A Continent of Garbage Twice the Size of Texas

…floats in the Pacific a thousand miles off the coast of California.

Update: Or maybe not that big after all. Still not good, but the site in the first link is giving off distinct Crankishness waves.

Get it? Waves? I am soooo witty!

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  • Andy, Bad Person

    While such a garbage patch is a failure of humanity’s stewardship of the earth, we should get our facts straight. The blog you linked to promotes “Ecocosmology,” which seems to be a form of transhumanism. They have a motivation to exaggerate the facts.

    In fact, Wikipedia lists the size at “twice the size of Hawaii, while a recent study concluded that it might be smaller.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch

    Not that even a garbage patch that small is acceptable, but such gross exaggerations undermine the credibility of the awareness campaign.

  • http://www.parafool.com victor

    Yeah, the last sentence of that article with the link to the “4 Tenets of Ecocosmology” (spoiler alert: none of them are named David) had me reaching for my tinfoil hat.

  • Faith

    I recently read a very good book called Plastic; A Toxic Love Story. The book is just straight reporting and tries very hard to be objective, but the author was still horrified by this floating continent of garbage. A very good book to read that doesn’t play into politics and will galvanize a reasonable person into taking the mess we make seriously (but not in a flakey, transhumanism, eco-religious way).

  • http://disputations.blogspot.com Tom K.

    Also, per the Wikipedia article, it’s more like a swamp than a continent: “The patch is not easily visible because it consists of very small pieces, almost invisible to the naked eye, most of its contents are suspended beneath the surface of the ocean.”

    It’s estimated that the mass density of plastic in the North Pacific central gyre is six times that of plankton (http://www.alguita.com/gyre.pdf) . Which is a lot of plastic, but not quite at build-a-house-on levels.

  • Kristen inDallas

    Wow, looks like the author at the OP was NOT happy with some of you. He added a shoutout:

    “Some disabused children of Catholics and loving it are into the cover-up game all over again.
    They can’t they be happy with covering up the rapes of children, so now they are covering up the rape of the Earth?
    It figures, they are Oil-Qaeda’s priests.”

    And, if possible, I found the linked blog (at oil-Qaeda) to be even MORE rational and loving than the above statement. ;-)

    • Noah D

      Well, having read through more of that blog, the author’s opprobrium isn’t exactly a badge of dishonor.

  • HBanan

    I’m both delighted and disappointed; having heard of the “garbage continent,” I thought that if I were ever stranded in the ocean, I could climb aboard the floating island, get out of the water, maybe find some Doritos, and row myself to shore on the garbage raft. So, that’s never going to happen. I’m happy that the situation isn’t quite as bad as I’d thought — another sad side effect of sensationalized environmental reporting. Instead of thinking, “Oh! So much bisphenol A, how dangerous!” I thought, “Oh, good, it’s only a massive continent-sized particle slurry, not a massive continent-sized garbage heap.”

    • Andy, Bad Person

      It’s still a crime against nature, but we don’t need to exaggerate it for it to be bad.

      It’s not continent-sized. It’s Hawaii-sized.

  • Josh

    Does this prove there is such a thing as a “ritually impure source” after all?


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