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Old 06-07-2010, 14:22   #61
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Once you get past the opening of the 5gyres.org which was only possible by altering the address bar to add "/main" you end up at a fascinating discussion of what can be done to "clean up" the plastics in the ocean problem. The conclusion I get from the discussion is that "nothing" practical or cost effective can be done without "turning off" or bankrupting the world's industrial production machinery.
- - In another paper attached to the website it discusses the North Atlantic "trash" area and gives data for floating plastic/trash at "1 gram" to 1.8 Kg per square kilometer. Although unsightly that is a rather sparse distribution.
- - Also it talks about the observation that animal and vegetable life is attaching to the plastic trash and thriving. Since - supposedly - 80% of this world's oxygen supply comes from the sea maybe the plastic trash is not so bad after all - other than the unsightliness of it.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:55   #62
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- - Also it talks about the observation that animal and vegetable life is attaching to the plastic trash and thriving. Since - supposedly - 80% of this world's oxygen supply comes from the sea maybe the plastic trash is not so bad after all - other than the unsightliness of it.
Yes, and except for the marine life that is trying to eat it, and choking or starving to death.

Oceanic phytoplankton are, as you say, enormously important to the oxygen cycle, though...although for them we get into ocean acidification issues.
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Old 10-07-2010, 18:26   #63
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Einstein was both a scientist and believed in God.
This is, excuse me the wording, BS.

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Old 10-07-2010, 18:36   #64
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I think Einstein was deliberately unclear whenever he spoke of religion - my personal favourite: "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."
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Old 10-07-2010, 18:39   #65
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A somewhat ambiguous Einstein quote: "About God, I cannot accept any concept based on the authority of the Church. As long as I can remember, I have resented mass indoctrination. I do not believe in the fear of life, in the fear of death, in blind faith. I cannot prove to you that there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him, I would be a liar. I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws."
—W. Hermanns, Einstein and the Poet—In Search of the Cosmic Man (Branden Press, Brookline Village, Mass., 1983), p.132.
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Old 10-07-2010, 18:41   #66
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...
In another paper attached to the website it discusses the North Atlantic "trash" area and gives data for floating plastic/trash at "1 gram" to 1.8 Kg per square kilometer. Although unsightly that is a rather sparse distribution...
I believe the area taken into the calculation is larger than the gyre. When you are withing the gyre area (as I was in 2007) then the amount of rubbish is definitely within hundreds of kilograms per square mile. This was my impression, and I would bet big money on it to be in the nearly right.

We passed by at least 10 large pieces of rubbish and countless small ones in one hour, sailing at about 3 knots. I think I can count large rubbish within a cable of our course. This would equal to about 30 large pieces of rubbish per mile2. The 1gr to 1.8 kg per km2 can't be.

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Old 10-07-2010, 18:47   #67
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I think Einstein was deliberately unclear whenever he spoke of religion - my personal favourite: "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."
I found this quote:

"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."

I wonder why God does nothing about the rubbish in the gyres, and outside of them. And I am happy that we have the scientists that at least try to ask the whies and tell us how things really are.

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Old 11-07-2010, 08:39   #68
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I wonder why God does nothing about the rubbish in the gyres, and outside of them. And I am happy that we have the scientists that at least try to ask the whies and tell us how things really are.

b.
Maybe God doesn't do anything about it because He expects us to clean up our own mess.

Here's one of my favorite (reportedly from James Adams, aka "Grizzly Adams"):
I have attended preaching every day, Sundays and all, for the last six years. Sometimes an old grizzly gave me the sermon, sometimes it was a panther; often it was the thunder and lightning, the tempest, or the hurricane on the peaks of the Sierra Nevada or in the gorges of the Rocky Mountains, but whatever preached to me, it always taught me the underlyng majesty of the Creator and revealed to me the undying and unchanging love of our Father in Heaven.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:14   #69
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It seems to me there are a large number of people studying the problem and not any actually doing anything about it. I don't see any possible way to get the small particles out of the ocean without doing more damage than the plastic does. After all most living things in the sea are small particles so you can't just filter them out. I have not purposely thrown a piece of plastic overboard as far back as I can remember, but then again I initiated my high school program on the first earth day back in 1970. That is not to say nothing has ever blown off my boat and I failed to recover it (mostly hats) but I do feel bad about when it happens.

