Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to pooh-pooh anything I perceive as hippie nonsense, and this includes a great deal of environmental nonsense (watch Penn & Teller's Bullshit! episodes on recycling and the environmental movement for a pretty good explanation of why I roll my eyes).
But the story linked below just has to be told. Executive summary: There are three spots in the oceans where the water runs very slowly. The currents just kind of swirl there, so a lot of stuff gets stuck. These things are hundreds of miles across.
They are also visibly awash in discarded plastic.
Hundreds of miles, folks.
We all know that plastic has a nasty tendency to stick around for... well, we don't even know how long, but suffice it to say a long fucking time, but we usually think this is just sitting under a pile of dirt in Brighton, CO or something, waiting for some future civilization to turn it into baby food or something with their advanced technology. I don't think most of use realize how much gets into the ocean.
And what happens then.
Since it doesn't break down--it just breaks apart-- it ends up getting eaten/breathed/absorbed by everything in the ocean. So the tasty fish I eat almost every day? Full of plastic. I am full of plastic.
We have no idea what this does to people, but we're starting to see some results and, not surprisingly, they aren't good.
Read the article and have a look around. Try to find a room in your house--hell, a square foot of your house--that doesn't have plastic in it.
The biggest question I have, though, is that why, despite the fact that a lot of people know about these cesspools of plastic, wasn't the public told? This is a serious and obvious problem, beyond "yeah yeah there are a few water bottles floating around in the ocean, whatever." There are oceans of plastic.
What do we do?