Sunday, October 07, 2007

Reading the book, "The World Without Us" by Alan Weisman

I'm reading his book right now. So far it's been an eye opener. The saddest thing I learned about was the over abundance of polymers that is entering the oceans food chain. Organisms of all sizes are beginning to ingest polymers. They mistake them for jelly fish, fish eggs, and small animals. The plastics are not biodegradable. Right now there is a ratio of 6:1 in our oceans of polymers to phytoplankton. Phytoplankton is beginning to ingest the polymer too. Most organisms can not digest material and die from it.

The Pacific Ocean now has places where there are miles and miles of trash floating on the surface. Ships avoid the area but if they accidentally enter this area, they have to crawl through the debris with as much caution as if they were moving through ice filled waters. He said this area in
the Pacific Ocean where trash has accumulated is as large as the state of California. He also said that there are other tropic oceans that are getting as bad as the Pacific Ocean. ( If this is true, I wonder why there aren't any photos of this. Is that not something you can see from space? If anyone knows of photos, please share them.)

Even it if it's not quite as bad as he claims it to be, this doesn’t sound too good does it? What will happen to the ocean’s web of life? Even if we stop producing polymers today, the plastic that is already in there will reek havoc for centuries to come. How can we continue to let this happen? How can we stop. It seems hopeless to me right now.

I’m just now starting the second part of his book. I hope that he has a more upbeat message….

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