In the article Captain Charles Moore, Neil Greenberg discusses the ramifications of plastic in our oceans with the man that discovered the great Pacific garbage patch, Captain Charles Moore. The great Pacific garbage patch with discovered in 1997, and while it is not an island of trash, it is a huge area where water of different temperatures mixes. The trash gets swooped up in these currents and if it doesn’t float around on the surface, it sinks to the bottom. Along the way, birds and marine life eat the plastic thinking it’s food. This can cause toxins to leach into the animals and poison them.
The purpose of this article was to inform the public that this problem exists. We go about our lives with blinders on, not thinking about the implications of out actions. I really don’t think that many people know about the great garbage patch. This is detrimental to our environment. Toxins in the water equal toxins in our food. They say, “You are what you eat”. Well, I don’t want to be that.
The only way this is going to turn around is with global knowledge of the problem. Informing the US that there is this problem only helps part of it. The next step after global knowledge is finding an alternative. Charles Moore is right when he says that we have to slowly start a program. People will not like having their convenient plastic taken away, but in the end, it’s better for our world.
Greenberg, N. (2009). Captain Charles Moore. Earth Island Journal. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost. Vol. 24. Issue 1. p47-50. 4p
In the article Eating Mercury, Alexandra Gross discusses the study completed by the FDA that tested 55 random brands of food for mercury. The incredible thing is, 17 out of the 55 had mercury in them and I’m just now reading about this for the first time. Supposedly the process of making high fructose corn syrup requires caustic soda. There are different ways to make this, but a few of the plants are using old technology. The old way of making caustic soda involves mercury and somehow it’s getting into the food products.
I understand from the article that this study was not done on a grand scale, and that is what the high fructose corn syrup companies are going with. They are saying that this was not a formal study by the FDA, just something a few people did, but I say so what! Even if it was a private study, shouldn’t this prompt the FDA to do a large study? From what I’ve been able to find, it doesn’t look like much has become of this problem and that, in and of itself, is a problem.
From further research I found out that while he was Senator, Barack Obama came up with a bill that would get rid of mercury cell technology in these plants. However, I could not find anything that says if he followed through as president. There is nothing that states if mercury cell technology is still being used. This requires further action as high fructose corn syrup is in 90% of products. (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, 2009). There’s really no way to completely avoid it. This is very distressing.
Gross, Alexandra (2009). Eating Mercury. E: The Environmental Magazine. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost. Vol. 20. Issue 3. p19-22. 4p
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. (2009, January 26). High Fructose Corn Syrup’s Not So Sweet Surprise: Mercury! Retrieved from Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy: http://www.iatp.org/blog/2009/01/high-fructose-corn-syrups-not-so-sweet-surprise-mercury
In the article Oil Exploration Can Be a Boon To Alaskans and Environment, Don Young explains the benefits of drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). He writes about the native Inupiat Eskimos and the modernization that has occurred since oil has been drilled in Prudhoe Bay. I understand that heated schools and modern plumbing are a great benefit, but what about the downsides? I thought that the Young was completely one-sided in his article. He completely failed to talk about the bad things that can happen with oil drilling. He only discussed how small a space the oil drilling would occupy and the amount of money the US would save. Even the ANWR.org website completely supports the idea of drilling.
I am not opposed or for drilling in Alaska because I do not have all of the information, but I do not think it’s ok to publish material that is so one-sided. After reading this, I would be completely onboard to start drilling, but I realized there has to be something bad because there are still 22% of Alaskans that are opposed to it. After some digging, I found out that some of the bad is really bad. By allowing the oil companies into ANWR, it opens up the floodgates for other industrial companies to come in as well. We have the mentality that it’s only a couple thousand acres out of 1.5 million, what’s a few more? We do this until it’s all gone, then we’re up a creek without a paddle. ANWR is one of the last true wilderness areas in the US. By allowing the oil companies in, it jeopardizes a fragile environment.
