Dedicated to the Restoration of Progressive Democracy
It is hard to grasp the scale of the problem. It is also easy to just blame plastic without getting to the root of the problem which is that humans find it easy to simply throw stuff away or leave it behind. Those who don't like the mess can clean it up. It is always somebody else's problem. We have probably all witnessed guys out in a small boat filling their spent beer bottles with water and letting them sink to the bottom. Out of sight, out of mind. The basic problem with plastic is that so much of it doesn't sink. Plastic comes back to haunt us. Unfortunately it is almost impossible to put the finger on the culprits, particularly on the oceans.
.. I see people hitting golf balls into Lake Muskoka or into the Carribbean.. its so disgusting I want to skull them with a pitching wedge
We're turning our planet, our environment, into a planetary toilet and we'll splash around in it happily all day. Perhaps we should be levying fees on plastics, bottles, wraps, the lot, at a cost sufficient to generate enough money to fund the cleanup of this mess.
the solution to garbage like plastic is already found in Denmark which just opened the ARC garbage to energy plant. This is a major scale up from the small community plants they have used for years that burn garbage in a community with the heat supplying all the hot water and even some electricity for that community. The "secret" is the development of filters that remove all polutents from the exhaust allowing it to be used safely in the middle of a residential area. If this technology was used world wide it would take a couple of decades to burn all the garbage but wars may be fought when it gets scarce. If you think about it using fossil fuels to produce energy directly is insane especially as we have been doing with minimal filtering of the exhaust and no utilization of all the heat produced. It makes far more sense to use oil to produce the thousands of products we make every day of it then burn those when they are no longer useful. In Canada if there is a shortage of garbage the brush from roadside clearing and fire smart programs can be used as well instead of just burning them like a camp fire which the dirtiest way to get rid of them.
"In Canada if there is a shortage of garbage the brush from roadside clearing and fire smart programs can be used as well instead of just burning them like a camp fire which the dirtiest way to get rid of them."This should always be chipped and mulched, otherwise, you are just adding to soil depletion.
I have read about the Scandinavian garbage incineration/energy production initiatives. I'm not convinced that burning instead of recycling is necessary. There is a great deal of energy used in producing plastic products which are largely petroleum based. Why should we perpetuate that energy/emissions regime beyond the extent necessary?
Jay raises a good point about mulching and soil remediation. There is a global problem of soil degradation. In some places, such as India, the degree of degradation is already quite serious. Intensive, industrial agriculture with its reliance on agri-chemicals (fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides) has created a disaster in waiting. In 2014 the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that we're degrading farmland so rapidly that mankind effectively has 60 harvests left. We're stripping the essential carbon and microbes out of the soil. For nature to regenerate an inch of topsoil takes anywhere from 500 to 1,000 years.There's no magic bullet solution to the oceanic plastics problem or food insecurity or pretty much anything else. You need a genuinely holistic approach because, as Jared Diamond reminds us in "Collapse," if you can't fix everything, you'll be unable to fix anything.
Post a Comment