The Watering Hole: Tuesday August 12, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics

After having taken an unannounced leave of absence for the past three weeks, my memory kicked in again, so here we are.

The ocean is being affected by microscopic plastics, as researchers have found a year or so ago. New research has found the the upper millimeter contains a more prevalent pollutant than plastic.

Boat paint, anyone?


Will pristine ever be available again? Anywhere?


48 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: Tuesday August 12, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics

  1. Excellent find, nonewhere. Surface tension holds a lot of dust, very interesting to learn of this aspect of pollution. Patterns and phenomenon I’ve observed having lived on the coast for a couple of years raise some concerns. I had expected living in a mostly humid semi-marine environment (I’m 8 miles inland from the shore) to find a lot less dust than in my former haunts in New Mexico. Not so. Every morning there is a thin film of ‘grime’ on smooth surfaces (vehicles, glass, etc.) that soon grows algae and eventually lichens and moss. It is feeding on minerals and particulates deposited by condensation of evaporated seawater. A natural process I’m sure, and the salts are a normal component. Pollutants binding with the salts are another matter, and add a toxic element to an already corrosive environment.
    This past winter and spring witnessed a near total die-off of most sea star (starfish) species from California to Puget Sound, and it’s not over yet. After looking for a biological answer all year scientists have now all but concluded that ocean acidification is the root cause, weakening the sea stars to the point where they are vulnerable to viruses and bacteria. This is a huge event. sea stars are a “top predator” of shellfish, mussels in particular. It will take another winter of (personal) observation to see what happens on the rocks here with regards to the shellfish populations and how their loss will affect other tide zone life.
    Sea stars are also a favorite food of the river otters which curiously live here on the coast. I do know that the otters are gone, I have not seen one, nor any tracks on the beaches since early this past spring, coinciding exactly with the wasting away into white goo of all the sea stars.

    • Your observations are good ones, and pertinent to the question I’ve long pondered: Is there anywhere at all on the entire of this planet that has NOT been either seriously diminished or totally fucked up by the human species? If there is such a place, I’m not aware — it’s certainly well beyond any place I’ve ever known.

      What troubles me most is that the beat goes on, the destruction continues at ever-accelerating pace. And those who care are invariably overwhelmed by those who see nothing wrong with destruction, virtually all of which is consequential to the irrational pursuit of the two things which should count least of all in this existence: money, and power.

      Overall and in the really long run, human’s self-imposed self-extinction will undoubtedly prove to be a blessing for EVERYTHING — life forms, landscapes, waters — that remains.

      • Once again Frugal you’ve expressed the truth of the situation clearly and eloquently.
        There may be a few places left that are pristine, humans will scour the planet looking for them, and poop in them when they get there.

  2. My favorite Robin Williams movie will always be “The Survivors”. I need to watch it again, given the current resurgence of gun nuts and militia fools.

    • My favorite thing he did was ‘The Scot who invented Golf’. I first saw it on a talk show, and the cleaned up version nearly killed me, I laughed so hard.

  3. I didn’t hear about Robin Williams until late yesterday.

    He had fame, fortune. His clown’s mask hid his pain, but every now and then he let us know he was fighting the darkness within.

    Some say suicide is the coward’s way out. But I believe it’s the ultimate leap of faith.

    What does his death say to us all? That fame and fortune, access to the best medical care and treatments available is not enough to overcome the darkness that is depression.

    It is a darkness I believe we all face at one time or another, if we live long enough. “To be, or not to be.” The penultimate question.

    The clown’s mask is empty;
    The last patron’s left the theatre;
    Darkened stage.

    Silent walls that once echoed
    Laughter’s vibe, now stilled;
    Darkened stage.

    Across the proscenium
    He ventured forth,
    Through the unseen wall,
    Ne’er to return.

    Darkened stage.

  4. He’s dead in this scene, talking to his wife, in case you’ve never seen, What Dreams May Come which is an interesting film.

    And the original trailer:

  5. This was an interesting film indeed, somewhat unsettling and at the same time creating some good questions about possible aspects of an afterlife.
    The depiction of the afterlife consequence of suicide (his wife) were particularly disturbing, however it did firmly convince me: “Don’t do it!”

  6. I don’t know that there’s a sane way to commit suicide, but hanging yourself with your belt seems rather odd on several levels — and after trying to slash your wrist.

    So sad….

    • I imagine slashing your wrist is difficult, painful, and takes a while to accomplish. Hanging yourself would be quick by comparison, since the weight of the body does all the work.

  7. 7 Social Issues Robin Williams Brought To The Screen

    3. Press freedom in ‘Good Morning Vietnam’

    War and censorship are rarely laughing matters, and in other hands the the 1985 film “Good Morning, Vietnam” could have been a maudlin flop. Instead, Robin Williams took on the role of Airman Second Class Adrian Cronauer and lead the cast with aplomb. While the actual Cronauer — who drafted the first version of the script — likely didn’t do impressions of the Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz during his radio sets, Williams’ performance in the DJ booth is done with such gusto and conviction that the movie rightly is remembered as one of Williams’ best. Not only did Cronauer bring levity, but he was also willing to disobey the top brass and lock himself in the studio to report the bombing of a local hang-out to the war-weary soldiers in Saigon. His performance as a soldier willing to actually learn from an understand the locals people he was deployed to protect also helped the film rise above the war-movie genre and become something special.

    The movie also vividly demonstrated the consequences of the absolute atrocity that defined America’s presence there, and the sickening dementia of the underlying politic. Sadly, nothing has changed, not even after fifty fucking years.

    • Always the trickster – manipulating the, uninformed, masses to ‘follow’.
      The repugnant party can’t win outright so deception is a must in their bid for office.

    • Even if she was fat, which she isn’t, she could diet and exercise.

      There’s nothing Ablow can do about his syphilitic brain.

  8. Ah, Robin. In the terminology of my favorite writer, when you took on your Aspect of Entertainer and raised your Attribute of Emotion you could make even a marble statue laugh, cry, think and feel. You offered so much and it diminishes us as a society that we couldn’t give you back as much as you gave. Sadly, we will mourn your loss without ever understanding how we contributed to it. Be at rest, oh crazed bard, your tasks are done as much as they could be. You will be missed greatly.

Comments are closed.