Is It Time For a Worldwide Ban on Single-use Plastic Bags?

Let me state for the record, that with few exceptions, I do not like governmental bans or restrictions on personal behavior. That means the number of ounces of soda one can drink, or the amount on salt or kind of light bulbs that can be used; all should be off limits to the nosey bureaucrats’ intent on controlling every aspect of our daily lives.
There are, however, exigent circumstances when the harm being done is so massive that intervention in the form of bans is necessary. So it is with the worldwide pollution caused by the indiscriminate use of plastics for convenience rather than necessity.
Unlike climate change, very few are challenging the reality of the plastic trash and debris crisis. Estimates of single-use plastic bags range from 500 billion to 1 trillion bags worldwide every year. Virtually no corner of the globe has been left uncovered by plastic trash. Very few pristine locations remain unsullied.
Whether we are talking about whales off the coast of Spain , cows in India, or camels in the Egyptian desert or monkeys in East Java, globally many thousands of animals die ingesting plastics and then dying of starvation every year.
The Blue Danube is loaded with more trash than fish. Mount Everest is a mountain of trash and garbage. It is estimated that 80 to 90 percent of ocean pollution comes directly from plastics in the form of plastic bags, toothbrushes, containers of every shape and description, toys, and bottles. Time Magazine covered The Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 2012, one of the Five Gyres circulating in the oceans.

When Rolling Stone covered the Plastic Bag Wars in 2011, they noted that American shoppers used 102 billion plastic bags yearly. That figure has gone up to 380 billion bags yearly. It is very easy for a family of four to go through 500 plastic bags a year. Remember these are bags designed to last forever and are only used for 15 minutes or less on average.

With all this plastic being produced every year, you’d better believe manufacturers are fighting back using intimidation and litigation in their arsenal of tactics.

Why should you care?

  1. Plastic never goes away. Every piece of plastic produced in the last 50 years still exists unless it was recycled.
  2. 93% of Americans aged six or older have tested positive for BPA, a cancer causing chemical used in plastics.
  3. The search for lost Malaysian flight 370 has been hampered by the global marine litter crisis, as reported by CNN.
  4. The Plastic Bag Report lists 27 states, multiple countries, 102 cities in California and EU with complete bag bans or bans in various stages of legislation.
  5. The list of species testing positive for plastic in their bodies is growing, including 44 percent of all birds, 22 percent of cetaceans and turtles.

A better question is what kind of world do you want to leave to future generations? We are after all only as good as what we leave behind. As Captain Charles Moore notes we should be living our lives like it matters.

 

 

 

CALIFORNIA BANS THE PLASTIC BAG

It’s time for the US to get serious about banning or (at the very least) addressing the environmental damage caused by the ubiquitous single use plastic.

It is ironic that for a country that has led the world in so many environmental issues that we have such a shameful record of ignoring this hazard … all in the name of convenience, of course!

How’s this for a statistic?Plastic constitutes a whopping 90 percent of all trash floating in the oceans, and that represents as much as 80 percent of all plastic waste on earth!

China, New Zealand, Ireland, Bangladesh, India, Kenya all have single use plastic bag bans of some type.

Toxic Shocker … Extremely High Toxin Levels found in Whales on Global Level

The AP is reporting exceedingly high levels of deadly heavy metals and toxins in the bloodstreams of whales.  Roger Payne, the American scientist who headed the research with the Ocean Alliance, has been studying whales for decades.  Mr. Payne, is the founder and president of Ocean Alliance, the research and conservation group that produced the report as follows:
Sperm whales feeding even in the most remote reaches of Earth’s oceans have built up stunningly high levels of toxic and heavy metals, according to American scientists who say the findings spell danger not only for marine life but for the millions of humans who depend on seafood.

A report released Thursday noted high levels of cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury and titanium in tissue samples taken by dart gun from nearly 1,000 whales over five years.

From polar areas to equatorial waters, the whales ingested pollutants that may have been produced by humans thousands of miles away, the researchers said.

[…]

Payne called his group’s $5 million project the most comprehensive report ever done on ocean pollutants.  U.S. Whaling Commissioner Monica Medina informed the 88 member nations of the whaling commission of the report and urged the commission to conduct further research.

In an associated article written by: Nancy Roberts 2 days ago,on the Care 2 site more details are given about tragic effects of pollution on whales and the entire food chain:
Human-caused pollution, including deadly toxins and heavy metals, are reaching into the farthest corners of the ocean and into the systems of the largest creatures on earth.

Even if you didn’t care about whales, the fact remains that they are at the top of the food chain, a reflection of what all of the other creatures are consuming, in even the most remote waters.

The fish that some whales eat are also consumed by people—one billion of whom count fish as their primary protein source–and the consequences cannot be avoided. “The entire ocean life is just loaded with a series of contaminants, most of which have been released by human beings,”

Oil Glut on World Markets … Obama Lies About Oil Resources Being Depleted!

Last night on day 57 of the BP oil disaster, we heard Obama give the speech he should have given 50 days ago.  All through the first half of the speech I kept thinking, “ya, ya I’ve heard that already… move on!

True to form, once the first part of the “See how tough I am and I really can lead this government” speech/ propaganda was finished, he launched into his “now is the time to for us to go green and stop relying on oil … yada, yada, yada!” He devoted a third of this speech to Cap ‘n Trade and new legislation that we cannot afford or want!

Part of his pitch was to tell America the reason we’re here is because we are running out of places to drill … liar, liar, pants on fire … we have plenty of places to drill, many much closer to the shore, on land, up in Anwar etc.  It is the extremists on the left who keep insisting we ignore our own natural resources … that we stop using coal, gas, oil, nuclear … anything other than those green alternatives/companies that they have invested in.

Here’s what else you didn’t hear.  There’s an oil glut in the world!

According to a recent article on the Esquire Politics Blog:

Here’s the news that really got buried headed into the weekend: Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister had his first substantive and detailed talk yesterday with Coast Guard officials in Louisiana regarding the viability and importance of deploying supertankers to the Gulf in an effort to recover the oil in the water before it ruins any more coastline.

Hofmeister has been extraordinarily tenacious in pursuit of this idea, and hopefully this breakthrough signifies serious movement toward action.

(According to Hofmeister) After all, it is not as if BP would have trouble finding supertankers to clean up the Gulf.

In all the world, there are 538 VLCC’s, or Very Large Crude Carriers.

[…] of these 538 supertankers dotting the oceans of the world, 47 were basically inert, being used for something (akin to) “floating storage.” That is, they were full of crude oil, going nowhere!

And half of these are full of Iranian heavy crude, which for various reasons no one seems to want. The point of this being that we’ve got a glut of crude on the market at the moment, and it is cheaper to store the oil on 47 of these tankers than sell it. This phenomenon is what is known in the petroleum business as a “contango,” where the delivery price exceeds the market price that you can get for the oil.

Want more?  Europe is facing a refining capacity glut and the possibility of facility closures! Read about it here and here!


SHOCKING VIDEO… OUR LEGACY OF PLASTIC TRASH & THE DESTRUCTION OF THE OCEANS & OUR ENVIRONMENT

Watching this video it is hard not to become cynical about the selfish, lazy nature of mankind.

It remains incomprehensible to me how ANYONE who talks about saving the environment and the oceans can continue to use single use plastic bags, products, and bottles.

Less than a minute into the video, pause it for a moment and take a good look at the contents inside the stomach of that bird.

The massive destruction of our environment on a global scale is being conducted 24/7, 365 days a year, every year ad infinitum … for what?  Tell me again, for CONVENIENCE … so we can take home our groceries in bags that we use for minutes and that last thousands of years?