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Great Oceanic Garbage Patch Not So Large As Thought

Written By : Warner Todd Huston
January 6, 2011

Remember the floating patch of plastic garbage swirling in the Pacific Ocean between California and Japan that was claimed to be the “twice the size of Texas”? Well if Texas is the size of, well, Teaxs, it turns out that the plastic patch isn’t quite so large. Like most of the wild-eyed claims by enviro-Nazis it has been discovered that claims about the size of this environmental disaster are greatly exaggerated.

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A new study of the swirling plastic garbage patch by Oregon State University professor of oceanography Angelicque White has revealed that claims that the thing is “twice the size of Texas” is simply hyperbole and that the patch is likely only one percent that large.

“There is no doubt that the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans is troubling, but this kind of exaggeration undermines the credibility of scientists. We have data that allow us to make reasonable estimates. We don’t need the hyperbole,” White reported.

There is no doubt that this garbage patch is a problem. But the wild claims by enviro-nuts undermines the legitimate worries that the patch represents. Still, problem or no, the garbage patch would be cost prohibitive to try and remove from the waters. According to White and others it would be so expensive that no one nation could afford the project.

White also fears that efforts to clean it up might cause as much damage as leaving it. Removal could damage the fragile ocean ecology under the patch.

“Since it would be prohibitively costly to remove the plastic, we need to focus our efforts on preventing more trash from fouling our oceans in the first place,” she said.

Claims about the plastic garbage patch have really gone off the deep end lately. Men’s Health magazine made the absurd claim that the garbage patch “twice the size of Texas” is so bad that it is causing problems even outside the oceans. The patch is actually so dangerous that it is “causing obesity, infertility . . . and worse.”

Men’s Health is not the only one and a Google search of the issue will reveal thousands of such stories many of them making the claim that the plastic even outweighs the amount of plankton in the oceans. Professor White disagrees.

“Given the observed concentration of plastic in the North Pacific, it is simply inaccurate to state that plastic outweighs plankton, or that we have observed an exponential increase in plastic.”

So, once again, the left goes off the deep end, creates absurd doomsday scenarios and damages their own case.

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