Earth day

Earth Day and the Plastics Pollution Problem

Plastic debris in the oceans is classic example of the tragedy of the commons.

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MexicanBeachPlasticsPamelaFriedman
Pamela Friedman

The theme for the 48th Earth Day is ending plastic pollution. The main concern of the Earth Day Network is the continuing accumulation of plastic trash in the world's oceans. The poster child of the plastic marine debris problem is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that lies between Hawaii and California. Yachtsman Charles Moore identified the vast region—an area more than twice the size of Texas—of floating plastic bottles and lost fishing gear when he sailed through it in 1997.

Plastic marine debris is a classic example of the tragedy of the commons, in which users of unowned natural goods like the oceans have an incentive to overexploit and ruin them. In this case, tens of millions of free riding consumers do not suffer the costs of negligently discarding plastic products so that they end up washing into the oceans.

The spread of plastic marine debris is a big and growing problem. According to one recent estimate plastic now accounts for 95 percent of the human created waste that accumulates on shorelines, the sea surface and the seafloor. A 2014 report in the journal PLoS One estimated that a minimum of 5 trillion pieces of plastic weighing nearly 250,000 metric tons are afloat in the oceans. Researchers in a 2015 study in Science calculated that "275 million metric tons of plastic waste was generated in 192 coastal countries in 2010, with 4.8 to 12.7 million metric tons entering the ocean annually."

In a March Scientific Reports study, researchers who trawled through the Patch estimate that it contains at least 80,000 metric tons of plastic. Over three-quarters of the plastic debris mass is in pieces larger than 5?centimeters (2 inches) and at least 46 percent was comprised of fishing gear. Microplastics which are bits measuring between 0.05 and 0.5 centimeters (0.02 to 0.2 inches) accounted for 8 percent of the total mass but 94 percent of the estimated 1.8 trillion pieces floating in the area.

Drifting lost or discarded plastic fishing gear kills all kinds of sea life including seals, sharks, and turtles. Such ghost fishing may reduce catches in some fisheries by as much as 5 percent. Plastic in the oceans is harming some seabird and turtle populations that mistake the fragments as food. Currently, there is little evidence that consuming fish or shellfish that have ingested plastic bits is causing harm to people.

Interestingly, the 2014 PLoS One study noted that over time microplastic particles appear be disappearing from the ocean's surface. Plastics are broken up over time into every tinier pieces by the action of the waves and ultraviolet sunlight. The researchers suggest that the plastics might be being removed from the ocean by being borne down into the depths as they become encrusted with microscopic organisms; being excreted as heavier fecal pellets after being ingested by fish; and being biodegraded by microbes. Such microplastics may well end up in sediment on the ocean's floor.

So where is the plastic befouling the oceans coming from? The 2015 Science study estimated the flow of plastic waste that 20 populous coastal countries. The good news is that the United States is at the bottom of that list, dumping less than 1 percent of the plastics that end up in the oceans annually. In the United States, about 10 percent of plastic waste is recycled, 15 percent is burned to produce electricity or heat, and the rest is landfilled.

China is at the top of list of ocean plastic polluters, accounting for 28 percent the total amount of plastics thrown into the oceans each year. About 60 percent of plastics in the oceans are discarded by the fast growing East Asian economies of China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. In fact, all 19 of the top 20 countries on the list of countries contributing to ocean plastic pollution are poor or middle-income countries. The main reasons these countries are such big contributors of plastic marine debris is that their consumers' garbage is uncollected and frequently ends up in open dumps.

PlasticCountriesContribution
Science

There are two strategies for tackling such environmental tragedies: privatization or regulation. In the United States most wastes are picked up and disposed by city and commercial garbage haulers. Revenues for solid waste management industry were around $60 billion in 2016. In other words, most Americans take responsibility for their wastes by paying local taxes or fees to bury them in landfills, burn them, or recycle them. As a result relatively little plastic from the U.S. ends up in the oceans. Consequently, bans on plastic bags and water bottles in this country are largely instances of symbolic moral preening.

In their joint 2015 report Stemming the tide: Land-based strategies for a plastic-free ocean, the McKinsey Center for Business and the Environment and the Ocean Conservancy proposed several strategies aimed chiefly at getting the East Asian countries to better handle their plastic waste.

