In my world travels from the Arctic to Antarctica, humanity holds nothing sacred on this planet. I've sailed and Scuba dived across all the oceans and seas. I've rafted or canoed rivers from the Amazon to the Mississippi to the Yangtze. I've explored all the Great Lakes to many unknown lakes. I've walked on the Hawaiian to the Galapagos Islands to Ross Island at the bottom of the world. I bicycled along the North Sea in Norway and around Lake Titicaca in South America.
At every location on our globe where home sapiens inhabit, humanity throws its trash in every conceivable form.
But by far the most dangerous--any way you cut it, plastics prove themselves humanity's worst invention. Ubiquitous, forever, deadly and ugly!
As a teenager, I Scuba dived in pristine waters from Lake Huron, the Hawaiian Islands, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean. I saw magic at 40 feet below the surface on coral reefs! Incredible beauty! Thirty years later, my dives carried me into the most disgusting sights on the planet. Plastic drift nets, cut away by fishing captains, killed innocent sea life--forever! For the past 40 years, humans have tossed their plastic containers, pop tops, diapers, billions of bags and every kind and size of plastic trash into our lakes, rivers and oceans. Plastic destroys everything it touches.
As I canoed down the Mississippi River from its beginning at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, it started out as beautiful as a dream. Within five miles, I watched hundreds, then thousands of plastic containers float alongside me after having been pitched by other boaters. Plastic bags hung from trees and billowed in the water as they draped from branches along Old Man River. People drove cars over the river's edge and left couches and lawn chairs on sand bars. Clothes and junk got tossed along its 2,552 mile trip to New Orleans. It made me sick every day. I filled two large trash bags a day and I couldn't begin to get it all.
On my bicycle ride from Norway to Greece in 2005, we boarded a ferry from Italy to Patros. Along the way, we witnessed huge floating gobs of plastic trash collected in ugly swarms hundreds of yards long.
Plastic proves the worst human invention, besides chemicals, because plastic doesn't break down or biodegrade. About the only thing that destroys it is fire, but then, the pollution from the smoke proves fatal to the environment.
Alan Weisman, author of "Polymers are forever" published in the May/June 2007 issue of Orion magazine: http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/270
He wrote, "The true answer is we just don't know how much is out there."
Weisman wrote about Richard Thompson, "He knew the terrible tales of sea otters choking on poly-ethylene rings from beer six-packs; of swans and gulls strangled by nylon nets and fishing lines; of a green sea turtle in Hawaii dead with a pocket comb, a foot of nylon rope, and a toy truck wheel lodged in its gut. His personal worst was a study on fulmar bird carcasses washed ashore on North Sea coastlines. Ninety-five percent had plastic in their stomachs-an average of forty-four pieces per bird.
"There was no way of knowing if the plastic had killed them, although it was a safe bet that, in many, chunks of indigestible plastic had blocked their intestines. Thompson reasoned that if larger plastic pieces were breaking down into smaller particles, smaller organisms would likely be consuming them. When they get as small as powder, even zooplankton will swallow them."
"Can you believe it?" said Richard Thompson, one of the men researching how widespread plastic moved into water systems. "They're selling plastic meant to go right down the drain, into the sewers, into the rivers, right into the ocean. Bite-sized pieces of plastic to be swallowed by little sea creatures."
For those of you old enough to remember Dustin Hoffman in, "The Graduate", do you remember the older man telling Dustin, "Plastic, my boy, that's the future!"
While WWII created research for plastics, after 1970, this unnatural substance changed everything and it became everything. Once it became a container, all hell broke loose. Every time a group of environmentalists tried to get a 10 cent deposit/return placed on it, corporations overpowered do-gooders with negative ads to defeat return laws.
Soon, the disposable diaper arrived! On my bicycle travels across America and the world, I've seen tens of thousands of soiled, plastic baby diapers thrown into every corner of the planet.
Weisman wrote, "What happens to plastic, however, can be seen most vividly in places where trash is never collected. Humans have continuously inhabited the Hopi Indian Reservation in northern Arizona since AD1000-longer than any other site in today's United States. The principal Hopi villages sit atop three mesas with 360-degree views of the surrounding desert. For centuries, the Hopis simply threw their garbage, consisting of food scraps and broken ceramic, over the sides of the mesas. Coyotes and vultures took care of the food wastes, and the pottery shards blended back into the ground they came from.
