Posts Tagged ‘food chain’

Monday Moaning

This is a moan, but it’s more of awareness. An awareness that we landlubbers rarely see.

Here’s a glimpse.

Next time you buy a bottle of water, remember the baby albatross

Like finding rubbish on Everest, when I crossed the Atlantic I was dismayed to see so much plastic – and that kills seabirds

‘The particles of plastic, many of them ­minute, enter the food chain and do terrible damage to all forms of life.’ Photograph: Lucy Pemoni/AP

The picture of the baby albatross that starved to death after being fed nutritionally useless bits of plastic by its parents shows just what happens when we treat the world’s oceans as a handy system of waste disposal. A few years ago, I got a do-this-before-you-die chance to sail across the Atlantic, among the best things I’ve ever done.

One startling discovery was that the sea is actually a kind of desert. For most of the trip, we rarely saw a bird, we caught no fish, and the only living things apart from us were the Portuguese man-of-wars, evil-looking jelly fish that drifted by in ominous numbers on calm days. But, like discovering rubbish on Everest, there was always plastic. Big bits – weather buoys that had come adrift, fuel containers and suchlike – and small bits, and even smaller bits. There are 269,000 tonnes of these fragments, according to the newest estimate. They come mainly from single-use plastic containers like water bottles, but even so-called biodegradable plastic only degrades quickly in commercial composting systems.

The particles, many of them minute, enter the food chain and do terrible damage to all forms of life. And because they are not only on the surface but also suspended deep beneath, trying to remove them risks doing more environmental harm. So next time you buy bottled water, remember the baby albatross.

Source: TheGuardian

Monday Moaning

Whatever form

Whatever form

Soda – Soft Drinks, depends whether you are American or British, but that is immaterial, the question is what are they doing to our kids?

We have long known that soft drinks/soda are contributing to the current epidemic of obesity.

With ‘light‘ or ‘diet‘ drinks being the worst offenders; which just begs the question, why do so many people drink this shit?

There is new evidence coming to light. Evidence that soda/soft drinks are more evil, much more evil than imagined.

We have become preoccupied with conditions like ADHD (which I have just read is a hoax condition – for another time) and things like inattention at school, juvenile violence levels manifesting at kindergarten level, and worsening in the teens.

But there are definite suspicions as a result of an inconclusive survey by Columbia University epidemiologist Shakira Suglia and her colleagues that the culprit may well be our beloved sodas and soft drinks.

Read this article: Soft drinks’ side effects on

And tell me, that we should be banning these products outright from our children’s diets. In fact governments should be banning these drinks from the young, just like they ban smoking.

Soda was once a luxury, you had a can maybe once a week, I was allowed one 7oz bottle of Coca-Cola on Saturdays; if I had behaved myself during the week.

But today, it is part of our kids food chain, a daily routine, sometimes more, a lot more than one can/bottle a day.

Our kids are overdosing on soda, it’s become a drug, its addictive. A recent case in NZ where a woman died drinking (to excess) Coca-Cola. That’s not a fantasy, it was a decision of the coroner’s court.

As a parent I want you to think about it, seriously. Is your child’s behaviour aggressive, or in any way manifesting some form of antisocial behaviour? Is he/she possibly a bully? Does he/she get irritable? Do they show an attention deficit?  Have there been complaints from school about his/her general behaviour?

Okay… now measure that against their intake of soda – BE HONEST!

Do you see a relationship?

There is a solution! BAN SODA AND SOFT DRINKS.

I have. I have returned to water.


Make you Fink on Friday


We have to stop sweeping the inconvenient under the carpet; we have been doing it for too long.

The world’s population has been growing at exponential rates, but this is not only confined to the population. Other things have been growing likewise. Shipping for example, there are more passenger and cruise liners than ever before, there are more fishing vessels, there are more container ships and more pleasure craft.

Maritime pollution is also growing faster than ever before.

We don’t see this the same as on land, because most of us don’t sail, but it is there and it is endangering marine life and the food chain which ultimately ends up on our tables.

What happens to all the trash from these boats?

A lot of it gets dumped in the sea.

The worst example is the Pacific Gyre, a vortex of ocean currents that has created the world’s largest marine trash heap. But it’s not the only gyre in the world, there are five such areas.

The Pacific Gyre, 90% of this trash has been dumped by boats – image: feedlol

The problem will only get worse unless a stand is taken.

Maritime laws must change. If a ship takes so much product on board, then it can be calculated within reason how much trash this product will generate. If a ship returns to port and can’t produce the estimated trash, then it is obvious that the trash has gone somewhere. Ports and boats need to maintain product in/trash out schedules or registers.

Not only trash, but fishing nets and tackle, should all have to be accounted for.

