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Plastic-Ocean.jpg

"A vast swath of the Pacific, twice the size of Texas, is full of a plastic stew that is entering the food chain. Scientists say these toxins are causing obesity, infertility...and worse."

Take a look here (or go for the short

) - if it wasn't for the poor prognosis, it would be quite amusing...

I'm imagining a plastic ball-pool like the ones they have in IKEA playrooms - only it would be the size of the ocean. Neat.

sea-turtle-deformed.jpg

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Wow. Genetic destruction due to plastic poisoning...a load of crap along the lines of chromium-6, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Love Canal, ad infinitum. Damn the industry and sing a love song to the man, the 'Nam protestor who gave up his former life to go back to the grind of science to save the world--again!

And this, this is what passes for "journalism"...damn, I knew I shouldn't have dropped that Writing minor...

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Its certainly not a very well written article - its intended for popular consumption and as such is inclined to emotive writing and overstatements without sufficiently backing up these statements with scientific research eg conclusions it has on the effects of certain chemicals on the "obesity epidemic", but on the other hand if you do a search on New Scientist and similar respected scientific journals you will find a great deal regarding the effects of some of the toxins present in various plastics, and the problems caused by plastic pollution, but you will also find that scientists are working on solutions to these problems - something which is not really indicated by this article.

Plastic does have a high utility value in our society, and perhaps we have to weigh that against such problems. Certainly we need to work on a reduction of the amount of pollution, and improve the recycling of plastics, after all most plastics are currently derived from a non-renewable resource. I certainly think that just because this is not a great article means we have to be completely close-minded about the whole subject however.

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Hmm.

I was actually more concerned about the ocean being full plastic crap and animals eating that instead of nutritious plankton, and getting caught in it and shit. Humans are like rats anyway, they'll eat whatever. If they don't get sick from plastic, they'll get sick from something else.

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See now, and here's my point: I HATE the thought of a bunch of plastic crap in the ocean.

I know we're running out of non-renewables.

I'm really tuned into this crap. My real problem is, the scare-mongering of these types of articles, hence my tossing in the Three Mile Island reference--just think: if, over 20 years ago, we'd increased safe, clean, nuclear power, where now the bitching about carbon emissions and coal and whatnot? But noooo we had to get all skeert. When one side pushes the other shoves back. And my worry becomes--instead of two sides coming together for the betterment of all, a tug-of-war ensues to the detriment of all. Scare tactics serve no one well, except those who profit from them (mainly, journalists).

And as for obesity? Heh. At Wal-Mart today (of course) I got stuck in line behind a dad and his kid...oh LORD, this kid, his dad just kept going on about how he needed to walk and shit...this kid had the highest pithced whine from anything that size/shape I've ever seen! All his (moderately overweight) dad was asking was for him was to walk out to the car and the damn pudgeball crawls up in the cart, I'm not kidding, this kid was around 10 I swear. Plastics? No. Try lifestyle. This idea of "is-it-the-plasitcs-or-is-it-the-lifestyle" fits well with what I've just been reading in a decent book called "You've Been Had" ( http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/325/7359/343 ), i.e. conflating what's present in the environment with what's happening. Nice thought, that: rising levels of plastic, rising obestiy; but you really have to separate out ALL confounding factors.

Anyways. Ahem. Really I would rather we find more sources of non-oil-based plastic stuff, than find ways to recycle what we have, since everyone's just gonna throw away what we have anyways. (My second job is cleaning up a ballpark after baseball games...I damn well KNOW what people throw away. Buy a bottle of fucking WATER, drink 1/4 of it, then toss it fertheluvvamike!)

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