Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Continent Found - Garbage Gyre II

UPDATE 2016: It;s getting "realer & realer"
As was reported on this blog, a man-made garbage "continent" threatens life.

It is twice the size of Texas.

It is floating in the Pacific Ocean 1000 miles off the coast of California.

It is not affectionately called the Garbage Gyre I.

It is usually called the garbage patch by mariners.

Scientists recently took a close look at this northern garbage continent, and were shocked; but now we find out is has an evil twin.

Scientists will now go to the even larger southern garbage "continent" next, Garbage Gyre II, where they have been afraid to look up until now:
"We're afraid at what we're going to find in the South Gyre, but we've got to go there," said Tony Haymet, director of the Scripps Institution.

Only humans are to blame for ocean debris, Goldstein said. In a blog entry posted a day before the science ship arrived in Newport, Ore., she wrote the research showed her the consequences of humanity's footprint on nature.

"Seeing that influence just floating out here in the middle of nowhere makes our power painfully obvious, and the consequences of the industrial age plain," she wrote. "It's not a pretty sight."
(Scripps Paper, PDF, see this and this too). The use of the phrase "the consequences of humanity's footprint on nature" shows the continuing ignorance and erroneous duality in the mind of far too many people.

It is as if they think nature is some separate entity we can do things to without consequence to us, instead of the truth that we are nature, so to the degree that we harm "nature" is the degree to which we harm our species.

Obviously humanity is failing in the goal of long term survival, because to be able to do that the Tenets of Ecocosmology must be adhered to.

Some disabused children are into the cover-up game all over again.

They can't be happy enough 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.

Pope Francis calls the abuse of the Earth a sin:
Pope Francis made the religious case for tackling climate change on Wednesday, calling on his fellow Christians to become “Custodians of Creation” and issuing a dire warning about the potentially catastrophic effects of global climate change.

Speaking to a massive crowd in Rome, the first Argentinian pope delivered a short address in which he argued that respect for the “beauty of nature and the grandeur of the cosmos” is a Christian value, noting that failure to care for the planet risks apocalyptic consequences.

“Safeguard Creation,” he said. “Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!”

The pope centered his environmentalist theology around the biblical creation story in the book of Genesis, where God is said to have created the world, declared it “good,” and charged humanity with its care. Francis also made reference to his namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi, who was a famous lover of animals, and appeared to tie the ongoing environmental crisis to economic concerns — namely, instances where a wealthy minority exploits the planet at the expense of the poor.

“Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude,” Francis said.

Francis also said that humanity’s destruction of the planet is a sinful act, likening it to self-idolatry.
(Climate Progress, emphasis added). In fact, this publicly expressed position by the Pope will become an official Papal Edict in 2015 (Message of Science & Religion - Western - 2).

Update: A paper published 14 Dec 2014 indicates that:
Plastic pollution is ubiquitous throughout the marine environment, yet estimates of the global abundance and weight of floating plastics have lacked data, particularly from the Southern Hemisphere and remote regions. Here we report an estimate of the total number of plastic particles and their weight floating in the world's oceans from 24 expeditions (2007–2013) across all five sub-tropical gyres, costal Australia, Bay of Bengal and the Mediterranean Sea conducting surface net tows (N = 680) and visual survey transects of large plastic debris (N = 891). Using an oceanographic model of floating debris dispersal calibrated by our data, and correcting for wind-driven vertical mixing, we estimate a minimum of 5.25 trillion particles weighing 268,940 tons. When comparing between four size classes, two microplastic [less than]4.75 mm and meso- and macroplastic [greater than]4.75 mm, a tremendous loss of microplastics is observed from the sea surface compared to expected rates of fragmentation, suggesting there are mechanisms at play that remove [less than]4.75 mm plastic particles from the ocean surface.

The impact of plastic pollution through ingestion and entanglement of marine fauna, ranging from zooplankton to cetaceans, seabirds and marine reptiles, are well documented. Adsorption of persistent organic pollutants onto plastic and their transfer into the tissues and organs through ingestion is impacting marine megafauna as well as lower trophic-level organisms, and their predators. These impacts are further exacerbated by the persistence of floating plastics, ranging from resin pellets to large derelict nets, docks and boats that float across oceans and transport microbial communities, algae, invertebrates, and fish to non-native regions, providing further rationale to monitor (and take steps to mitigate) the global distribution and abundance of plastic pollution.
(Plastic Pollution in the World's Oceans, emphasis added). Ocean creatures which eat the plastic are eaten by other creatures (along with the plastic inside), including people:
To put that in context, that’s enough two liter plastic bottles to go to the moon and back twice, as the report’s lead author and the co-founder of 5 Gyres, Dr. Marcus Eriksen, recently told NBC News.

