Nov 6, 2006

[Earth News] The Plastic Thing in the Ocean

In stranger, yet also disturbing, news, we found an article on the Reuters website that apparently there's a giant "plastic trash vortex" in the middle of the Pacific ocean threatening marine life. We're serious - this is not the twisted plot of some low-budget horror movie. We didn't want to think about how true this really was until we ran a Google News search for the term [plastic vortex] and ended up with at least 18 related articles at the time of the posting of this entry.

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Also known as the "Yellow Thing," for lack of a better name, is a threat to marine life given a variety of species, at least 267 based on the study, manage to get themselves caught in the monstrous garbage barge or worse. Some have attempted to eat some of the non-biodegradable debris while others simply tried to rest upon int and ended up getting entangled in the mixture of plastic wrappers, condoms and other nasty things.

Frankly, it's both disgusting and embarrassing to read about these sorts of things. Our own negligence and lack of concern for other forms of life is repulsive and just plain wrong and it usually takes discoveries of this magnitude to get people even slightly unnerved enough to start to do something about the problem. The challenge is always how to maintain such momentum and get people to continually think about conservation and responsible waste management. These sorts of things tend to become short-lived initiatives that never really pan out since people tend to jump on the next big environmental thing later on.

Sorry for the short rant, but we feel rather strongly about thinking about the planet here at the Guide. Something significant really needs to be done to start resolving these kinds of problems.

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