As a first step, the McKinsey researchers calculate that targeting about $5 billion per year toward improving garbage collection, recycling and building landfills would reduce the amount of plastics flowing into the oceans from those countries by 50 percent. The McKinsey report notes that in places with high waste collection rates, post-collection "leakage" is about 1 percent

In the longer term, as countries get richer they begin to clean up and take better care of their natural environments. Researchers call this process the Environmental Kuznets Curve in which air and water pollution begin to decline and forests to regrow once a country's citizens have reached certain income thresholds. As their citizens become wealthier the poor countries whose plastic wastes are befouling the oceans will shift from haphazard discards and open dumps to landfills and incineration. Plastic in the oceans is an open access commons tragedy, but one that will largely be resolved as global per capita incomes triple on average by 2050. Bans being promoted by the Earth Day Network would slightly reduce the amount plastic ocean debris, but the true solution to pollution is economic growth and increased wealth.

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  1. I walked by my local Earth Day festival here in Saint Louis, held at Forest Park. We stopped briefly near the festival entrance where there was a row of porta-potties. As I waited a few moments for my wife I picked up a half-dozen event pamphlets that were read and discarded by ardent Earth Day attendees on the grass near a lovely little pond. We weren’t even there for the festival; we were just taking the dog for a walk.

    Maybe they were made of biodegradable paper…

    1. People are the worst.

      1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

        This is what I do… http://www.jobs63.com

      2. Finally! There is a great way how you can work online from your home using your computer and earn in the same time… Only basic internet knowledge needed and fast internet connection… Earn as much as $3000 a week… >> http://www.jobs63.com

    2. Is there paper that is not biodegradable?

      1. Out in the open? Sort of. Its cellulose (which isn’t digestible by most of the organisms that breakdown waste) and its been poisoned by bleaches and dyes (making it even harder).

  2. No more constant “global warming” haranguing, huh? Gee, I wonder why!

    At least this problem is real and not a complete scam, so congratulations.

    1. So do you believe that burning fossil fuels does not put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and oceans, that carbon dioxide is not in fact a greenhouse gas, or that there is somehow no effect when the oceans and atmosphere increase in average temperature?

      Also, how do you explain the complicity of nearly 100% of the world’s scientists on this “scam”? Al Gore research dollars?

      1. Give it up, sad, pathetic little Krugman.

        History will note that it was the endless Winter of 2018 in which the insidious global warming scam died, not with a bang, but with a goose-bumped shivering whimper.

        1. So it was cold where you live for a while, thus an explanation for observations universally accepted in the scientific community is false or a hoax.

          1. 9 out of 10 dentists recommend Crest toothpaste. Colgate and that other guy can eat a bag of d*cks.

            1. I wish I could post images here.

              Regardless, awesome post, sir.

          2. Go shove your beard into another plateful of mushy peas, Krugman.

      2. Nice.

        You did forget the essential points, even more important than all the others – do you believe CO2 has a *large* greenhouse gas effect and that the relationship between warming and CO2 is a *positive feedback loop*.

        Because without those two point you don’t get *catastrophic* anthropogenic global climate change.

        But you know that already, right? Because you fucking love science, right?

        1. Look I see it as a positive sign that you people have moved the goalpost away from outright denial of simple physical reality to quibbling over how catastrophic the eventual effects will be. It’s just like the creationism horseshit. By the end of that farce we were debating whether bacterial flagella could be produced by natural selection, since literally everything else made sense to literally everyone except the very dumbest religious wackos. So you’re practically at a place of being a normal human being instead of a dogma-addled simpleton.

          As always I recommend Wikipedia for a good mainstream overview of the topic. When you get your PHD in a relevant field you can credibly debate some of the facts presented there and in other mainstream sources.

          1. ^That is what the flailing of someone with a obsevably failed ideology looks like.

            You lost Tony. You know ot and so do we. You can shit up the thread you want, but you can’t chamge it.

            You lost.

          2. But Tony doesn’t need his Phd to ignore the scientists that disagree.

          3. *We’ve* moved the goalpost?

            Catastrophic is the only goal post that matters. Its people like you that have moved it from catastrophic to merely anthropogenic.

            You coildn’t prove it would be catastriphic so you you changed up to screaming about needing to do something solely becausr it was man made – so it wasn’t ‘natural’.

      3. “Al Gore research dollars”

        Yes.

        After all, if even a single Koch dollar is enough tp irrepairably taint a ‘denier’s’ research . . .

        1. Koch dollars come with a political agenda. No one has credibly explained who benefits from a vast hoax trying to convince people that the oceans are warming when they’re not.