All ships must be made to account for their trash

This idea has to be an international effort, obviously a ship doesn’t necessarily off-load its trash at the port of departure, but it must be able to prove where the trash went, or the ship/company should be fined, and fined heavily; not just a smack across the wrist.

The money from these fines would be used in international efforts to clean up the crap we have already dumped in the sea.

But humanity must get off it’s sanctimonious derriere and be held responsible. Remember, once we have plundered the land to the point where it won’t produce food anymore, the sea is our last resort… if it’s still viable.

Monday Moaning

We’ve done it!

The Pacific Garbage Patch is a Texas-sized swirling mass of the world's mostly plastic garbage floating around in the North Pacific Ocean.

We all know that our oceans and seas are polluted with plastic, bottles, bags and all sorts of plastic crap that is thrown out on a daily basis. Plastic containers left on the beach, trash from rivers, garbage from ships, fishing nets, etc. This pollution is a plague, totally out of all proportion and control.

On land we try to recycle as much as possible, but what happens when it gets to the sea?

The Pacific Gyre is the size of Texas, that’s hell of a lot of plastic; you imagine Texas covered in three feet of plastic. Check out this disaster on Greenpeace’s Pacific Vortex and you’ll get an idea of how disastrous this is.

If that is not enough to shock you, I’m going to refer to a BBC News article that will, and it’s not about the Pacific Gyre, it’s about your laundry, your neighbour’s laundry, every laundry in the world that has a washing machine!

Accumulating ‘microplastic’ threat to shores

Concentrations of microplastic were greatest near coastal urban areas, the study showed

Microscopic plastic debris from washing clothes is accumulating in the marine environment and could be entering the food chain, a study has warned.

Researchers traced the “microplastic” back to synthetic clothes, which released up to 1,900 tiny fibres per garment every time they were washed.

Earlier research showed plastic smaller than 1mm were being eaten by animals and getting into the food chain.

The findings appeared in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

“Research we had done before… showed that when we looked at all the bits of plastic in the environment, about 80% was made up from smaller bits of plastic,” said co-author Mark Browne, an ecologist now based at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“This really led us to the idea of what sorts of plastic are there and where did they come from.”

Dr Browne, a member of the US-based research network National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, said the tiny plastic was a concern because evidence showed that it was making its way into the food chain.

“Once the plastics had been eaten, it transferred from [the animals’] stomachs to their circulation system and actually accumulated in their cells,” he told BBC News.

In order to identify how widespread the presence of microplastic was on shorelines, the team took samples from 18 beaches around the globe, including the UK, India and Singapore.

“We found that there was no sample from around the world that did not contain pieces of microplastic.”

Scanning microscope image of nylon fibres The smallest fibres could end up causing huge problems worldwide

Dr Browne added: “Most of the plastic seemed to be fibrous.

“When we looked at the different types of polymers we were finding, we were finding that polyester, acrylic and polyamides (nylon) were the major ones that we were finding.”

The data also showed that the concentration of microplastic was greatest in areas near large urban centres.

In order to test the idea that sewerage discharges were the source of the plastic discharges, the team worked with a local authority in New South Wales, Australia.

“We found exactly the same proportion of plastics,” Dr Browne revealed, which led the team to conclude that their suspicions had been correct.

As a result, Dr Browne his colleague Professor Richard Thompson from the University of Plymouth, UK carried out a number of experiments to see what fibres were contained in the water discharge from washing machines.

“We were quite surprised. Some polyester garments released more than 1,900 fibres per garment, per wash,” Dr Browne observed.

“It may not sound like an awful lot, but if that is from a single item from a single wash, it shows how things can build up.

“It suggests to us that a large proportion of the fibres we were finding in the environment, in the strongest evidence yet, was derived from the sewerage as a consequence from washing clothes.”

Source: BBC News

It appears that regardless of the visible plastic that pollutes the oceans, regardless of how much plastic we recycle, there is a greater threat that has existed longer.

Your laundry, your washing machine, it turns out,  is one of the greatest dangers to mankind. Microplastic entering the sea, eaten by fish, we eat the fish whose metabolism has been altered by the plastic.

This is the strongest argument that I have seen for a return to 100% natural fibres and a return to hand washing. Remember the days when the washing water was used to water the garden and wasn’t wasted down the sewer.

Once again mankind in his rush to make life easier with washing machines and synthetic fibres has damaged the natural balance of the eco-system, perhaps beyond recovery.

Imagine: 7,000,000,000 people washing a shirt a day means that each week we potentially pour 93.1 quadrillion pieces of microplastic into the rivers and sewers of the world, and we haven’t even discussed socks, underwear and trousers. That’s 4.74 quintillion a year; I can’t even imagine a number that large, I don’t even know if quintillion exists…


It does, I just checked, Rubik’s Cube has 43 quintillion +/- possible combinations.

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