The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

we need to take responsibility instead of passing it down to our children, as others before us have.
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Every year we produce about three million tons of plastic. Our economy grew rapidly in the last 25 years and now thrives off of cheap packaging. If you want to eat a biscuit nowadays, we have to buy a biscuit within a plastic wrapper, within a plastic tray, within a cardboard box, within some plastic foil within a plastic bag. People need to be educated on where this plastic goes when we are done with it, what effects this plastic has, as well as what is being done about this topic.

When issues of pollution arise, the main response is to leave the solution to our children. Well, here we are, and it is time to bring awareness to this issue.

Where does this plastic go when we are done with it?

Approximately 1,000 plastic bottles are wasted into our bodies of water per second. These rivers, streams, and channels lead to the ocean. The plastic debris primarily collect at these five rotating currents, called the gyers, where it doesn’t only directly kill sea life, but due to the absorption of PCBs and DDTs, also poisons the food chain… a food chain that includes us- humans. I would like to place emphasis on the North Pacific Gyre, also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Researcher Charles Moore discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and describes this island of plastic as twice the size of Texas. In this gyre, plastic outnumbers sea life 6-1. Moore also estimates that there is 7.25 million tons of extractable plastic in the top layers of the gyre. That is the weight of 1,000 Eiffel towers floating in the ocean.

What are the effects of plastic in the ocean?

Most effects are unfortunately negative. It is approximated that one million seabirds and one hundred thousand marine mammals die yearly from ocean plastic pollution. According to a study done by aerospace engineer, environmentalist, and Dutch inventor Boyan Slat, nearly all Laysam albatross chick- 97.5 percent to be exact already have pieces of plastic already in their stomachs; their parents feed them plastic particles that they mistake for food.

When turtles ingest plastic, they bring a false sensation of satiation that slows and has the possibility of halting reproduction. Plastic also warps their bodies until they die.

Approximately 2.5 billion people rely on fish for at least 20 percent of the protein they get from animals. As I mentioned before, synthetic chemicals in plastic including PBCs and DDTs are absorbed by the ocean, which increases the concentration by a million times.

These toxins are quickly absorbed into the marine food chain, which becomes an issue when fish in the north pacific ingest 12,000 to 24,000 tons of plastic per year. Economically, plastic pollution causes over an estimated $13 billion globally each year. These plastics also cause an approximate $1.27 billion in the United States for fishing/vessel repairs alone.

What is being done about this?

Aggressive actions are currently taking place to either clean the ocean or prevent further pollution. EcoCortec is a company based in Beli Manastir, Croatia, and they have come up with a solution to prevent future pollution. According to EcoCortec, its ‘EcoOcean’ flexible packaging, produced from material made with the latest bio-based PHA polymer technology, is fully marine biodegradable. Even though that this may seem like a feasible solution, manufacturers are quick to point out that marine biodegradable does not necessarily mean marine disposable.

Scientists in Britain and the Netherlands have proposed the idea to cut out plastic pollution by the institution of a “circular economy." The basic idea of this concept is that products must be designed with the “end-of-life” reclamation in mind. In the United States, specifically in California, focus has been placed on “structural controls”. This means the covering of gutters and catch basins with screens.

Instead of going out and trying to clean the ocean from plastic, most specifically the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Boyan Slat considers that we let the ocean clean itself. More specifically, he claims in his TedTalk, “why move through the oceans, when the oceans can move through you”? By attaching many floating barriers with platforms to the seabed, the plastic can be concentrated in one place to make for easier extraction. This process is all natural, as ocean currents and winds dictate it.

Another benefit of Slat’s cleanup process is that the probability of by-catch is limited to almost 0 percent, because “… no nets are used, so entanglement is virtually impossible." This claim is supported by the fact that almost all of the ocean currents flow beneath the surface, meaning that they flow beneath the floating booms, which would remove all “neutrally buoyant organisms, preventing by-catch, while the lighter-than-water plastic collects in front of the floating barrier.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is something that everyone needs to be aware of, as we need to take responsibility instead of passing it down to our children, as others before us have.



