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22gigantes.com - An exciting account of an activist scientist's unorthodox fight in the growing movement against plastic marine pollution and of his expedition across the Pacific on a homemade "junk raft". Over the past several years, the news media has brought the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - the famous swirling gyre of plastic litter in the ocean - into the public consciousness. When Marcus Eriksen cofounded the 5 Gyres Institute with his wife, Anna, and set out to study marine pollution, they found that the reality is even direr: instead of a stable mass of litter, they discovered that a "plastic smog" of microparticles permeates the world's oceans, defying simplistic clean-up efforts. What's more, these microplastics and their toxic chemistry have seeped into the food chain, threatening marine life and humans alike. Far from being a gloomy treatise on an environmental catastrophe, though, Junk Raft tells the exciting story of Eriksen's fight to raise awareness and solve the problem of plastic pollution, contributing to a fast-growing movement to stem the tide of trash. Eriksen writes of his voyage from Los Angeles to Hawaii aboard his homemade "junk raft", and along the way he recounts the successful efforts to fight corporate influence and demand that plastics producers take responsibility for a problem they've created. Eriksen provides concrete, actionable solutions and an empowering message: It's up to bold, brash, unapologetically activist "citizen scientists" to challenge the status quo for the sake of the planet.
Best Review of Junk Raft: An Ocean Voyage And A Rising Tide Of Activism To Fight Plastic Pollution:
Most helpful customer reviews 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. If you love the ocean and adventure, buy this book!!! By Lia A thrilling combination of adventure and romance as the author details a personal journey that carries the reader along as we explore the rise of ocean plastic pollution. 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. You will never look at plastic the same way By Peggy Tibbetts At the outset, author Marcus Eriksen exposes the truth behind the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, supposedly floating in the Pacific that is twice the size of Texas. In 1997, Captain Charles Moore’s actual discovery was billions upon billions of tiny, colored plastic particles -- from micro to macro -- floating on the flat sea surface and encompassing an area about twice the size of Texas. But the floating garbage island meme was a better sell with the media and focused public attention on plastics and other pollutants in our oceans.Eriksen is a veteran and environmental researcher and activist. Prior to establishing the 5 Gyres Institute (dedicated to fighting plastic pollution) with his wife Anna, Eriksen sailed across the Pacific on “Junk Raft,” constructed with plastic bottles, plus 30 old sailboat masts for a deck and a Cessna 310 airplane as a cabin. Eriksen and his comrade in environmental advocacy Joel Pachal (an accomplished sailor) embarked on June 1, 2008, on a course set to imitate the route that trash follows when dumped into the ocean. What they observed was neither a garbage patch nor a trail of plastics. Instead they found micro and macro plastic particles so pervasive in the ocean environment they had become part of the food chain, ingested by and in most cases killing all species of marine life. In one instance the fish they caught for dinner were so polluted with microplastics they were inedible.Their journey was not without incident and harrowing close encounters with death, as well as days on end of boredom adrift on the flat sea. The most astonishing event was a meet-up in the middle of nowhere for a food and water swap with ocean rower Roz Savage. Eriksen infuses his Robinson Crusoe narrative with an exposition of the ongoing battle to fight plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways. Though Eriksen supports public awareness campaigns, better waste management, and bag bans, he places the ultimate responsibility at the feet of the plastics producers to produce less, recycle more, and foot the bill for reclaiming the tsunami of toxic junk that saturates our environment. You will never look at plastic the same way. “Junk Raft” is an unforgettable expedition through the sea of microplastics that charts our course out of this morass. 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. One word: Plastics By N. B. Kennedy Marcus Eriksen, an environmental researcher and activist, sets sail with a friend on a raft made of soda bottles, airplane parts and other flotsam and jetsam. He is both researching and publicizing the problem of plastic pollution in our seas. The book follows the journey from California to Hawaii and exhaustively studies the ill effects on the planet of plastic packaging, toys, fishing gear -- plastic everything.The book is dense with information and somewhat lighter on the story of the sea voyage. I would have liked the emphasis reversed. But I did take away some surprising and alarming information. No.1: Did you know that the infamous "Texas-sized garbage heap" in the middle of the ocean doesn't exist? That's good news, but the bad news is that infinitesimally small particles of plastic are choking the oceans, where they are ingested by fish and sea creatures, which then become nutritionally starved or, when served up on a plate, become part of our bodies. No. 2: You might want to stop eating fish. No. 3: Water from a tap is safer than bottled water, because bottled water probably contains these microscopic particles of plastic. No. 4: We, the evil consumers, are not entirely to blame for all the pollution! We dutifully recycle, but the bigger problem lies in the fact that manufacturers just keep making plastic stuff, because the cost of recycling isn't theirs -- it's passed on to municipalities and consumers through local recycling and reuse programs.Eriksen frequently circles around the central problem that modern industry promotes a linear economy, where plastic just keeps getting produced rather than recycled (again, because it's cost-effective for producers), when it would be healthier for the planet (and us) to create a circular economy in which products would be designed for reuse. It's all very depressing until the end of the book, when he discusses some efforts that are being made to recognize and address the problem.The sea journey has its perils and keeps the narrative going. He sketches some lovely scenes, especially the ocean at night with starry skies and the bioluminescent flash of fish decorating the blackness of the sea. (I've seen that phenomenon in Puerto Rico and it's breathtaking.) Without the story of the raft, the book would be a tough slog. But Eriksen does a good job of tying the lessons he learns while on the seas to the problem he addresses in the book. The earth -- like his raft -- is a closed system, in which every part must be carefully considered and tended in order to stay viable. See all 18 customer reviews...
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