rosalux (rosalux) wrote,

Waterworld meets the Great Pacific Plastic Gyre

So we know that it’s possibly possible to turn plastic back into oil by using microwaves (http://environment.newscientist.com/article/dn12141).

And we know there is a giant whorl of plastic in the pacific as big as a continent. (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/10/19/SS6JS8RH0.DTL&hw=pacific+patch&sn=001&sc=1000)

Historically, people sailed all over the world in boats ranging in size from small (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhow) to suicidal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Currach). Polynesians settled a large oceanic area using canoes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outrigger_canoe). And then there is Kenichi Horie, http://wordpress.com/tag/kenichi-horie/
who has the kind of life that pulp novelists make up for prehistoric inventor traveler hunks named Spear and Glandular.

Right now there is a very small boat made out of trash setting sail for the Garbage Patch (http://junkraft.blogspot.com/). Sure, sure, they’re scientists, like Heyerdahl was a scientist and not just some dude who wanted to build a giant raft. Activist scientists, even, trying to get us all to forgo that Styrofoam takeout container and just-one-won’t-matter plastic shopping bag that will look just like a jellyfish to a hungry sea turtle.

I hope newly-created or –evolved plastic-eating bacteria don’t attack while they’re out there (http://www.fakeplasticfish.com/2008/05/16-year-old-discovers-plastic-eating.html).

But anyway, here’s what I’m thinking. How long until there are ocean trashpickers scavenging plastics and cooking them in solar-powered microwaves to get oil? Or just scavenging and dragging them in big bales back to land to sell to the black-market oil barons? Hello, Tank Girl. Need oil? Oh, we’ve got another raft we’ve been distilling water on, too. We made the distiller out of trash, just like the raft (http://www.epsea.org/yucca.html).

ETA: Christ made of carob, I forgot the pirates! I know pirates are so 2007 on the internet, but they will definitely still exist into the future. Don't stockpile too much stuff on your little raft, scavenger folk. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/07/060706-modern-pirates.html
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