          1. No one has credibly explained who benefits from a vast hoax trying to convince people that the oceans are warming when they’re not.

            They have been warming for more than 135 years.

            Argo ocean heat content

            I think it possible that Tony is a paid troll since his shtick is just to repeat the same old myths over and over again but never actually discussing the science. He is a modern day Eugenicist.

            1. Sadly, Tony’s not a paid troll. He just has problems with – reading, comprehending, non-dem talking points, science, math, religion, probably working a door knob, and being a real person.

              A troll would actually have some maybe passable facts but Tony can’t even do that.

          2. Al Gore has benefited from climate hucksterism just as much as televangelists benefit from gullible rubes.

          3. But Gore dollars, those are without reproach.

          4. how about everyone with a payxheck funded by ‘research’ confirming?

            how about a whole generation of power seeking parasites leveraging this for money, power, and social position?

            1. The only scientific research that can be treated as credible is the stuff that’s done for free by the scientists and with no funding for the research itself.

          5. ” No one has credibly explained who benefits from a vast hoax trying to convince people that the oceans are warming when they’re not.”

            Ever hear of the ethanol industry? We are forced to put 10% or more ethanol into gasoline to fight global warming. This, even though ethanol production at best produces slightly less CO2 than oil, and by many calculations increases CO2 production. Farmers in Iowa, MN, IL, etc are making bank on your stupidity.

            There are thousands of govt grants to small and behemoth companies working on other biofuels. I’m ok with govt support for research, but most of the money goes onto large, expensive demo plants that are total failures.

            And let’s not forget the Solyndras of the world, which is but one of dozens of such $100+ million boondoggles.

          6. Ok I’ll bite Tony. Benefits of your hoax ..let me turn on the prophet Goracle (ManBearPig)

            Do you use carbon? Are you causing the the temperature to rise? Do you cause climate to change because you drive a car or power your house? (*note we have to say climate so we can say it affects everything!)? How much would you pay for your guilt to go away and not change a thing? 1 million dollars? 1000 dollars? For just 19.99 you can buy a carbon credit. Yes, a carbon credit. We will plant a tree for you to absolve of your carbon sin. We’ll play a tree *wink wink* that will solve all the problems (Fine print – in 100 years).

            If you act now, we might even say we will plant 2 trees.

            Tony, when your ‘heroes’ act like it’s a problem, maybe everyone else will to. So tell me when they get off their private jets and stop sucking down small cities worth of energy for their homes.

      4. There is so much deception and outright lies among global warming alarmists that it is hard to take anything they say as being even close to the truth. Take Mann’s damned hockey stick curve, for example, the fundamental start to this whole mess. It was based on dubious tree ring data, used as if it is a temperature proxy rather than mostly a water proxy, and it denies there was a Medieval Warming Period or a Little Ice Age. Alarmists can’t answer the basic question of why there were farms and ranches in Greenland 1000 years ago but not now. when that Medieval Warming Period extended as far south as Africa.

        When they lie about such basic historical matters, their credibility is meaningless.

        Then there are their models, none of which can reproduce the last 20 years of insignificant temperature rise, even using the hindsight available. Why should anyone put any faith in their predictions for 100 years from now when they can’t even model the past?

        Your 100% is a fake statistic. Sure, most scientists, and probably even most people, do not think it wise to pollute the atmosphere; that’s where that 100% figure comes from. But CO2 is not nearly the pollutant that diesel particulates are, and the EU favored diesel engines over gasoline because they treat CO2 as a worse poison.

        1. Global climate change has a zillion natural causes and goes both warmer and cooler, wetter and drier, and instead of trying to isolate those natural affects, they blame it on industry. The Early Bronze age was terminated by climate change and the Sea Peoples, who probably invaded south when their home northern territory got too cold. Then the climate warmed and the second Bronze age brought in the Greek golden age. The Roman Republic and Empire lasted so long due to a nice warm wet climate which made famines much more isolated and smaller, easier to compensate for from other areas. The climate got colder and drier and more inconsistent around the second or third centuries, then went into a full-on little ice age a couple of centuries later, sending the Huns packing into Europe. Then it warmed, the Vikings settled Greenland and found North America. Then it cooled into another little ice age. And now it’s warming again. This warming period happens to coincide with the Industrial Revolution, so the people-hating interventionists like Paul Ehrlich latch on to that and deny there is ANY natural variability — see the hockey stick history for that sordid little story.