Most of this plastic (about 92 percent) degrades into particles that are smaller than a grain of rice. Though invisible to the naked eye, this plastic can pose a health hazard to marine life. Mistaking the particles for plankton or other bits of food, animals can eat the plastic, not only damaging their insides but also absorbing any toxins that the plastic has absorbed. Such toxins can include PCB, DDT, pesticides and mercury, all of which can be passed along the marine food chain, growing in toxic concentration, until they end up in the seafood humans eat.
(American Chemistry Council Responds to Latest 5 Gyres Report, emphasis added). Those American Catholic cranky kids (mentioned up-thread) are at odds with the Pope, like those cops in New York turning their backs on the mayor of NYC.

Update 2 (2/12/15):
The world's oceans are clogged with plastic debris, but how much of it finds its way into the seas annually? Enough to place the equivalent of five grocery bags full of plastic trash on every foot (30 cm) of every nation's coastline around the globe.

That's according to scientists who released research on Thursday estimating that a staggering 8 million metric tones of plastic pollution enter the oceans each year from the world's 192 coastal countries based on 2010 data.

Based on rising waste levels, they estimated that more than 9 million tons would end up in the oceans in 2015.

Experts have sounded the alarm in recent years over how plastic pollution is killing huge numbers of seabirds, marine mammals, sea turtles and other creatures while sullying ocean ecosystems.
(World's Oceans Clogged By Millions Of Tons Of Plastic Trash).

Update 4/25/16:
As the Solar Impulse 2 made its historic 62-hour flight from Hawaii to California without fuel, pilot Bertrand Piccard personally saw the horrific amount of plastic in our oceans.
(‘I Flew Over Plastic Waste As Big As a Continent’).

Update June 3, 2016:
The globe's oceans have become floating repositories for much of the world's discarded trash. Ocean currents can carry debris for long distances around the globe. Much of it eventually ends up in swirling around the infamous "Great Pacific Garbage Patch."
(Hawaiian islands strewn with debris: Where did it come from?).

UPDATE October 4, 2016:
"The first aerial survey of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch shows that the amount of debris swirling in the North Pacific has been “heavily underestimated,” the expedition group said.

On Monday, The Ocean Cleanup, a project founded in 2013 by then-18-year-old Dutch inventor Boyan Slat with the goal of ridding the world’s oceans of plastic, shared initial findings from its aerial expedition of the trash vortex between Hawaii and California.

Researchers documented more garbage at the edge of the gyre than they expected to see at its center, where debris is more concentrated, Slat said at a press conference at Moffett Airfield in Mountain View, California. In just 2 1/2 hours, he said, the crew observed more than 1,000 large floating objects."
(HuffPo). The Ocean Cleanup site is studying the location in order to form a cleanup plan (Ocean Cleanup).

UPDATE: May 18, 2017:
"In just over half a century plastic products have revolutionized human society and have infiltrated terrestrial and marine environments in every corner of the globe. The hazard plastic debris poses to biodiversity is well established, but mitigation and planning are often hampered by a lack of quantitative data on accumulation patterns. Here we document the amount of debris and rate of accumulation on Henderson Island, a remote, uninhabited island in the South Pacific. The density of debris was the highest reported anywhere in the world, up to 671.6 items/m2 (mean ± SD: 239.4 ± 347.3 items/m2) on the surface of the beaches. Approximately 68% of debris (up to 4,496.9 pieces/m2) on the beach was buried [less than] 10 cm in the sediment. An estimated 37.7 million debris items weighing a total of 17.6 tons are currently present on Henderson, with up to 26.8 new items/m accumulating daily. Rarely visited by humans, Henderson Island and other remote islands may be sinks for some of the world’s increasing volume of waste."
(Exceptional and rapid accumulation of anthropogenic debris on one of the world’s most remote and pristine islands).

UPDATE June 21, 2017:

"Plastic pollution in the Antarctic is much worse than previously believed — five times worse, to be exact. According to a study by scientists at the University of Hull and the British Antarctic Survey, levels of microplastics in the region’s waters were much greater than formerly estimated.