Cover Image Credit: themillenniumreport.com

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The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.

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Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

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The Critics Of Mac Miller's Relationship With Ariana Have It All Wrong

She isn't responsible for his death. You can't love away addiction.

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Ariana Grande and Mac Miller had a long and loving relationship of two years, but their breakup is not what's responsible for his death.

His Illness is what lead him to his, what some may say, tragic death.

Miller isn't the first celebrity to die of an overdose there was Kurt Cobain and even Michael Jackson. What happened to these icons of music, wasn't because they were lonely or they didn't have anyone. What happened to every single one of drug overdoses gone wrong was a result of the mental illness of addiction taking over their life. Placing any sort of blame on someone close to the ones who've passed isn't only morally wrong but its detrimental to their healing process.

The first thing I noticed is that as soon as something happened to Mac Miller everyone was insanely quick to hop in Ariana's mentions and DMs. Why is the first response to a celebrities death to blame their ex and/or current girlfriend for an immense tragedy?

Well, this viewpoint is not new to women, women are supposed to take care of their significant other and that's the societal expectation. For one, it never was Ariana's job to assist Mac Miller into sobriety. She is not his psychiatrist nor is she his Addiction Anonymous sponsor. She did not "Leave him at his lowest" as some phrased it.

She left a relationship that she explicitly said was toxic and unhealthy for the both of them. Was he probably well into his addictive habits? Probably.

But she has every right to leave a partner whenever she doesn't feel the happy and healthy love necessary for a successful relationship. This type of narrative is what convinces other women that they should stay in relationships to try to "save" their partner in hopes that their love will solve their deeprooted problems, that are their mental illness: addiction. This is very dangerous and can lead women into abusive and toxic relationships that can damage their own mental health.

To add to that, before Mac Miller's death he had a radio interview about Ariana Grande's engagement. In the interview with Apple Music, he was very positive and happy for her.

Miller says "We worked through good times, bad times, stress, and everything else and then it came to an end and we moved on". In that statement he sounded calm and collected, and unphased by her moving on with her life.

Confirming all of the positive energy from Mac Miller to Ariana, he takes it even further in the interview to say he's happy for her.

Miller says "It's all positive energy. I'm happy for her in moving forward with her life"

On another note, we're doing Mac Miller a HUGE injustice by degrading his illness to be the fault of only love and relationships. Mental Illness doesn't go away when you're in love. When you're in love you just have another person to try their hardest to support you.

Even in the best situation, no one can cure an addiction that ran as deep as Mac Miller's, no one could've fixed that unless you were a licensed psychiatrist and even then it's hard to cure. We as a society refuse to acknowledge that addiction is a disease that needs to be treated as such. Sure, no one forced Mac to go on several drug and alcohol-related benders. Even so, he did not control how much his body was craving these drugs and the way the toxins took over his body and life.

Here's an example to help you understand why he couldn't "just quit" doing drugs of any sort.

Say you're on birth control to manage your periods (a drug) and you've been taking it consistently for five years. Now if someone just says "I'm sorry, these pills are harming your body, you can't take them anymore" and flushes them down the toilet, what happens? Your period will not be managed anymore and it may even cause side effects depending on the drug. In a similar way, if Mac quit cold turkey, there would not only be massive withdrawal symptoms but it would also throw his body out of wack because his body had adjusted to ingesting those toxins for so long, even though they were still harming him.

Addiction can stem back to many psychological disorders, none of which could ever have the simple solution of just having a significant other.

It might make them happy, but it won't solve the psychological issue or the mental illness so to speak. In order to fix a problem like this, he would have to have been very dedicated to becoming healthier and seeking help with his mental illness. It's common for most people not to seek help or feel dedicated to this sort of thing because it has a stigma of not actually being an illness and assumes the issue lies in the hands of the user's decision to start.

So, stop talking about his relationship with Ariana Grande and how she could've prevented it. Stop blaming his death on others or him.

Do, check on your friends and encourage the ones suffering to get the type of help they need.

Most of all, blast his music in your car or at your frat party (you're probably going to one anyway). That's how a legacy lives on in every one of his fans, so make him proud.


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