          1. But how can we have guilt if it’s natural? Sigh, you need to go to the liberal education camp

      5. No.
        I believe that carbon dioxide is another phrase for plant food, and is a necessary part of existing natural life cycles.

        1. But the carbon in question was mostly locked in underground rock deposits, not part of the existing carbon cycle.

          1. And it also lifted several billion people out of poverty, when used by free markets. The downside is that Paul Ehrlich and Professor Mann bloviate over something they won’t even try to prove with solid science. So far that seems like a pretty damned good trade-off.

            1. The subject is not the benefit of fossil fuels (or plastics, as in this article), which everyone agrees about, but the coinciding harms. All normal people want to do is move the process of industrialization and civilization along past the stage where it is extremely environmentally destructive. There is no reason on earth you people have to advocate sticking progress in the mud, except for the fact that your bullshit is underwritten by people who make a lot of money burning fossil fuels.

              1. “You people sticking progress in the mud”

                It’s always the statists who want to stop and actually regress, and the individualists who want full speed ahead and get more people further out of poverty. Perhaps this has escaped your full attention.

                It always astonishes me how Progressive propaganda simultaneously paints businesses as trying to keep the poor people downtrodden in the mud, while also wanting to make as much money as possible off them. Those two are incompatible. Only Progressives can somehow manage to believe two such contradictory thoughts at the same time.

                1. It’s easy when you realize regressives actually think wealth comes from government printed dollars.

                2. It always astonishes me how Progressive propaganda simultaneously paints businesses as trying to keep the poor people downtrodden in the mud, while also wanting to make as much money as possible off them. Those two are incompatible.

                  Because payday lenders want their customers to become flush enough to open legitimate bank accounts?

                  Because the purveyors of Slim Jims, off-brand energy drinks, roll-your-own cigarette equipment, and Hardee’s hamburgers want their customers to become educated and wealthy enough to avoid downscale products?

                  Because the folks selling street pills in our depleted backwaters are eager for their customers to get educated, get good jobs, and get clean?

              2. uh dude, *we’re the ones advocating for an expansion of free market institutions*. You’re the one opposing them.

                You are the one advocating sticking progress in the mud.

                1. My point involved the silliness of the quoted assertion.

              3. Tony|4.22.18 @ 1:55PM|#
                “…All normal people want to do is move the process of industrialization and civilization along past the stage where it is extremely environmentally destructive….”

                Stupid?
                Dishonest?
                Any reason Tony should be considered as anything other than an ignoramus?

          2. Actually, my kids just studied this in their 8th grade science class. Those underground rock deposits are not exempt from the natural process of weathering, which releases carbon into the soil. Carbon in the soil creates humus, which provides plants with nutrients in a form they can use. Rock deposits are not exempt from the carbon cycle. They’re not “locked away” and inaccessible. They’re part of the long carbon cycle. Sure, weathering takes a bit more time than, say, burning, but saying these rocks aren’t part of the carbon cycle is false.

      6. Nearly 100% of idiots believe the false statement that “nearly 100% of the world’s scientists” agree that global warming is caused by man.

    2. OTOH, since most plastic is made fromthe sludge left over after refining gasoline, I’m not sure the plastic isn’t preferable….

  3. ?Consequently, bans on plastic bags and water bottles in this country are largely instances of symbolic moral preening?
    Because no one ever believes they are “moral preening”

  4. Seems like it would just be easier to outlaw China and Southeast Asia.
    Do something Congress!!!!!
    Problem solved.

    1. What is the carbon footprint of one hundred nukes?

  5. The poster child of the plastic marine debris problem is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that lies between Hawaii and California. Yachtsman Charles Moore identified the vast region?an area more than twice the size of Texas?of floating plastic bottles and lost fishing gear when he sailed through it in 1997.

    Pics or it didn’t happen. That pic you have there sure as hell isn’t the GPGP. We’ve been through this already, there’s no floating island of plastic trash out in the ocean, it’s an area where there’s a concentration of plastic micro-particles. Which is not to say that plastics aren’t environmentally problematic, but you don’t have to repeat urban legends to make the point.

    1. Pics or it didn’t happen.

      If that were a sound argument, organized religion would no longer be a problem.

      1. Organized Religion isn’t a problem but this mythic garbage patch is…supposedly.

      2. Neither would world history. If it happened before photography, it didn’t happen.

    2. Pics?
      Even without the pics, it reads like mother nature is hard at work taking care of the problem without even one federal grant or committee investigation.