Microplastics derive from items like toothpaste, shampoo, cosmetics and clothing, or breakdown from larger pieces of plastic debris. And while they usually enter the ocean by way of wastewater, more than half of the research stations in the relatively untouched Antarctic don’t have any such wastewater treatment plants, meaning the plastic is making its way through the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, previously thought to have been almost impossible to pass through."
(International Business Times, Raw Story).

UPDATE (9 Aug 2017):
Costa Rica wants to become the world's first country to achieve a
Surf's up ...
comprehensive national strategy to eliminate single-use plastics by 2021.

The Central American nation intends to replace these wasteful, ocean-clogging items—such as plastic store bags, straws, coffee stirrers, containers and plastic cutlery—for biodegradable or water-soluble alternatives, or products made of renewable materials (think plant starches).
(Ecco Watch).

UPDATE (November 23, 2017):
As the first woman to have sailed single-handedly around the world in both directions ...
('Planet is doomed' unless ocean health improves, says yachtswoman).

UPDATE (November 27, 2017): Idyllic Caribbean Island Covered In A Tide Of Plastic Trash Along Coastline

UPDATE (March 23, 2018):
"The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an enormous area of floating garbage halfway between California and Hawaii, is already recognized as the largest accumulation zone of ocean plastic on Earth. Now, it turns out that researchers may have been vastly underestimating its scale."
(Area Of Plastic In The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Three Times The Size Of France). "And there’s up to 16 times more trash than scientists had thought."

UPDATE (June 8, 2018):

Not so hard to see ...

(The giant garbage vortex in the Pacific Ocean is over twice the size of Texas — here's what it looks like).

UPDATE: January 12, 2019: (We Live In A World Full Of Plastic, And People Are Sick Of It).

UPDATE March 6, 2019: "In the Mariana Trench, the lowest point in any ocean, every tiny animal tested had plastic pollution hiding in its gut" (A Troubling Discovery in the Deepest Ocean Trenches).

UPDATE April 13, 2019: Federal judge threatens to temporarily block Carnival ships from docking at U.S. ports (because they "dumped plastic garbage into the ocean and illegally discharged gray water into Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska").

UPDATE MAY 23, 2019: "This Island ‘Unspoilt Paradise’ Is Littered With 400 Million Pieces Of Plastic" (Cocos Islands).

UPDATE JUNE 29, 2019: "40 Tons of Fishing Nets Pulled From Great Pacific Garbage Patch":

"In a mission to clean up trash floating in the ocean, environmentalists pulled 40 tons (36 metric tons) of abandoned fishing nets this month from an area known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch."
(TIME).Evidently the machinery broke down (see next update).

UPDATE JULY 12, 2019: "What It's Like To Swim Through The Most Polluted Part Of The Ocean":
"Ben Lecomte is swimming through tons of plastic. Pieces of it have gotten stuck to his face. He’s passed abandoned fishing nets that tangle and kill wildlife. He’s held pieces of broken storage crates blooming with algae and barnacles. And he wants us to see it all — so we know what we’ve done to the planet.
"There are several trash-collecting efforts underway in the Pacific. The most famous, the Ocean Cleanup system, was designed by 24-year-old Boyan Slat and floats with the currents to catch debris near the surface. The first iteration of this system broke in December, spilling trash back into the water before being towed to shore in Hawaii. The Ocean Cleanup deployed a new device in June."

UPDATE Aug. 22, 2019: If you can't see it you can't remove it (Scientists Astonished After Finding Microplastics In Arctic Snow).

UPDATE Feb. 2, 2020 "I know ... let's make it glow in the dark" (Japan panel: Fukushima water release to sea is best option).

UPDATE Feb. 4, 2020 (Even If World Reuses 50% Plastics, It Won't Be Enough).

UPDATE April 10, 2020 (Plastics Still Manage to Reach the End of the World).

UPDATE May 13, 2020 Visible Plastics are only 1% of total plastics in Oceans:
"Over 10 million tons of plastic waste enters the oceans each year. Floating plastic waste at sea has piqued the public interest, yet such accumulations account for less than 1% of the plastic that enters the world’s oceans. The missing 99% is instead thought to exist in the deep ocean, but until now it has been unclear where it actually ended up."

(Seafloor microplastic hotspots controlled by deep-sea currents).

UPDATE Jan. 18, 2021:

"A wheelbarrow and a handful of metal grids for capturing litter, emblazoned with the words 'Renew Oceans,' sit rusting outside an empty, padlocked office in the Indian city of Varanasi, a short walk from the Ganges.

