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Some good news:

A years-long project to develop a systematic way to clean the Great Pacific Garbage Patch finished an important test a couple of days ago. It removed a large amount of plastic. Like, so much that with about 15 additional copies of that test equipment, the entire patch could be cleaned in a few years.

twitter.com/TheOceanCleanup/st

@cancel Heck yeah!
Now for the microplastics in all the water everywhere...

@csepp yeah, that will also take a lot of work. But this should help at least a little with that, too.

@cancel @csepp there's bacteria evolving that break them down

there's just two problems: there's too much.
one of the metabolic products will be CO2, leading to *more* Ocean acidification

@cancel I'm not sure how to react to the fact that the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" is a real thing.

@cancel So they solved a large environmental problem, by developing a new technology, and without addressing the underlying social causes?

I wonder how many times that will need to happen before activists stop saying it's impossible.

@faun It would be a humans rights violation to try to "solve" issues that lead to plastic pollution entering ocean. They are mostly from a few rivers in Asia that belong to non-Western countries which we can do nothing about, except invade. Or just clean it up.

@faun And yeah, I'm with you. The message of "cleaning it up is impossible, we have to just stop producing" is clearly not working. And the cleanup method has been shown shown to actually be doable in some of the most seemingly hopeless cases. CO2 recapture is actually doable, and seems like the only way out of the global warming mess. I've gone deaf to most of the degrowth/personal-shaming environmental activism.

@cancel Yeah, frequently asked (rhetorical, bitchy) question: "where are we going to get the energy to capture all that carbon??", answer: please look at what is happening in solar, iron-air batteries, and geothermal power, and maybe try to accelerate that instead of praying for republican boomers to start believing in climate change, also please stop shutting down nuclear plants.

@cancel There are no human rights laws against guilting people, or going on marches where you sing wishful slogans about an impossible vuluntary cultural shift. I think that's how they imagine they're going to do it.

@faun @cancel i guess you're kinda right. I tend to be on the degrowth side of the argument, but clearly, we're gonna need these technologies as well. Carbon capture and ocean cleaning are mathematically necessary at this point.

@categorille @faun @cancel

1. Carbon capture still expends energy to solve a problem mainly caused by overconsumption or inefficient consumption. It works best directly at the source which means lobbying against fossil oil interests to enact it at scale.

2. Pacific garbage patch material from southeast asia comes from recycling contracts with western countries. Talking about "invading" even hypothetically is racist deflection. Production is the problem.

@6EQUJ5 @faun @cancel i agree that the source of the problem, which is politico-economical, needs to be addressed directly regardless of whether or not these technologies are available. i also agree about your second point. i just mean that we can consider using these technologies to clean up our mess after we've started addressing the underlying issues.

clearly the priority should be on the underlying issues, tho.

@categorille @6EQUJ5 @cancel I'm finding the concept of "the root cause" to be less useful than I once thought it was. People are generally diliriously arbitrary in how they pick causes.

The most *important* cause, the cause we should assign blame to, is just whichever cause turns out to be the most feasible to overturn, and that's only identifiable as the dual of whatever the most potent methods of overturning turn out to be, which is not obvious to anyone, those methods might not exist yet.

@categorille @faun @cancel

Sources

motherjones.com/environment/20

9news.com/article/news/nation-

^ Note specifically China reducing its contribution to the Pacific Gyre by *banning imports* of plastic trash, and the massive stats for US exports.

news.stanford.edu/2019/10/25/s

^ Carbon capture efficiencies are inflated to maintain trust in fossil fuel infrastructure. Why power carbon capture with solar when you can just power the world with solar and remove the middleman?

@6EQUJ5 @categorille @faun

1. Incorrect. China has stopped accepting plastic already back in 2017, this and the amount of plastic entering the sea from America hasn't gone up. America disposes of its plastic properly. Source: ourworldindata.org/plastic-pol

2. The information you linked to about carbon capture is outdated speculation at best, incorrect and lying at worse. Mark Z. Jacobson (guy who ran your study) is also a nut, do not trust him: twitter.com/mzjacobson/status/

@6EQUJ5 @categorille @faun "Disposes of its plastic properly" in this case meaning it's going into landfill. Which is not great. It would be better to not produce it in the first place, as most of it is unnecessary. But at least it's not going into the ocean, uncontrolled.

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Merveilles

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