I am so over the skeptical movement »« [Thunderdome]

Comments

  1. Jubal DiGriz says

    Well shit, PZ. I was having a perfectly lovely day… got some gardening done, including sprinkling some of the compost around. I caught up with my graduate researcher friend who’s looking into quantifying bacterial methane production to get a more accurate picture of global climate change, and I was getting ready to go to a meeting to greet the new NAACP local chapter president. Doing my bit to make the world a better place for future generations and such.

    Now I just want to kill myself.

  2. No One says

    Unfortunately many people don’t realize that this is the thing most easily seen by our “middle view” brains. Plastic is inserting itself in all links of the food chain. From plankton to whales. Add to that the alteration of the oceans pH and the disruption of it’s carbon cycle via the absorption of atmospheric carbon and we might just interfere with the life cycle of thousands of organisms, not to mention oxygen production on our planet.

  3. Rob Grigjanis says

    Do we have the courage to face the realities of our time, and allow ourselves to feel deeply enough that it transforms us, and our future?

    No. Easy answers to easy questions. We understand grief. We refuse to understand consequences. Let that be our epitaph.

  4. Lofty says

    The world needs to be weaned off plastic and fossil fuels, urgently. Please support reuseable, biodegradeable, sustainable packaging whenever you can.

  5. chigau (違う) says

    So, the reality was not enough.
    We needed whatever that was at 3:16 to make a point.

  6. Brandon says

    So, the reality was not enough.
    We needed whatever that was at 3:16 to make a point.

    So, in a roughly four minute clip, you chose to focus on a two second blip of some sort of arrangement that the videographer (or someone else) made as an attempt to paint him as dishonest. How much of a fucking asshole are you, exactly?

  7. laurioravainen says

    I didn’t get the impression that he was trying to claim the videographer was dishonest, but that the arrangement was unnecessary and jarring in an otherwise accurate video.

  8. says

    I’m no naturalist, but the thing at 3:16 looks rather like a bower bird’s bower – a thing the male bird makes to attract the females. I have no idea whether there are birds which do that on Midway. Alternatively, if the photographer was moved to bury one of the birds, I can imagine him consciously or unconsciously imitating a bower.

    I’d like an explanation, but I don’t think it’s necessarily dishonest.

  9. Beatrice says

    I’d say nuke the place from orbit, but that would destroy those fluffy chicks too.

    Humanity sucks.


    That arrangement was a memorial, cheesiness of which may be a matter of opinion, but I don’t see it as something negative or worth any special remark.

  10. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    @Beatrice – nuking Midway wouldn’t do any good. In all probability, the trash was carried by the parental birds from the Pacific trash patch (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch). It’s a natural consequence of global wind patterns causing an oceanic convergence in the central North Pacific, and is due to people dumping garbage into the Pacific.

    It’s also a problem for marine organisms such as whales and sea turtles, both of which feed on plankton and can’t recognize that they’re eating trash.

  11. Beatrice says

    Gvlgeologist,

    The place in that sentence was the whole Earth.
    Bad joke about people fucking everything up.

  12. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    @Beatrice: Oh… nevermind.

    I posted on my facebook page (linked to here): “Sometimes I just hate our whole species.”

  13. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Powerful clip. Shared on facebook.

    A few minutes of research on also found :

    http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jul/10-the-worlds-largest-dump/?searchterm=marine%20debris#.USl7dB1HJRZ

    ‘The World’s Largest Dump: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ by By Thomas M. Kostigen online on Thursday, July 10, 2008 quoting the rather staggering (& already outof date?) statistic that
    “In the central North Pacific, plastic outweighs surface zooplankton 6 to 1.”

    Plus a countering opinion by Greg Laden here :

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/03/15/the-great-pacific-garbage-patc/

    and Wikipdia has a page on this here :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch

    too.

  14. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @3. Rob Grigjanis :

    “Do we have the courage to face the realities of our time, and allow ourselves to feel deeply enough that it transforms us, and our future?”

    No. Easy answers to easy questions. We understand grief. We refuse to understand consequences. Let that be our epitaph.

    I’d much rather it wasn’t.

    Aren’t we supposed to be smarter than that?

    @10. Beatrice :

    That arrangement was a memorial, cheesiness of which may be a matter of opinion, but I don’t see it as something negative or worth any special remark.

    Agreed.

  15. gussnarp says

    It’s tempting to think there are simple solutions to this, that none of us good people who dispose of our rubbish properly are responsible, that this is the work of disreputable dumpers and litterers, as Gvlgeologist, FCD suggests above in blaming garbage dumping.

    But I wonder how accurate that story is, or if it’s just a fairy tale that helps us sleep better at night and Lofty isn’t a bit closer (if still too far) from a real solution.

    I don’t think anyone’s tracking the garbage to the patch, let alone to the albatross’ stomach. Is it enough to say that I do my best to minimize my waste, always dispose of it properly, and recycle what my community allows me to recycle? Probably not, given the amount of waste that we generate and the haphazard nature of collection. A bottle cap falls out of a recycle bin at the curb here, is washed into the sewer, thence to the river, and finally out to sea to cause results like we see in this video. Multiply by the millions of recycle bins and garbage cans across the country and around the world and is it any wonder that birds are filling up on plastic? We can blame dumpers or even whole countries that may not handle their waste as well as we do, but ultimately we’re all responsible as long as we’re using this stuff at all. And how much of it are we really willing to give up? What trade offs are we willing to make? I hope the full film that this appears to be a trailer for addresses some of these questions and is widely seen so that we can at least have the conversation.

    A semi-related note: I’m convinced that the story of civilization is the story of how we handle our waster, whether biological or simply garbage. Dense population cannot exist without adequate waste disposal, so primitive villages must handle sewage so that disease does not spread. Larger cities need new approaches because what works for the village fails. Eventually garbage becomes as important as waste water, and now it is clear that our giant cities cannot share the planet without recycling, the natural next step in this process. But it seems clear that we already need some further improvement of some kind, that simply recycling with the same basic collection and transport systems we’ve used for garbage is not an adequate solution to wasted disposal that will enable our large and technologically advanced civilization to continue to thrive. We’ll have to give up something, or improve our waste technology, if possible.