It is all that is left of a programme, funded by some of the world’s biggest oil and chemical companies, that they said could solve a runaway ocean plastic waste crisis which is killing marine life - from plankton to whales - and clogging tropical beaches and coral reefs.

The closure of Renew Oceans, which has not previously been reported, is a sign that an industry whose financial future is tied to the growth of plastic production is falling short of its targets to curb the resulting increase in waste, according to two environmental groups.

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a Singapore-based nonprofit group set up two years ago by big oil and chemical companies, said on its website in November 2019 that its partnership with Renew Oceans would be expanded to the world’s most-polluted rivers and 'ultimately could stop the flow of plastic into the planet’s ocean.'

(Big Oil’s flagship plastic waste project sinks on the Ganges). 

"The United States is by far the biggest contributor to global plastic waste in the world, according to a new report submitted to the federal government Wednesday that called for a national strategy to tackle the growing crisis." (United States is world's biggest plastic polluter).

d more here:"

Read more here:
The next post in this series is here.

Not content with the pollution of the Earth, evidently heaven is next ...

"We Will Kidnap Better" - Obama Admin

The hypothesis on this blog, concerning last November's presidential election, is that it was a rejection election.

It rejected the things that were being done by the infamous Bush II regime more so than it embraced the personality of Barack Obama.

The Obama Administration advisers do not agree, evidently, because policies of the Bush II regime are being followed even as Obama Polls Downward.

Take official kidnapping for example; now called "rendition" to try to cover up its criminal nature, which Obama will continue:
The Obama administration will continue the Bush administration’s practice of sending terrorism suspects to third countries for detention and interrogation, but pledges to closely monitor their treatment to ensure that they are not tortured, administration officials said Monday.

Maher Arar testified in 2007 before a House panel about his transfer by the United States to Syria, where he was tortured.

Human rights advocates condemned the decision, saying that continuing the practice, known as rendition, would still allow the transfer of prisoners to countries with a history of torture. They said that promises from other countries of humane treatment, called “diplomatic assurances,” were no protection against abuse.
(NY Times). And so it goes. Obama promised change in his campaign rhetoric, and has made a show of change as well as some change, but has not changed some of the very wrong policies of the Bush II administration.

Kidnapping suspects, promising to treat them according to international and U.S. law, then giving them to foreign governments for "interrogation" is one of those very wrong policies.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Best Wages Are Paid By Pacifists

Jobs are getting lost every day, and no one can find them in the United States, which is waging two wars and rescuing rich banksters like they had done nothing wrong.

Meanwhile Switzerland has not invaded any country for the length of an American's memory squared, and fry my grits a bit more, that little old pacifist nation pays the highest wages:
It pays to work in Switzerland: employees in Zurich and Geneva have the highest net wages in the world, a study by banking group UBS shows ...
(Reuters). Don't get me wrong, the elite rulers in the United States pay their soldier servants poorly, their mercenary servants wildly good, for doing the same murders, but das ist kapitalizm comrade.

The graph of plunder shows why nations that are not at war are doing better, and why the bloody warmongers are poverty in action.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Senator Kennedy Died

The second most senior senator in the U.S. Senate passed away at home.

We wish the family well and respect their privacy.

He was elected in the 1962 election to replace the senate seat that had been held by his brother who became President John F. Kennedy; he was re-elected seven times after that, equating to eight six-year terms of office.

He was 77 years old and was taken by brain cancer which had troubled him for the past year or so.

Of the thousands of votes he took part in, his own words described his best vote:
KING: You called Iraq the overriding issue. You voted to go there or not?

KENNEDY: No. The best vote I cast in the United States Senate was...

KING: The best?

KENNEDY: The best vote, best vote I cast in the United States Senate (INAUDIBLE).

KING: In your life?

KENNEDY: Absolutely.

KING: Was not to go to Iraq?

KENNEDY: Yes, not to go to Iraq.
(Larry King, emphasis added). All the hundreds of billions wasted in Iraq against his will would have paid for universal health care reform he worked so hard to make a reality.

Founding Fathers' Conspiracy Theories

James Madison was the 4th President, Bill of Rights author, Congressman, Cabinet Member, and was also called the "Father of the U.S. Constitution".

He voiced a conspiracy theory in 1795:
In war, the public treasuries are to be unlocked; and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them.

