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The Pacific Garbage Patch as a tourist destination?

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On Wednesday, January 06, 2010, we encountered some young folks who were raising funds for Environment California. Like all liberals, they were using scare tactics to motivate donations. Their literature sets the tone with this: "The Pacific Garbage Patch is an area of the ocean twice the size of Texas, swirling with 1000 million tons of plastic, Styrofoam and other garbage. The seawater there contains six times more plastic than plankton."

Sometime ago we saw a report on the BBC showing garbage that had washed up on the shore of Wake Island so we had some separate substantiating information that they weren't putting us on.

We had hoped to have some fun with this column by writing about some frivolous tidbits of information, such as the fact that Australia's biggest summer hotrod event, Summernats,in Canberra, or Elvis' birthday(didn't get an invite to the party at is home in Kalamazoo), but then we started to wonder how those fund raising youngsters were going to convince the skeptics that the Pacific Garbage Patch really exists?

*(sigh)* Do you think that the American hot rodders who fly Confederate flags could identify with a national event that carries the slogan "Beer, boobs and burn-outs"?

Did Elvis ever make a Public Service Announcement (PSA) about preventing pollution?

Heck, James Dean made a PSA advocating safe driving. Didn't he even add the cliche' "The life you save may be mine."?

Gees, if people don't believe the scientists, who assert that the polar bears (Ursis maritimus) are living on death row, how are those people going to convince skeptics that something that is "twice the size of Texas" is sitting out there beyond the horizon? If they don't have Google pictures of it, maybe they should start using a passenger ship to offer cruise excursions to environmental activists.

Obviously, if the island is made up of garbage, they can't land airplanes there.

(What ever happened to the underwater hotel that opened amid an avalanche [well I saw one] of feature stories about the unique tourist experience in the Caribbean?)

Will they try to convince skeptics that the fact that lately the Great Coral Reef is looking a bit pale and anemic supports their contention about pollution affecting the Pacific?

Is pollution prevention an issue of relevance to Country Music fans? Well, isn't that the intention of the bumper stickers that say: "Don't Mess with Texas"?

Who's talking trash? Sometime inserting an extraneous bit of information that may not have appeared extensively on the Internet can be considered as putting out "Google bait" to help lure new readers to a web site. Do you think conservative readers are going to come to this column if we assert that one of their heroes deserves his own war criminal trial? You gotta put things out there that might get them to click over. One way is to mention stuff like the fact that there is a German Air Force Air Defense Center in Texas. Aren't page hits like sex, drugs, and money? I.e. you can never have enough of those items?

Writer William Kotswinkle grew up in Scranton (in Joe Biden's neighborhood by Maloney field [do a Google search for "Maloney Field Scranton" and there seems to be only one relevant suggested URL]) and in his novel "Jack in the Box" (or was it one of his other books such as "Queen of Swords" or "Elephant Bangs Train"?) he casually mentions Scranton's burning culm dumps as if every kid in every city across America would know just what he was talkin' about.

Culm (Word's spell-check challenges that word) was a waste product from the coal mines. They would be deposited in a gigantic pile. The resulting slag heaps were as big as a mini-mountain. Some of them caught fire. Spontaneous combustion was the explanation. They dumped a good deal of pollution into the air, but at night the sight of them emitting blue flames (Didn't Jimi Hendrix once belong to a band with the name: the Blue Flame?) was truly beautiful. Last we saw, the burning culm dumps had disappeared from the Scranton area so there's no need to have their existence mentioned on the Internet.

We told the eager kids we met today we couldn't afford to donate, but we would write about them in a column.

We wouldn't claim we need to conserve funds to finance a lavish jet set lifestyle; it's more like getting by on the level of a Dharma Bum wannabe.

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BP graduated from college in the mid sixties (at the bottom of the class?) He told his draft board that Vietnam could be won without his participation. He is still appologizing for that mistake. He received his fist photo lesson from a future (more...)

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