My experience is that this is not just a problem in the gyres. One only needs to walk a beach on the windward side of any Island. You will find it covered in all sorts of plastic. Inhabited Islands often have less plastic than uninhabited one. I find the most common items are parts of styrofoam ice chests, fishing nets, and laundry soap bottles of great variety. While I hear lots of complaining and people wanting money for studies, I don't see anyone trying to organize a cleanup, whether it be on beaches of uninhabited Islands or in the gyres. For cruisers perhaps it is as simple as picking up two pieces of plastic from the water for every one that you accidentally loose overboard. Another option might be to clean a section of beach of all the plastic you find one day per year in your cruising location. After all the large pieces of plastic collected will only break down into the small piece that everyone is worried about.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:39   #70
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It seems to me there are a large number of people studying the problem and not any actually doing anything about it. I don't see any possible way to get the small particles out of the ocean without doing more damage than the plastic does ...
... While I hear lots of complaining and people wanting money for studies, I don't see anyone trying to organize a cleanup, whether it be on beaches of uninhabited Islands or in the gyres ...
Perhaps a little more study will reveal a way.
Perhaps you could look a little harder.
Let me google that for you
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:59   #71
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The "5gyres.org" document discusses what is necessary to "clean it up." And in my own estimation makes the BP Oil spill seem very inexpensive by comparison. Maybe just "controlling" the rate at which plastics, etc. are entering the ocean systems is the only viable answer. And even that is a "non-starter" for most if not all 3rd World countries.
- - Remember the big push years ago to do away with paper grocery bags and use your own "canvas bag" carrier? Now they do not use paper grocery bags but instead use the film plastic bags by the billions. And they are so thin they need to use two per bag of groceries. Virtually all of those end up "blowing in the wind" towards the nearest water.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:11   #72
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- - Remember the big push years ago to do away with paper grocery bags and use your own "canvas bag" carrier? Now they do not use paper grocery bags but instead use the film plastic bags by the billions. And they are so thin they need to use two per bag of groceries. Virtually all of those end up "blowing in the wind" towards the nearest water.
That's one you can work around though. We keep a stack of reusable bags in the car, so they're ready to go. And if we end up with the plastic ones, on the next trip to the store, we stick them in the recycling bin by the front door. Visit street fairs, expos, organizations often give the reusable bags away free. We only paid for the first one!
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:16   #73
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Ok ok...I think we can accurately say Einstein was not an atheist.

I'm not religious myself, so this is not my personal crusade.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:21   #74
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Perhaps a little more study will reveal a way.
Perhaps you could look a little harder.
Let me google that for you

I followed your Google link and found many organized cleanup efforts in populated areas. Most of what I saw for the Bahamas as an example was predicated on improving tourism because tourists don't come to trash covered beaches. The primary efforts seemed to be focused on tourist areas frequented by large numbers of people, hence my observation that inhabited Island had less of a problem than uninhabited ones. While walking on the beach if Conception Island last year I saw no evidence of any cleanup effort, though it may have occurred some time before and the debris had just piled up again.

I did find the Gyre Cleanup project. http://www.gyrecleanup.org/ It really got my hopes up so I clicked on the "Cleanup Plan" link. The page was empty except for a "donate now" button. I'll give these guys the benefit of the doubt for a while but without a plan they'll just be cleaning out wallets. If you read the "who are we" you'll see a bunch of psychologists, and business/accounting people active an any number of causes. Not one marine biologist, engineer, or actual expert on the subject amongst them, let alone someone who actually had experience organizing what would need to be a massive program.

If you are aware of an actual functioning program to cleanup the gyres run by anyone who has a prayer of succeeding I invite you to point me at them rather than just suggesting I Google my life away.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:26   #75
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I would not fund an idea with no firm plans either.

It would be nice if some world organization funded a few ships whose sole purpose was to troll for trash.
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