Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ocean Pollution: Let's help in the solution and not be the problem

For my Project Censored story I chose to research #12, about the Pacific Garbage Dump. I remember hearing about this for the first time during my first year of college and I remember how shocked I was when I saw the pictures⎯a mass of trash that is twice the size of the state of Texas. Unfortunately, the heap that lies in the Pacific Ocean is merely one of the five “trash islands” that have formed in our world’s oceans.

Essential Facts concerning this story:

1. The 5 different gyres (spiral/vortex) are located in the North and South Pacific, the Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

2. There is an estimated 315 billion pounds of plastic trash in these heaps.

3. The trash ends up in the ocean because people are careless when it comes to disposing of their plastics. Much of the plastics consumed in the world do not get recycled and in turn they end up in the ocean, which carries them in the currents to one of the five heaps.

4. The pollution in the ocean has a negative effect on both marine life and the human race.

5. estimates that there are 46 thousand pieces of trash floating in each square mile of the world’s oceans.

This is a YouTube video describing the size, location, etc. of the Pacific Garbage heap. In addition, it depicts a wide variety of pictures.

Project Censored 2012 cites oceanographer Fabien Cousteau as a source of information for this topic. His video is shown below.
Fabien is highly informed on this issue and very passionate about it as well. He points out how important it is that we clean up our world's oceans in describing them as our "circulatory system" because the ocean is the home of 99% of the world's biodiversity and 95% of the world's life.

"We have to start seeing human beings as the potential solution and not just the problem... We need to educate, and empower and have us restore the health of our one, and only, life support system." - Fabien Cousteau
For my LexisNexis search results I got a total of 999 topics that relate to the Great Pacific Garbage dump in one way or another. I believe that in terms of censorship, this topic is not being talked about enough. There are certainly plenty of things to read and consult online about the topic, but not much is being covered by the news media. There are dozens of commercials and television programs that discuss the number of plastic bottles that are thrown away and new products that are supposedly biodegradable. My question is how do we know that any of this information is true? Is there any way that the trash can be eliminated? Will we ever stop using plastics? My hope is that we as a race take into consideration the words that Fabien Cousteau has said on this topic: be the solution, not the problem. We have to promote the awareness of this serious pollution problem or there will never be enough action to stop it. I do want want to live in a world, or my future children, grandchildren, etc., that is polluted to the extent that it is unsafe to be outdoors.

Some other sources of information on this topic are the following:
1. The 5 gyres project.

2. Mother Nature Network

3. Tracking Ocean Debris

4. Pollution of the Marine Environment

5. Leatherback turtles

1 comment:

  1. This is an intense story here, Kaisa.

    And you've done an excellent job of pulling together some links and embedded Web 2.0 stories here.

    Is this REALLY a Censored story, if you got 999 links to other stories here? I don't think so.

    But it is a VITAL story, for sure, one that we keep connected to.

    Excellent work,

    Dr. W