      “Interestingly, the 2014 PLoS One study noted that over time microplastic particles appear be disappearing from the ocean’s surface. Plastics are broken up over time into every tinier pieces by the action of the waves and ultraviolet sunlight. The researchers suggest that the plastics might be being removed from the ocean by being borne down into the depths as they become encrusted with microscopic organisms; being excreted as heavier fecal pellets after being ingested by fish; and being biodegraded by microbes. Such microplastics may well end up in sediment on the ocean’s floor.”

      1. While that may be true, the fact that so much plastic has been able to accumulate is a sign that the dumping of plastics into the oceans is far out-pacing any self-correcting process that will break it down.

        Unfortunately, since most of these plastics are originating from low-income coastal nations, there’s not as much to be done. But it does prove the case that more development is the answer, rather than trying to punish development.

        1. no. Its a sign that *at one time* deposition of plastics exceeded the environment’s capabilty to sequester them.

          Neither the deposition rate nor the sequestration rate are constant.

          the us and the rest of the West and large parts of Asia are no longet depositing garbage in the ocean at the same rates as a generation ago while the microorganisms that benefit from the plastics providibg growthsurfaces have increased, increasing the capability of the oceam to remove those plastics.

          so it is not given that the problem is ongoing.

  6. “but the true solution to pollution is economic growth and increased wealth.”

    But China is at the top of the list of contributing polluters, and has experienced remarkable economic growth and increased wealth over the past few decades. Clearly, there’s something missing from Ron’s one-size-fits-all prescription.

    1. Like maybe time?

      1. Like maybe USA is a bigger contributor to the gyre than Ron’s figures indicate?

        1. Neither responsive nor relevant to your post or my comment.

          1. I thought I understood your comment “like maybe time” to mean that given time China’s contribution will diminish thanks to economic growth, privatization and of course deregulation. If you meant something else feel free to elaborate. Now if you have your thinking cap on, you should find my comment responsive and relevant.

            1. “I thought I understood your comment”
              Dimwit, you understand just about nothing.

              1. Neither responsive nor relevant to your post or my comment.

                1. “Neither responsive nor relevant to your post or my comment.”
                  Not only responsive, but an accurate description of a smug and stupid asshole.

                  1. “but an accurate description of a smug and stupid asshole.”

                    One who has the nerve to point out that economic growth doesn’t appear to be the magic bullet you believe it is.

                    1. How dare those Chinese take a few shortcuts to stop starving all of their people. What assholes. It’s almost like third world areas aren’t concerned with global issues.

                      But go ahead and pretend like their new found wealth won’t refocus.

                    2. mtrueman|4.22.18 @ 5:39PM|#
                      “One who has the nerve to point out that economic growth doesn’t appear to be the magic bullet you believe it is.”

                      No, you are a fucking ignoramus who is stupid enough to broadcast his stupidity.
                      You are an unlettered imbecile, pretending to ‘sophistication’, and landing on your face every time you are called on you constant bullshit.
                      You post sophist pablum, hoping someone will confuse it with profundity, and you’ve been called on it at every turn.
                      You’re an ignorant piece of shit of whom someone lied when you were 10, and said ‘isn’t he so smart!’ to compliment your mother.
                      You’re not. You’re stupid and she lied.
                      Fuck off.

                    3. “No, you are a fucking ignoramus ”

                      As long as you continue to read me, I am content.

                    4. “As long as you continue to read me, I am content.”
                      So long as you are content to prove yourself an ignoramus, I have no problem either.
                      Were you born an ignoramus, or did it take you years of practice to become one?

                    5. Thanks for your response.

    2. and, funnily enough, can now afford to start worrying about air quality.

      like they are starting too.

      its almost like you missed the whole ‘get rich enough to not worry *if* you’re going to eat you start worrying about *what* you’re going to eat’ thing.

      1. “can now afford to start worrying about air quality.”

        They are worrying about the air quality not because they are richer, but because the air quality is atrocious and is killing thousands upon thousands.

        1. No shit. Tell us more of your deeply constructive and perceptive tales.

          1. Just keep reading. You’ll get tales.

            1. Ever see Pittsburgh in the 60’s? That’s Shanghai today. Been to the ‘Burgh lately? That’s China in 20 years (provided the govt doesn’t f it up)

        2. “They are worrying about the air quality not because they are richer, but because the air quality is atrocious and is killing thousands upon thousands.”
          Any imbecile who is capable of citing his claims (not, you, asshole), would do a bit of a search form, oh, air quality (including reported/actual) and compare that to current prosperity.
          OK, imbecile, let’s see the cites.

