October 29th, students at the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt had the privilege of videoconferencing with Captain Charles Moore and hearing him share his first-hand experience with the horror that is our world’s vast (and only recently discovered) unplanned pit of poisons.
Captain Moore is a sailboat captain. He was recently featured on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” as the captain of a research vessel investigating what has come to be called the “Garbage Patch” of the Pacific Ocean. This huge area, about the size of the state of Texas, is crowded with debris from our wasteful civilization, one which, according to Cap’n Moore, is pretty much doomed to strangle its own oceans by its profit-motivated culture, in which our most prevalent products are meant to be used once and thrown away. These find their way to just below the surface of the ocean, where they accumulate, float in suspension, and threaten the habitats of increasingly large numbers of living species.
It is noted that debris outweighs living plankton in the area by a factor of 6. mindfully.org goes on to note that “The levels of plastic particulates in the Pacific have at least tripled in the last 10 years and a tenfold increase in the next decade is not unreasonable. Then, 60 times more plastic than plankton will float on its surface.” According to the Institute for Figuring’s website, “a study by the United Nations Environmental Program estimates that in this region there are 46,000 floating pieces of plastic for every square mile of ocean and the trash now circulates to a depth of 30 meters.
Students Dissecting a Bird Bolus
Wow. If that’s not thought-food for these high school freshmen (who had just spent the morning disecting seabird boluses–is that the plural of bolus?–to discover how much plastic waste they had ingested recently), then I don’t know what is. I hope it’s also a healthy brainsnack for you!
As an extra added bonus, this episode features a Tech Tip Tidbit!that suggests that snacking on YouTube video might be harmful to your computer!?
Download S4theB! 64 right here, or click “Links” above to use the Podcast Pickle Player!