The research has also shown that the oil fields would not be contained to one small area. There are pipes that need to be run and roads that need to be built. Then there is also housing for the workers (￼Natural Resouces Defense Council, 2011). The last issue I will bring up is the pollution that comes with drilling for oil. When oil is drilled, there is waste produced. Where does the waste go? Well, BP was fined millions of dollars in 2000 because it was dumping the waste material down the oil shafts. The waste material has chemicals such as benzene and other toxic materials. There is also the large amount of nitrogen and methane that is pumped into the air. It is also almost impossible to prevent spills. Whether this be diesel or oil, it is extremely harmful to the local wildlife and plant life (Miller, 2012).
Whether it is good or bad, the effects of drilling for oil will extend way outside of the 2,000 acres that they want to use. This is a huge matter that should not be decided by a few people reading an article only containing the good facts. The bad are just too bad to ignore.
￼Natural Resouces Defense Council. (2011, 12 19). Arctic Wildlife Refuge: Why Trash an American Treasure for a Tiny Percentage of Our Oil Needs? Retrieved from ￼Natural Resouces Defense Council: http://www.nrdc.org/land/wilderness/arctic.asp
Miller, P. A. (2012). THE IMPACT OF OIL DEVELOPMENT ON PRUDHOE BAY. Retrieved from Arctic Connections: http://arcticcircle.uconn.edu/ANWR/arcticconnections.htm
Young, D. (1995, October 13). Oil exploration can be a boon to Alaskans and environment. Christian Science Monitor. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost. p. 18.
To put a patent on life seems unethical, but in the movie The Future of Food that has been shown to have happened. Deborah Koons has shown us that major companies, like Monsanto, have produced seeds that are immune to Round-up. They have then patented the gene so anyone that wants the corn with this gene has to pay a premium. What I think is unethical is that crops cannot be controlled like that. Neighboring farms are being charged with patent infringement because their corn has the Round-up Ready gene in it. Round-up Ready plants still have pollen and there is still wind and bees in the world. There is no way that they can control where their corn’s pollen goes. It can, and will cross-contaminate other crops.
The Future of Food was a wake up call for me. The fact that four companies are running all the agriculture of the US is disturbing. How can American’s be ok with this? Europeans and some other countries are not. I would like to know what’s in my food. I’m not saying to completely take it off the market, I’m sure there is some good coming from it, but there should be something written on the packaging letting us know what we are eating.
It was also disturbing to find out how many people there are in the government that previously worked for Monsanto. There seems to be a conflict of interest there. I know I’ve stated this in previous reports, but you’re supposed to be able to trust the government and they are making it awfully hard. It past due for American’s to wake up from their dreamy lives and find out what’s really going on. I think they would be shocked to find out what is happening right under their noses.
￼Garcia, D. K. (Director). (2004). The Future of Food [Motion Picture].
I chose to look at the earth911.com website because I have used the website on several occations. I even told people to look here for recycling information in my research paper. The website is easy to navigate and has great environmental information.
The first time I went to the website I was curious about recycling plants. There is an area where you can type in your zipcode and what you want to recycle and it will tell you where the nearest plant is. The only downfall of this feature is that you must be very specific. I typed in Styrofoam and nothing came up, but when I typed in polystyrene I found a local plant. Some people may only know the name brand and will not find what they are looking for.
While on the page I noticed an area for composting information. The information was great; they even had pictures of the products they recommend for composting. There was also a link for sculptures made out of trash that had washed up on the beaches in Oregon. These pictures should be on billboards around the world. There is so much trash it’s scary.
Earth911.com is a great website because they’ve put a lot of information in easy to use pages. The layouts of the pages are colorful and beg to be looked at more. The name is also easy to remember, which is a big deal. It doesn’t do anyone any good to have a great website that no one can remember. I will use this website over and over again in the future as I start to “go green”. It’s a long process, but I think this will be a great source of information.
Earth911. (2012). Earth911. Retrieved from http://earth911.com/
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