          1. OK, imbecile, let’s see the cites.

            Yeah, let’s see em!

            1. mtrueman|4.22.18 @ 11:52PM|#
              “OK, imbecile, let’s see the cites.”
              Yeah, let’s see em!
              Yep, imbecile, let’s see em.

        3. and if they were poorer they couldn’t afford to worry about it – just like poor communities can’t afford to worry about how many people their water suppmy kills – they’re lucky to even have it.

          1. You think pollution only kills poor people? You’re wrong.

  7. Since China is the number one contributor, then the answer is clear:

    Only World War 3 can stop the plasti island!

  8. The obvious solution to the problem of China polluting the ocean is for California to fine waiters who offer plastic straws to customers. I mean, come on.

    1. Are you suggesting that we ignore the vigorous research done by a 9 year old absent any independent verification that proves that plastic straws are a menace? That’s insane. We’re never going to move forward until we can trust statistics provided to us by fourth-grade students.

    2. Not all California waiters are Chinese. Sheesh, how do you come up with these ideas?

  9. Bacteria may have found a solution that people couldn’t come up with (but are improving on):

    Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles

  10. It seems almost 1/2 is fishing gear? Trawler nets? Drift nets? You would think commercial fishermen could be more responsible.

      1. this will get the tobacco state politicians onboard!

    1. As with the plastic problem, the nets and gear aren’t from America or first world countries. They are nearly entirely from both legal and illegal fishing operations based out of Asia.

  11. I don’t understand. Why are we not able to make plastic against the law? We have so many silly laws that can land you in jail. But using plastic and harming our home is not against the law..i don’t understand.

    1. I hope this is sarcasm.

    1. Judging by the usefulness of that non-link, I’d guess Conrad Black is an empty blowhard (I have never heard of him).

        1. Third time’s the charm! And his take on the media is better than most, if not ground-breaking.

  12. And I also saw the other day that Rudy Giuliani is coming back on board team Trump.

    Is he there to negotiate some kind of final resolution to the fraudulent “Russiagate” investigation that will somehow allow Mueller and Comey to save a little face? That’s kind of my impression.

    1. Completely delusional. I guess you missed Trump begging Cohen not to flip in the latest of a series of incredibly incriminating statements. Cohen flip?
      Trump sounds exactly like a mob boss. Trump is shooting people in broad daylight and as predicted you either can’t see it or worse.

      1. Keep making a fool out of yourself Mary, and we will keep on laughing at your dumb ass.

      2. Get lit|4.22.18 @ 2:28PM|#
        “…I guess you missed Trump begging Cohen not to flip in the latest of a series of incredibly incriminating statements….”

        Uh, yeah, and purple seems urgent!
        Tin foil hats to be worn shiny side out, idiot.

      3. Given Tony’s ‘predictions’ over the past year and a half which have come to, oh, ah, let’s see: Zero. As in nothing.
        So let’s add to the lefty imbeciles making predictions which go nowhere, lefty imbecile:

        Get lit|4.22.18 @ 2:28PM|#
        “Completely delusional. I guess you missed Trump begging Cohen not to flip in the latest of a series of incredibly incriminating statements.”

        When will this provide REAL results? Not Mueller is ‘looking at it’, in early 2019, let’s see some unambiguous predictions from the lefty losers still trying to justify their stupidity.
        Yeah, Get lit: STUPIDITY. Just wanted you to know you’ve been called.

    1. Alarmists tend to make me thing that they don’t believe in humanity’s exploitation of science and engineering. It’s like they make these models, but don’t account for innovation and discoveries or the desire to survive.

  13. “How Big Is the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”? Science vs. Myth”
    https://response.restoration.noaa.gov/
    about/media/how-big-great-pacific
    -garbage-patch-science-vs-myth.html

    NOAA seems less than concerned

    1. Jeezus links are not all that hard! Try this

      1. Hint:
        I have learned and forgotten how to shorten links several time and am tired of it. Reason needs to accept the links as posted, not rely on the commenters to do the work for them.
        Yet one more reason that Reason now rates an annual contribution of $0.00; that’s now going to IJ.

