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?

The Greatest Generation

The Greatest Generation. The first generation to name themselves.
They raped the land, the air, the seas. Much as they did the women of this planet.
It was hidden. Deep inside. Pain. Deep pain. The Earth, and women, do not forget.
The Greatest Generation. They used this planet’s resources. Sure to take every bit of them with them.
They took the oil. That kills marine wildlife when they rise to the surface to breath.
They made plastics. That fill our woods, rivers, ponds, oceans, and is eaten by starving wildlife.
They filled the air with toxic fumes, so thick no one could see the house across the street.
Their children and grandchildren arrived. Slowly. Birth rates lowered. Sickness spread. Cancer grew rampant.
Their children became adults and fought to make the planet produce food again. To make the air breathable. Make the water drinkable. Lower health risks.
We made slow progress. As so many did not want to give up the comforts of the current generations. Things. Only things. Things that had not existed in the tens of thousands of years of human history.
Once again, our air, water, land, and lives are threatened.
I remember the Trinity River. It flowed rather like a mud pie sliding down hill. Millions drank from that mud pie. What toxins caused permanent damage for them, and all future generations?
I remember when Hospice nurses were told to flush un-used drugs when a patient died, so they wouldn’t fall into the wrong hands. Now, we know, as I did then, they end up in our drinking water. As does RoundUp, and every other chemical we pour into the soil.
Even know, the water is so dangerous, it comes to our homes as bleach water. Too many times, I’ve drank it from the tap. Too many times, I’ve suffered mouth burns from the bleach. I’ve lost many teeth to the bleach in the water we are supposed to drink.
This is the first time in my life I am glad I don’t have children. I would not want them, as new adults, to be struggling with survival. Wondering if the air is safe to breathe. Or the water to drink. If they will ever have healthcare. Or a home to live in. Wondering if their children will be born with deadly, or life-altering birth defects, requiring constant care until their deaths.
I don’t wish this questions, or their unlikely answers, on the young adults of today. I wish them hope. I wish them food, clothing, shelter, family. All things they may lose as the Greatest Generation struggles to return us to a time when there were no regulations.
The Greatest Generation. The Generation that had to build landfills. They throw more away in one week, than our ancestors did in an entire lifetime.
They have ensured that those few humans who survive will be able to mine there garbage pits for over a thousand years.
The Greatest Generation. The ones who left their children and grandchildren behind. A mess to clean up. Little food. Little safe water. Floods of epic proportions.
An endangered species list, that grows to include us.
Towering garbage piles, swarmed by birds, rats, and wild dogs.
Mother Nature has a way of responding to threats.
She has earthquakes. They are increasing due to drilling.
She has volcanoes. Many are being wakened by drilling, and other human activities. Plugging them with our garbage would only complicate matters.
She has hurricanes. They devastate the coasts. Where people congregate.
She is tossing and turning in her sleep.
Will the Greatest Generation waken her full fury?
Or will their children and grandchildren, manage to calm her restless spirit?

Care

I don’t want the rivers and lakes to catch fire. I don’t want to lose the trees. I want safe drinking water. Not chlorine bleach that destroys my teeth. Save the EPA. It needs to be strengthened, not weakened.
If people cared about themselves, we wouldn’t need the EPA.
If people cared about themselves, they would care about others, the environment, and the future.
Instead, we’ve had generations of teaching people to despise themselves, others, and the environment.
Without an environment, there is no future.
No food. No water. No animals. No people.
Share. Care. For yourself first. Then, you will care for others.

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.