Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Pacific Garbage Patch: "One big unfathomable bummer"

I keep hearing rumors of an island of debris from the Japanese tsunami floating toward California and while I can't really find much hard evidence on that, I did find some interesting things about the Pacific Garbage Patch. This is an area in the Pacific Ocean that is as big as Texas.

You are probably thinking that this would look like a giant island of trash and should be visible on satellite images from Google Earth or something right? Also, you're probably thinking, "why haven't people started cleaning this up, if it's so bad?" Well...Here's an article that explains it well on the blog "Vegan Skeptic". I highly recommend watching the video starting at 1:45 or so.

The Pacific Garden Patch is not this....
(there's a city in the background sheesh)

But, the short answer is that the Pacific Garden Patch is not made up of giant buoys and coke bottles, but tiny pieces of buoys, coke bottles and more. So tiny that you can't really see them unless you trawl the ocean for hours. Plastic breaks down in the sun and surf and some of it gets eaten by fish, some sinks to the bottom and the rest just swirls around endlessly getting smaller and smaller.

So please, please, pleaseeeeee recycle and try to use reusable stuff as much as possible - water bottles, plates, forks, mugs etc.

It's more like this.
(Vast expanses of beautiful blue ocean with the occasional trash ball).
This makes me really want to be a scientist so I can help. Maybe school is in my future somewhere....Not a Marine Scientist though...oceans are scary.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Article: Twice as many charging stations as Flex Fuel Stations in US

I had to grab this post because I've been looking at a lot of Honda stuff lately.  Honda is developing a new electric vehicle (the EV Fit) and plans to send it to the public in 2012. Also the Nissan Leaf hit the U.S. this fall, which is another all-electric vehicle.

Study: Twice As Many Charging Stations As Flex Fuel Stations

By Christopher DeMorro
One of the main arguments against electric vehicles are the lack of available charging stations. It’s always seemed like a silly argument to me, as anyplace with an electrical outlet can work as a charging station in a pinch. But get this; there are almost twice as many public electric charging stations as there are E85 ethanol stations. For reals.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

While I'm happy that they are putting in so many EV charging stations, I'm disappointed at the low number of E85 stations. I don't know if I agree of the author's concluding point about automakers getting around stricter emissions standards by making alternative fuel vehicles, however. And from what I know, it seems that electric is even better than E85, environmentally speaking.  At least this is kinda step in the right direction.