National Week of the Ocean

The first week of April is the National Week of the Ocean.

A perfect time to think about the ocean.  Not just the beaches.  Though they do matter.  The beaches are like the leaves of the ocean. They stretch out to join ocean and Earth.  Ocean and sky.  We see the health of the ocean through its natural beaches.  Those less travelled by humans.

Oceans were once teeming with life.  Now, many sections are left barren by overfishing.  Empty places, with little, or nothing to fill them.

Beaches show this by their lack of living, mostly mammals and crustaceans, who once lived on the beaches, the border between the land and the sea.

Oceans are now filled with debris.  Much plastic, and other garbage, that floated into them from the mountains, down the once pristine streams, to glutted rivers, and deposited in the ocean. Animals eat this plastic, thinking it is food.  Or, in the case of filter feeders, there is no escaping as they open their mouths to eat.  In many ways, plastic in the oceans, is like smoke in smoke-filled room.  No escaping it.  It is in your clothes, lungs, food, drink, hair, and everything there.

We see the devastation on many beaches. Covered with garbage, brought in by the waves.  Garbage that did not originate on that coast, or even that continent.

Europeans are doing their part to enact laws to cut back plastics use, and help clean up oceans, regardless of where the trash in them came from.

Our beaches show us the life and death struggle of the animals that live both in the depths, and those that live on land.

Once, the beaches teemed with life.  Both ocean life, and terrestrial life.  Sleeping, feeding, and raising families.  Now, many are lifeless, empty, eroding without the animals to keep them safe from harm.

Ocean Garbage : https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/science/2018/03/22/great-pacific-garbage-patch-grows/446405002/

Ocean Cleanup:  https://www.theoceancleanup.com/

Ocean Cleanup on Beaches where the garbage did not originate.  People drink this water.  Fish from it.  Bathe in it.  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/09/modern-life-rubbish-helping-mumbai-clean-up-beach-india-city

It doesn’t have to be this way.  There are plenty of teens inventing solutions to collect the garbage from the oceans.  As much as possible.  Of course, millions of jobs could be created.  Governments choose not to, as they’ve no place to put all the garbage.  Though, it could be sorted, recycled, and broken down into less dangerous particles.

Garbage Bin: http://www.slate.com/articles/video/video/2015/12/a_clever_new_automatic_ocean_trash_collection_system_called_the_seabin_is.html

A list of options: https://upliftconnect.com/clean-up-the-ocean/

There are dangers to fish being trapped inside the garbage collection devices.  And most of the choices will not collect microplastics, especially microplastic beads. Which tend to fill plankton, that are eaten by larger fish, and larger fish, up three or four sizes before being eaten by humans.

Microplastics https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/microplastics.html

Another option is bacteria that digest plastic.  They could eventually help clean up our oceans, and our landfills.  https://phys.org/news/2016-03-newly-bacteria-plastic-bottles.html Again, creating millions of jobs to grow the bacteria, disperse, it, and evaluate the landfills as they shrink from plastic disappearing.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the ocean, and its beaches teeming with life, rather than litter?

Conservatives versus Liberals

Before November of 2016, I rarely thought about politics. Why bother? Bunch of hollerticians who would rather fight each other, than help the common person. Rarely did anything change. Although, Obama tried to get passage of several laws that would allow equality among people with disabilities, medical conditions, the poor, and other overlooked and forgotten populations.
He tried to help the common person. Congress and corporations fought him every step of the way.
I never paid any attention to political “parties.” They have no idea what a party is. A party is a loud, obnoxious, sound and sight disaster with constant commotion. It begins and ends, and is over. Politics groups rarely end.

Our founding fathers did not want a two – part polarized political system for the very reason of what has happened in the last year.

The group who took control of the branches of government call themselves conservatives.
What are they conserving?

