If you needed one more thing to worry about, and to make double-sure you’re getting your money’s worth for that monthly Ambien prescription, you should check out Toxic – Garbage Island.
It’s a 12-part series that follows vbs.tv correspondent Thomas Morton and crew as they travel 2,463 miles from Long Beach, California to Hilo, Hawaii aboard the Oceanographic Research Vessel Alguita – piloted by California-based sea captain Charles Moore – to investigate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (Moore’s been studying the area since 2000, ever since he discovered the area by chance after competing in the Transpacific Yacht Race).
What you’ll discover is that Garbage Island is essentially an island of floating marine debris (mainly plastic), approximately twice the size of Texas (!!!) located in the central North Pacific Ocean.
Along the way, watch in awe as Morton and friends collect colorful and glittery snowglobe-esque water samples and poke and prod ready to consume, jellied Bisphenol A-laden plastic with a stick. You’ll also learn new terms like Persistent Organic Pollutants and North Pacific Gyre which, when paired together, tell the inspiring story of millions of tons of hazardous materials slowly swirling around and around the top of a toilet bowl that never flushes.
The most depressing news is that the marine life in this region are given the opportunity to dine on this poison soup and then, through nature’s symbiotic magic, share the refuse with the rest of the world. Over time, the plastic will photodegrade all the way down to the individual polymers and be eaten and absorbed by various marine life. “We are basically eating our own [trash],” says Morton.
At this stage in the game it doesn’t really matter if you are an ecophiliac, Prius-driving hippy or an, Al Gore-is-the-devil, Dick Cheney worshiper. It’s a done deal. We screwed up.
Garbage Island is real and ever expanding. Honest, there’s tons of video footage of it here. Until we figure out how to beam ourselves to another inhabitable planet we aren’t going to get away from it. Watch and learn, don’t think of having children, regret it if you already have, and see about upping that dose of sleeping pills – it’ll help.