatal. Would it be a correct response to simply blame the pilots of the crashed planes because their error is what immediately preceded the crash? Certainly not -- expecting pilots to never make mistakes is unrealistic. Pilots are people and people make mistakes.

Likewise, saying "plastic doesn't pollute" misses the point. Shit happens. Trash cans blow over in windstorms. Despite efforts to stop the practice, some people litter. Others drop things and fail to notice it. Traffic and rail accidents scatter shipments of plastic containers.

Portland

story I heard 28.Feb.2004 16:56

me

South Africa made thost little plastic grocery bags illegal recently, I read somewhere. It seemed that they were covering the whole landscape. People were joking that the bag should be the state bird. So THE STATE did something against CORPORATIONS. Remember that.

All this 'equal blame' nonesense is only the corporations talking--attempting to hide themselves behind consumer flag, just as Bush attempts to hide behind the American flag.

Guess it was just everyone's fault for using DDT as well, eh? Guess it is just everyone's fault for taking drugs that were improperly tested, that either kill them or maim them? Guess it is just everyone's fault that patents for more gas efficient cars are bought up and sat on by oil and engine corporations? Guess it is everyone's fault for eating mad cow beef? Guess it's everyone's fault we have nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors?

No. Unrepresentative organizations make things and release them--and attempt to remove other choices. Starbucks is another great example. Expansion and removal of choices, so stop pretending we are dealing with choices. We are dealing with an infrastructure of power that has been imposed without choice. These organizations are to blame.

Of course there is the element of consumptive ambivalance of individuals, though that is after the fact of who is RESPONSIBLE for releasing it and allowing it into the environment without thinking in terms of the "seven generations" motif. And organizations are responsible for maintaining through the media the ignorance of the public at large--as witnessed in how the CBS article makes it seem that plastic is just some part of the natural environment.

See why the trash doesn't accumulate . . . 29.Feb.2004 16:48

Islander

 link to seattlepi.nwsource.com

Hungry cod swallows Coke can off Norway

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

OSLO, Norway -- Things probably would have gone better without Coke for a codfish that swallowed a soda can.

Stig Skaar and his family in western Norway found a slightly dented but intact Coca-Cola can inside the stomach of the fish, media reported Friday.

"I could see something wasn't right," Skaar was quoted as saying by his local newspaper, Marsteinen, in the western Norway town of Austevoll, some 185 miles west of Oslo.

The fish, caught in the waters off Norway's western coast, was long and skinny and weighed just a few pounds - far less than the 22 pounds a healthy cod of that length should weigh.

The empty soda can filled the fish's entire stomach, leaving no room for real food.

"It's completely unbelievable that he got the whole thing down," Skaar said.

Bergens Tidende, the newspaper in the nearby city of Bergen, reported that cod are notorious for their voracious and indiscriminate appetites.

For example, cods in Norwegian waters have swallowed an 11-pound otter and six frozen hamburger patties, the paper said.

Me, I'm mostly with you except for 29.Feb.2004 17:55

coo

the mad cow beef stuff. Yeah, it is people's fault for eating factory farmed misery meat. They want low priced animal flesh, no matter how much that animal had to suffer for it, no consequences to them at all. Well, stop eating the meat and you won't get the disease that comes from it. It's the cows fighting back, as far as I'm concerned. The destroyed herds were better off--were saved a few more days or weeks of misery before the slaughterhouse. People are responsible for some choices that they make.

Original article about the "Trash Island" discovered in the Pacific Ocean 05.Aug.2004 18:13

Hummel

If you can read German, here's the original article about an entire 'island' composed of trash which has been discovered in the Pacific Ocean, reputedly as large as Central Europe. (This info was quoted in the Russian press) :

 http://www.geo.de/GEO/wissenschaft_natur/2004_02_GEOskop_muell/

Instead of calling it an "island" in the original article, it's described as a plastic carpet which, if SPREAD OUT, is close to the size of Central Europe....

Trash Island full story, please, in english or portuguese if you will, thanks! 07.Aug.2004 11:19

Peaze brcostal@luispeaze.com

Hi, Hummel or any one of the visitors to this page, could you kindly post an address where I can read the entire article in portuguese or in english?
You find me at www.luispeaze.com
or at  http://www.aventuranobrasilcostal.com.br/brcostal.htm Thank you


It is real folks! You better believe it. 20.Sep.2006 09:49

Alex

It alway's amazes me that some people think that this is not true, a joke. I wish it was. Unfortunately it is not a joke. These islands of trash do exist and trash in our oceans is a real concern.

The marine insurance industry pays out multi millions each year for ships engines damaged by trash.

It is real folks! You better believe it.

Go sailing on a rainy day or go to a marina on a rainy day and you'll see trash coming out of drainige pipes floating towards the open ocean.

re: choices 29.Nov.2007 17:46

dh danrh13@comcast.net

Yes, people can make choices. They can choose where to drink coffee (in response to the evil starbucks), and they can choose what to do with their garbage. The point is that people (that includes you and me), do make their own choices. People make the choices that are best for numero uno. That's it. It will end up being the fall of man, not looking out for our true numero uno, earth.