They do not want to conserve freedom of speech.  They have declared the press, and news channels, the enemy.
They do not want to conserve the air. They want to pollute to where you won’t be able to see your mailbox from your home. They have voted to destroy the EPA.
They do not want to conserve the water. They want to fill it with toxins and make it undrinkable. That will also kill the fish, and the ocean.
They do not want to conserve the animals. They don’t care if every animal on the planet dies. They have decided to eliminate the Endangered Species Act.
They do not want to conserve land. They want to turn the public lands over to developers. They want to destroy the national parks.
They do not want to conserve the science.  The first accounts they tried shut up were the scientists.
They do not want to conserve jobs. They’ve already eliminated more jobs through the destruction of the EPA, Endangered Species Act, and Healthcare repeals than they can create.
They do not want to conserve healthcare. They want to destroy the ACA, and take healthcare away from those who most need it.
They do not want to conserve the Social Security program. The program that workers paid into for their entire working careers. They want to eliminate it.
They do not want to conserve Medicaid. They want to delete it.
They do not want to conserve education. They voted in a person to run the education department that has no understanding of the education system, and wants to eliminate education for those with disabilities.
They do not want to conserve the future. They have no concern for the future, or the children of today. They don’t care if they live, or die.
They do not want to conserve the ADA laws. They want to hide and ignore those with disabilities. Including the elderly, blind, deaf, wheelchair users, and walker users. If you aren’t identical to everyone else, they don’t want you.
They do not want to conserve women’s rights. They want to remove all of them. Including the right to vote. It isn’t much of step for them to remove property rights, jobs, education and more as well. This is beyond a slippery slope.
They do not want to conserve safety. They have voted to repeal many domestic violence laws. The president even brags about sexual harassment, and walking in on young girls changing clothes. How was that ever okay?
They do not want to conserve relationships with other countries. They’ve already seriously damaged relationships with Mexico, Canada, Australia, and most of Europe.
They do not want to conserve the right to choice of religion. Or no religion. They want to go against the Constitution and insert their personal, private religion into political situations.
They do not want to conserve the rights of minorities, regardless of ethnicity or gender. They want to take away their rights to self choice. Some of which have been hard fought for.

Does anyone know what a conservative does want to conserve?

Interestingly, the other group are called Liberals. Nothing liberal about them. They simply want equal rights for all – regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, birthplace, birth income, education status, medical condition or ability.
They want all humans to be treated as humans. With a chance to succeed where, and when they can, in a way that they can. What’s wrong with that?
Liberals believe everyone deserves an education.
Liberals believe everyone deserves clean, healthy air to breath.
Liberals believe everyone deserves clean, healthy water to drink. – Including wild animals.
Liberals believe everyone deserves healthcare. To deny healthcare is abuse.
Liberals believe everyone deserves education. Without it, there is no future.
Liberals believe everyone deserves freedom to, and from, religion. It doesn’t belong in public places.
Liberals believe everyone deserves to be counted as human – young, old, abled, disabled, female, differently gendered, regardless of ethnicity, and other concerns.
Liberals believe everyone deserves the right to work as they can. They value the jobs society overlooks – cooking, cleaning, building, sewing, all the little things the world cannot live without.

Liberals believe everyone deserves the right to live the life they were meant to live, and not be blocked in by walls.

To those conservatives who would say life isn’t fair. We are humans. Not wild animals. We should do everything possible to make life as equitable and fair as we possibly can for all. No human, or animal, should be abused, or killed, for no reason. As humans, we should expect fair, and equitable, treatment by fellow humans.

Pacific Garbage Patch

When I’m stressed, I sing. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. I need to quit creating songs.
One aspect that is lightly mentioned in my novels, and would make a good follow up short story if I ever have time – the trip to the Pacific Garbage Patch.
We really need our teens to work on this. Teens – because they have the brain power, the energy, the strength to do the work. They haven’t been told no too many times. They haven’t accepted the death of the planet as inevitable in the next few decades. They don’t want to race to that moment. They want to live to see adulthood.
We need them to create ways to collect the garbage patches. We need them to clean up the mess their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents made.
Then, we need to know if the plastic eating bacteria are safe. What happens when they encounter batteries in the garbage for instance?
We don’t want to create a bigger problem.
Or, like some Northern European countries, we need to turn those plastics back into fuel.
Our planet cannot exist without living oceans.
If all the animals die – through over hunting and eating plastic instead of food, the currents will slow. The tides will change. The weather patterns will falter.
We need living oceans.
We need living creatures.
We don’t want to be the cause of the only living things on Earth being bacteria and viruses.
We need science oriented teens to lead the way to save our planet.
We might not live long enough to see sustainable oceans. They might. Teens are our hope for a future. One we won’t see.
One they, and the children of today deserve. They deserve a chance to live. And at least a tenth of the resources of those who lived in the last century.
Give them a chance to save the Earth for themselves, and their future.

Seaquest – Why aren’t we there?

Last night we watched an episode of Seaquest.
It mentioned the year 2018. In that year – the oceans were supposed to be cleaned.
Why haven’t we done this?
Our country created the mess – It started in the 1950’s. By the 1970’s, it was well known. Today, it grows.
Every person is a part of the problem. Even if you tie your garbage up tightly in bags for the garbage collectors. Once the bags reach the landfills – they rip. Birds and wind carry garbage to the sea. Enough to walk knee deep, if all of it were piled in any average sized state.
If we want any ocean life in 20 years, we must clean up the mess of those who made it. We have several generations of plastics and other garbage in the ocean.
We need to spend more on science, so that the plastic eating bacteria can be developed to help us clean up the messes our parents and grandparents left us.
We don’t have the time, or lifecycle, to lessen the money spent on science.
We need more. More time and resources. We need the plastics eaten by bacteria. We need the garbage dumps cleared safely. Toxins removed from our environment. We also need to be sure that those bacteria can die out after plastics are gone and they are no longer needed.