"That worked fine until the mid-twentieth century. Then, the garbage tossed over the side stopped going away. The Hopis were visibly surrounded by a rising pile of a new, nature-proof kind of trash. The only way it disappeared was by being blown across the desert. But it was still there, stuck to sage and mesquite branches, impaled on cactus spines."
On our oceans, "In 1975, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences had estimated that all oceangoing vessels together dumped 8 million pounds of plastic annually. More recent research showed the world's merchant fleet alone shamelessly tossing around 639,000 plastic containers every day.
"The real reason that the world's landfills weren't overflowing with plastic, he found, was because most of it ends up in an ocean-fill. After a few years of sampling the North Pacific gyre, Moore concluded that 80 percent of mid-ocean flotsam had originally been discarded on land."
Weisman wrote, "DURING HIS FIRST THOUSAND-MILE CROSSING of the gyre, Moore calculated half a pound for every one hundred square meters of debris on the surface, and arrived at three million tons of plastic. His estimate was corroborated by U.S. Navy calculations. It was the first of many staggering figures he would encounter. And it only represented visible plastic: an indeterminate amount of larger fragments get fouled by enough algae and barnacles to sink. In 1998, Moore returned with a trawling device, such as Sir Alistair Hardy had employed to sample krill, and found, incredibly, more plastic by weight than plankton on the ocean's surface. In fact, it wasn't even close: six times as much."
As you read through this series, it gets uglier than you can imagine. "As for the little pellets known as nurdles, 5.5 quadrillion-about 250 billion pounds-were manufactured annuallyperfect for bite-size for little creatures that the bigger creatures eat, were being flushed seaward."
That half-century's total production now surpasses 1 billion tons.
Ladies and gentlemen of America: as you can see, it's what you can't see that's doing incredible damage to our planet home. As I said, plastics prove the worst invention of humanity. They're insidious, sinister, menacing and deadly to this planet's living creatures.
Any questions? Why would someone knowingly toss 639,000 plastic containers into our oceans daily? Why would Pete Coors, owner of Coors Brewing, pretend to be an environmentalist in Colorado, but spend millions of dollars to defeat our bottle/return laws not once but twice? Short answer: he makes $13 million a year, but that's not enough. He wants more profit with total disregard for all the trash his cans, bottles and the plastic waste generated across the landscape. Just think of all corporation heads thinking and acting like Pete Coors. Sickening!
The next time you're at the grocery checkout, they may ask, "Paper or plastic?" You answer as you pull them out, "I've got my cotton bags, thank you."
It's a start. Nature thanks you!
For further insights into our ongoing onslaught of this
planet, Alan Weisman's article is an excerpt from his book "The World
Without Us" published by St. Martin's Press in July, 2007.
What you can do for a better future for your country:
A republican form of government is not a spectator sport. It means you must jump in, roll up you sleeves and take personal and collective action. Of course, you could let a dictator take over and do everything for you, but that path would give you Cuba, China, North Korea and other unsavory examples.
To stop Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid from giving an amnesty, take action.
CALL Nancy Pelosi: Washington, DC - (202) 225-4965
San Francisco, CA - (415) 556-4862 ; Email Nancy Pelosi
email@example.com ; Email form for Nancy Pelosi; http://www.house.gov/pelosi/contact/contact.html
Senator Harry Reid: 202 224 3121 in Washington DC
775 686 5750 in Reno, NV;
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Switchboard for live listener: 202 456 1414
We must 'sour the milk.' Bring out your points in the call:
1. America cannot support another 100 million people added to our country in 34 years, i.e., water crisis, resource depletion, air pollution, gridlock, loss of quality of life, etc.
2. America cannot support lawbreakers being given citizenship.
3. America must maintain our English language.
4. America wants only legal immigrants who play by the rules and speak English.
5. America's working poor deserve a chance at jobs taken by illegals.
6. America already has too many people and I support a 10 year moratorium on all immigration.
7. Americans must maintain our schools for our children.
8. We can no longer tolerate 350,000 birthright citizens (anchor babies) annually that subtract from our own citizens.
9. Attrition through enforcement by stopping their ability to wire money home, obtain rental housing and jobs.
10. An amnesty failed in 1986, and it will only be worse today. We're being displaced out of our jobs and out of our own country. Call with relentless and never-give-up passion.