In war, the honors and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed; and it is the executive brow they are to encircle.

The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.
(Toxins of Power Blog, emphasis added). The above quote is from his "Political Observations," April 20, 1795, in Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, Volume IV, page 491.

This is the type of "shadow movement" or "shadow government" talked about in a previous post; meaning these conspiracies are not individual people conspiring, instead they are unseen forces at work against us all.

Mourning Joe Takes Law Off The Table

The current Attorney General, like past AG's, took the oath to be the people's lawyer, and has now appointed another prosecutor, who is a republican, to dig into the matter of the illegal torture of detainees:
In appointing a prosecutor to investigate alleged CIA interrogation abuses, including episodes that resulted in prisoner deaths, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Monday shook off warnings from President Obama to avoid becoming mired in past controversies.
(Washington Post). I will not go over these torture issues that have been discussed on this blog in a series of posts.

This morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe, the apologists for the Bush II regime are taking law off the table.

They do not want anyone prosecuted for war crimes, so they are calling the use of the laws, that have been on the books for decades, a witch hunt.

It is ok to torture because that saves babies in Kansas is the mantra of the mythology of these unabashed neoCons.

The reality that escapes Mourning Joe because the sycophants, like Pat Buchanan, who MJ likes to have around constantly, are always saying "yep yep yep" to MJ's gyrations of fact and principle.

Eugene Robinson, the prize winning journalist from the same newspaper, has a more sound understanding of these matters:
I'm under no illusion that George W. Bush or Dick Cheney is actually going to be prosecuted by the Justice Department. But I want to know -- and I believe the nation needs to know -- the full, unvarnished truth of what they and others did in our name. It's probable that painful scrutiny and lasting disgrace will be the only sanctions that Bush and Cheney ever face. But history demands at least that much.
(Washington Post, Robinson). The university professors and political scientists know that history and common sense teach that without accountability there is no democracy and no rule of law.

If you take the law off the table you have taken the United States' famous "rule of law not rule of men" off the table, which is very unpatriotic.

Will The Earth Follow The Sun?

This post has been moved to the Ecocosmology blog.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Octomom of Election Fraud Gives Birth

Or, how the election integrity movement within the U.S. military gets jiggy wid it. Invade a sovereign nation, then ship them a thousand electronic voting machines and printing presses to print paper ballots. Next, paint the fingers purple of those who stand in line at the barbed wire lined polling places and actually vote; finally, ignore the sour grapes of those who yell election fraud. Voila, have you thereby perpetuated the spread of democracy; or have you become lonely in the midst of your vast weapons cache and committed a rape that will impregnate electomom and spread election fraud further around the globe? The recent Afghanistan elections sound like another STD moment stimulated by the shadow movement:
Hamid Karzai's main political rival today accused the Afghan president of "stealing" last week's presidential vote by orchestrating a campaign of massive electoral fraud.
(The Guardian). Has Norm Coleman moved to Kabul to do election counselling, or is he still in Minnesota fighting the last electowar?

Obama Polls Downward

Polls indicate that people are changing their opinions about how things may go, but the pollsters say they have changed their minds about President Obama.

My take on it is that these people, for the most part, are seeing the effects of the shadow movement, and are losing their faith that any one president or congress ever can change the way things are going.

One interpretation of the poll is:
The Washington Post-ABC News survey found that less that half of Americans — 49 percent — say they believe the president will make the right decisions for the country. That's down from 60 percent at the 100-day mark of the Obama presidency.
(Yahoo AP News, [moved, so see this]). Posts on this blog a while back postulated that the advisers had forgotten that the election was a rejection election, and that such a miscalculation would lead to the talk of change but a continuation of the policies that were rejected in the election, and ultimately to another rejection of those policies:
It is time to bring some wrath down on the ideology and the perpetrators of the ideology that was rejected in our recent election.

If that does not happen, the damage that will be done as a result of that failure will not go unnoticed. I expect a 20% drop in popularity when all is said and done.
(Dredd Blog, 3/31/09). It has not reached the 20% drop from where it was on March 31, well before the 100 day mark, but it is getting there fast.

Dredd Blog also pointed out that President Obama inherited pure hell and that in and of itself would limit what he could do even if he set out to totally comply with the will of the people.

That said, if the Obama Administration continues to think it is all about the personality of Obama so that he can continue the policies of Bush II, the 20% drop may end up being overly optimistic.