  14. I feel cheated by how much of my childhood was talking feel good cartoon animals who are endless victims of man, “save the rainforest,” and “Recycle to save the earth.” It was all just viture signaling bullshit that is now becoming real harm.

    1. Don’t worry Cy, you are the real victim here. Your losses matter to us.

      1. “Don’t worry Cy, you are the real victim here.”

        I do pay a lot of taxes.

  15. Very good information given. We all of fight against the environment safety and preservation
    TS Intermediate Time Table

  16. How can we celebrate “earth day” without thinking of one of the founders, Ira Einhorn?

    How is Ira doing these days? He’s inmate number ES6859 at Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands facility serving a life sentence for murder.

    1. He was only trying to set an example.

  17. Good news on this: scientists have found an organism which can bio-degrade a lot of the plastic.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29666242

    And, the enzyme has been improved by site-directed mutagenesis.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29603535

  18. In fact, all 19 of the top 20 countries on the list of countries contributing to ocean plastic pollution are poor or middle-income countries.

    And this is why I don’t like being preached to by rabid environmentalists with their ignorant blanket statements. It’ll take a lot of money to fix clean up, and with the human element of these polluting countries, the task becomes even more difficult.
    But hey, at least we got a good song out of this.

  19. How big is 80 million kg of plastic ? – Assume density of water (it floats so it is less but not by much) That makes a cube 43 meters per side. You could run around its base in a minute. Yes it is bad to dump plastic in the ocean. Another way to look at it – 80 million kg is.007% of a cubic km of water. The Pacific Ocean is BIG. This is almost a literal drop in the ocean. It would be hard to find any of this plastic. If you spread it out over an area of twice Texas, it would be .0000006mm thick. You wouldn’t notice breaking through that theoretical film when jumping into the ocean. Big numbers seem to be the SCARY idea here. Sending ships out into the ocean – towing nets- would be an insane use of resources – burning diesel for minimal gains.

    1. Search for Great Pacific Garbage Patch on Youtube. There are many videos. General format: 40% of the video consists of ‘scientists and concerned greenies’ talking about millions of tons of trash, etc. 30% of the video consists of CGI of the “problem”. 20% shows a research vessel cruising through pristine water with dolphins. 5% shows video of landfill or plastic on a beach. 5% shows scattered floating lumps of plastic or fishing nets in extreme closeup so there is no sense of scale.

      You’d think a floating mountain of trash 2x the size of Texas would be easier to document.

      1. Here:
        https://response.restoration.noaa.gov/
        about/media/how-big-great-pacific
        -garbage-patch-science-vs-myth.html
        (back-space twice to get the link. You can do it; even a cave man can)
        NOAA doesn’t seem worried.

  20. Half of it is from fishing equipment? At least it’s obvious how that gets into the ocean, but what sorts of parts are breaking off that result in this? Is it a normal consequence of fishing?

    1. Questions are answered extensively in a PDF linked from the para. after the statistic was given.

  21. “The main reasons these countries are such big contributors of plastic marine debris is that their consumers’ garbage is uncollected and frequently ends up in open dumps.”

    That’s a nice way of saying every square inch of land is an open dump. SE Asia is paved is tossed plastic.

    1. “That’s a nice way of saying every square inch of land is an open dump. SE Asia is paved is tossed plastic.”

      I have not been there in a long time, but I remember O’Roak’s claim that sub-equatorial Africa was *pristine*; much of the area was mired in poverty such that there was nothing which qualified as “waste” it was ALL recycled one way or the other.
      I’m betting there’s a recursive curve regarding wealth and ‘tossed’ waste:
      Real poverty means there nothing that’s waste; it’s all raw material.
      Reduced poverty means you’ve learned that you can toss some shit, and who cares?
      Prosperity means you’re free of concerns such that you care about what the roadside looks like as your chauffeur guides your conveyance while the orphans polish the monocles and you’ve taught them not to toss the rags out the window.
      Perhaps there’s a bit of hyperbole in the last statement…

      1. There is certainly hyperbole in my statement.

        I don’t know nothin’ bout Africa, but that does not describe SE Asia. It is not the kind poverty whereby modern technology has not yet arrived.

        It is the kind of recent modest prosperity where the people revel in the glories of a plastic world with no thought of managing the non-glorious side effects.

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  24. “So where is the plastic befouling the oceans coming from?”

    This, after telling us that 46% comes from fishing nets. I used to expect a modicum of intelligence from Reason.

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