To reduce illegal aliens in your community, you may follow the course of action by Mayor Louis Barletta of Hazelton, PA. He offers a bomb proof ordinance that takes business licenses away from those who hire illegals. He legally halts landlords from renting to illegals. Without work and without housing, illegals cannot stay in your community. Check out his website for instructions: www.SmallTownDefenders.com/public/node/6
Visit D.A. King at the www.thedustininmansociety.org to see how Georgia created the best laws to stop illegals at the state level.
Please check out William Gheen at www.alipac.us. He's a mover and shaker. He will direct you to specific actions that make you more powerful and effective.
To stop this invasion locally and nationally: join www.numbersusa.com for free and you can join www.fairus.org and www.thesocialcontract.com
Wooldridge presents a 45 minute program to colleges, high schools, civic clubs, church groups and political clubs across America titled: "COMING POPULATION CRISIS IN AMERICA: WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT." Go to his website for further information on booking the program. www.frostywooldridge.com
Check out www.populationmedia.org for an exciting method for creating overpopulation awareness in Third World countries. Their prime directive works with the media in order to educate and activate leaders and women worldwide.
Whether we like it or not, global warming is upon us. We can take action to correct it. Please join www.stopglobalwarming.org for up to the minute information and action items.
Awareness Campaign web site, www.mcs-global.org, which is purely to help save and protect human health and environmental health globally. Diana Buckland is founder and global coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Diana makes impact all over the world by alerting everyone about chemical sensitivities caused by poisons sprayed, injected and applied to our crops and elsewhere.
From Part 5 of this series, "Destroying our oceans", if you would like to become involved please refer to <http://www.savetheoceans.org/>www.savetheoceans.org for a first rate lesson on how to take action in order to cleanse our oceans, restock our fish population, move toward recycling and cleanup of our world's most important living resource. Watch shows on PBS that expose where we threw two million tires into the waters off the East Coast and all the damage those tires are doing to marine life. You'll find out what you can do to have them raised from the deep. Additionally, check out www.greenpeace.org for actions at the national and international levels.
www.21stCenturyPaulRevereRide.us ; www.numbersusa.com ; www.carryingcapacity.org ; www.balance.org ; www.thesocialcontract.com
www.alipac.us at 1 866 329 3999; www.theamericanresistance.com ; www.ccir.net ; www.theByteShow.com ; www.projectusa.org ; www.borderguardians.org ; www.immigrationwatchcanada.org ; www.mothersagainstillegalaliens.org ; www.unitedpatriotsofamerica.com ; www.unitedstates.fm ; www.worldfreedomtour.info ; My book: "IMMIGRATION'S UNARMED INVASION: DEADLY CONSEQUENCES" Call: 1 888 280 7715. http://www.TiANews.com www.victimsofillegalaliens.org ; www.pacinlaw.org; http://USABorderAlert.com/http://SanDiegoBorderAlert.com ; for motorcyclists:
www.americanfreedomriders.com and www.immigrationbuzz.com ;
www.mcs-global.org ; On April 1, 2007, the Paul Revere Riders will again ride to stop the illegal invasion and accompany Arizona long haul truckers and motorcyclists in a freedom border ride to block illegal aliens from crossing our borders. We invite all veterans, truckers and bikers to join us. Contact Rusty Childress at www.immigrationbuzz.com and www.americanfreedomriders.com for further information. Please write with your ideas on what to name the ride.
Frosty Wooldridge possesses a unique view of the world, cultures and families in that he has bicycled around the globe 100,000 miles, on six continents and six times across the United States in the past 30 years. He presents a program to colleges, conferences, high schools and civic clubs around the country: "THE COMING POPULATION CRISIS IN AMERICA: WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT". His published books include: "HANDBOOK FOR TOURING BICYCLISTS" ; "STRIKE THREE! TAKE YOUR BASE" ; "IMMIGRATION'S UNARMED INVASION: DEADLY CONSEQUENCES" ; "MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE TO ALASKA: INTO THE WIND-A TEEN NOVEL" ; "BICYCLING AROUND THE WORLD: TIRE TRACKS FOR YOUR IMAGINATION" ; "AN EXTREME ENCOUNTER: ANTARCTICA". His next book: "TILTING THE STATUE OF LIBERTY INTO A SWAMP". He lives in Denver, Colorado. firstname.lastname@example.org