A small circle: The Planet is Fine...    
 The Planet is Fine...9 comments
picture23 Aug 2004 @ 01:24, by D

"If plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn't share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn't know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, 'Why are we here?' Plastic...asshole."

---George Carlin, The Planet is Fine



Plastic

Plastic fibre a 'major pollutant'
By Tim Hirsch
BBC Environment correspondent

Tiny pieces of plastic and man-made fibres are causing contamination of the world's oceans and beaches, the journal Science has reported.

Even remote and apparently pristine layers of sand and mud are now composed partly of this microscopic rubbish, broken down from discarded waste.

This is the first assessment of plastic fragments accumulating in sediments and in the water column itself.

It is not yet known what the long term effects of this pollution may be.

A team led by scientists at the universities of Plymouth and Southampton took samples from 17 beaches and estuaries around the UK, and analysed particles which did not appear to be natural.

The researchers found that most samples included evidence of a range of plastics or polymers including nylon, polyester and acrylic.

They also found that when creatures such as lugworms and barnacles fed on the sediments, the plastics turned up inside their bodies within a few days.

To test whether this contamination was getting worse, the scientists analysed plankton samples taken from survey ships between Scotland and Iceland since the 1960s - and found that the plastic content had increased significantly over time.

Toxic chemicals

Because the team only sampled particles which looked different from natural sediments, it is believed that the true level of plastic contamination could be much higher.

The lead author of the study, Dr Richard Thompson, said: "Given the durability of plastics and the disposable nature of many plastic items, this type of contamination is likely to increase.

"Our team is now working to identify the possible environmental consequences of this new form of contamination."

One concern is that toxic chemicals could attach themselves to the particles which would then help to spread them up the food chain.

That research is for the future, but this study suggests that practically everything really is made of plastic these days - even the oceans.

"We've found this microscopic plastic material at all of the sites we've examined," Dr Thompson said.

"Interestingly, the abundance is reasonably consistent. So, it suggests to us that the problem is really quite ubiquitous."

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9 comments

23 Aug 2004 @ 02:06 by bri_outten : This is NOT good news
How intruiging D,
That you begin with such a contractictary article, a certain Irony?!
the research conducted just goes to show that plastic is not easily incorporated into the cycle of life and if earth wanted itself + plastic I think it would have been demonstrating this on a regular and profound basis, so in my opinion George Carlin is full of bullshit! No offence intended!
The world does not need to be shat all over and I think that any sensitive individual would recognise this.
Nevertheless, spot on article. Well done.  



25 Jun 2008 @ 03:05 by bombadil : Memory Lane

Ahhh..."What a piece of work is a man!":

"What an antithetical mind! -- tenderness, roughness -- delicacy, coarseness -- sentiment, sensuality -- soaring and groveling, dirt and deity -- all mixed up in that one compound of inspired clay!"
--- Lord Byron

Was George Carlin "full of [it]," like suggested by a commenter on this thread? Maybe so. It was his job, you know. It is the job of the jester to jockeys everybody away. The jester's philosophy is based on the assumption that everyone is "full of [it]"; and the greatest fool is he/she who doesn't know that he/she is "full of [it]". So, in that, Carlin was faithful to an old tradition. In every era the jester's philosophy derides common sense and read sense into the absurd. That's what jesters do. And George Carlin did it best than most.

The Kennedy Center had announced just a few days ago that Carlin was selected for the prestigious Mark Twain award. The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor will still be presented to Carlin posthumously in November.

Anyway, I'll remember George fondly, as {link:http://tom-bombadil.blogspot.com/2008/06/till-death-do-us-part.html|I remember fondly} the above entry from my good friend D.

Novelist Lisa Alther's words come to mind. She said that she tries to find the "human reality behind the cultural stereotypes." She uses humor to achieve that. In Alther's opinion, the degree of a person's sensibility is directly reflected by the number of conflicting attitudes he/she can bring to bear on the same topic.

Well done, indeed.  



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