Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Oil & Water Don't Mix


Plastiki, our favorite boat constructed of 12,500 water bottles is outside the Line Islands in the Pacific Ocean. We're looking at 46 days of travel from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia, trekking past the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  Twice the size of Texas, this patch is a swirling mix of plastic trash, in various stages of pollution and disintegration, harming the wild life that lives there.  Wild life--marine creatures--that may one day be on your dinner plate.
Yet, here were are, May 4th, 2010, with a different garbage patch of another making, in another body of water.  The Gulf of Mexico is reaping the damage of a different man-made situation just 2 weeks old.  Of course the April 20th off-shore drilling rig explosion was unintended on BP's part...most environmental tragedies are quite certainly unintended.  Yet, here we are...an unfortunate occurrence just 2 days before Earth Day...but still, 2 weeks later,  thousands of gallons of oils continue to leak out. 
The irony?

Just how do you make this polluting plastic that's floating around en masse in the Pacific Ocean that Plastiki is sailing (not to mention every other ocean)?  Our throw-away society makes more and more plastic out of their desire to make more and more disposable items.  Bottles, baggies, and everything in between.  And from where dp we get this pleothora of plastic??  Oil.  Petroleum.  Petrochemicals. Our desire for our own oil, close to our own soil (to make us less reliant on middle eastern oil), has brought a danger to our own home.  

Are our Ziplocs and one-use bottles worth where we are now?  I'll guarantee the Gulf shrimpers are not thinking so.  
As Alyssa Langworthy said last week at the USGBC & Green Speaks Award Ceremony at the Kennedy Center:  "Katrina deserves to be an only child."

Alyssa's comment wasn't in relation to this situation, yet, here we are, back in the Gulf of Mexico just as we were with Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, a mess upon messes, leaving people along the coastline and people who rely on the coast for their livelihood in a hard environmental predicament. 

It's looking like the unfortunate truth is that Katrina might not be an only child after all.

To get up to the date information (and to see alarming, heart-wrenching pictures) on the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, click the link above, or go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/gulf-oil-spill

For another great article, visit Treehugger's website to see "Will The BP Oil Spill Be Our Collective Zen Slap Into Eco-Realization? Let's Hope So" go to

Photos from (in order) http://www.theplastiki.com/; http://blueplanetalmanac.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/garbage-patch-1-smaller1.jpg;%20 and http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/photos/2010/04/27/oil_slick-cp-8554516.jpg

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