Thursday, September 16, 2021

The best scam ever- The Ocean Cleanup

 There's a lot of plastic in the oceans. 

     I HATE seeing plastic trash in general, doubly so in the water. 

        You might have heard about The Ocean Cleanup, the company started and run by a young Dutch kid who was Test Bed #1 for Greta Thunberg, an early iteration of the WASP green wunderkind , who envisioned running ships dragging massive nets to scoop up trash from the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch,' a semi permanent ocean gyre that has roughly .1% more trash in it than the rest of the ocean. 

 I'm not going to link to this company, as they're about as legitmate as the ol'  Gypsy Driveway Paving Scam . I WILL link to that scam, as unlike the Ocean Cleanup, the gypsy scammers will do about 10% of what they said they'll do, which is about 10% more than the Ocean Cleanup will do. I mean, that's just science. 

According to the company, 'We develop advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastic. 

 Apparently 'Advanced Technologies' now means using the same techniques Jesus and the Apostles used to catch fish, but catching plastic instead. 

 That's advanced?  

 Note that I said 'roughly' when talking about plastic in the ocean. The oceans being unimaginatively vast, the numbers used are imaginary, best guesses, because nobody knows how much plastic is actually in the oceans. I mean, it's a lot, obviously, but have you seen the oceans? They're 72% of the world's surface!

 Look, to put it in realistic terms, if you had just one coke bottle every square mile in the pacific ocean, just one little teeny coke bottle in a mile of sea, you would need 60 MILLION bottles just to do that in the pacific, never mind the Indian, Atlantic, inland and polar seas. I believe the pacific is like 30% of the world's surface. So you'd need, what, another 70 -80 million more soda bottles? 

 So Greta 1.0's idea, which the green weenies got all erect and drippy for, was to drag for plastic IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN.  This got millions of dollars in funding and investments to make this into a company, to which He-Greta, a scientist of some renown  boy who bombed out of college and monetized a C- (at best) junior-high science project as CEO.  

 So, Maersk, the world's largest shipping company, is supplying two of their many and mostly idle PSV's, small ships (or gigantic tugboats, I suppose), because this is some fine-ass window dressing. And also because Maersk has a bunch of these ships moldering all over the 3rd world doing fuck all but costing them money. 

Wow, look at all that 'technology'. 2 boats and some rope!

At any rate, because brown people are all NIMBY to green WASP's , The Ocean Whoozits  is not collecting trash at its source, seeing as 90% of the world's plastic waste comes from just a handful of rivers in Asia, and not the clean asians, like in Singapore where you do hard time in jail for spitting on the street, but the Asia where child slaves work to make green weenies their Iphones, fleece jackets and sneakers. Who the fuck is going to make your Trader Joe's 100%  hemp tote bag if not an 8-year old chained to a weaving machine for 18 hours a day? 

  So, yeah, it boils down to that. The Ocean Cleanup collects money by running a kabuki show to end all kabuki shows, taking the SS Minnow out for a spin and going where the trash isn't. Like, save the planet, dude. 

 Holy-O-dogshit, you know how many tons of sulfur those PSV's are dumping in the air while they're not collecting much plastic at all?

 You know who does far more for the environment and DOESN'T pollute in the process?

 Yeah, the guys with idiot sticks working off community service punishment from local courts.  Green legends, these folks. They're actually doing something. 

    The Caribbean has VERY reliable trade winds. As such, there are many places where geographic and oceanographic features form a confluence of features that make them depositories for plastic trash. 

 I've seen one or two of these places, there are many. It's absolutely heartbreaking. Honestly, if you're a Haitian kid, malnourished and destined to be target practice for the macouts in your area, you can be forgiven for not being overly fashed for dropping plastic trash on the beach. Bigger problems to think about, kids like that. Panama has many ruined beaches that have plastic trash feet deep all along the shore. 

 Now, I'm pretty tongue-in-cheek today, because I hate scammers and I don't like green kabuki. I'm an actual environmentalist. I get to make a difference every day, because I work for an oil company, and I can be a positive force in my little square of metal. It took years for Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife to not think I was a dope for always picking up a little plastic wherever I went for a walk out away from people.  I don't like places where people are. I actually really like nature, and I like it clean. I have a vested interest in keeping plastic out of the pretty places where I like to be, away from people. 

 I don't take the green weenies seriously because they're not serious people. I don't respect the green scammers because... they're green scammers, and the cynicism they show off sends a completely open message. We Care. So Hard. Pay us.  

 Doing something for the sake of being seen to do something is the very essence of what for-profit faux environmentalism is about. 

 Now, put a floating  pair trawling net out in a river estuary in Malaysia, Egypt, Nigeria or China, and you're going to be a highliner in the plastic trade. But nobody is doing that. They're doing blood dialysis to a body with Leukemia.. You don't filter the blood. You bomb the shit out of the marrow aggressively. 

 "But at least they're doing something!"

 Yeah, they're f**king the dog. 

 Now, if we were to, say, embargo or tax the ever-living shit out of  products from places that don't police their waterways for trash, and companies that don't help,  that'd be something. I'd be on board. It'd be an idea. It'd be 'doing something.'   I like ideas with teeth. I also like being smart about it. Plastic is a miracle for the 3rd world, for hygienic purposes. Not every place that pollutes is a land of desperation. Nestle or Coke isn't making billions in Haiti, but they are in Malaysia, Africa and much of Asia. They're actually serious bad actors in those places, in all truth. It's shocking how awful they are where round eyes aren't watching. They could actually help reduce plastic pollution at the source via initiatives like smarter packaging.  But that's it's own article, and actually deserving of discussion, and I was here today to fling crap at some green scammers, not to go all kulturkampf at corporate lowlifes. 


Iron City said...

Great post, and I share your lack of respect for faux environmentalists and scammers. Been recycling since I was a kid, and not just picking stuff up/collecting it but in the supply chain that does something with the tin plate, glass, and other materials. Very few people thunk of this end of the recycling business.

The 60m bottles in the Pacific and another 70 or 80m for the rest is impressive, call it 150m. Take a look at the supply side. Coke sells about 100 to 110 Billion 500ml servings of Coke a year. That includes the soda fountains in food service places as well as 2 l and 1 l bottled sugary swill but even if the bottles are only a quarter of what is peddled that is 25 Billion bottles that is still 166 times the example 150m bottles. And that is in one year, about 3 million tons of packaging material.

It's very discouraging to hike for days into wilderness, here you'd swear nobody goes but once in 100 years. And there is a Coke can. Maybe a rusty old one from the 1960s, but it is there. Can only imagine what the oceans hold.

As you have stated clearly and well the way to quit fouling our planet is the Willy Sutton school of environmental go where the pollution is and either stop it from being produced in the first place or scoop it up and put it back to the supply chain of material for useful products. The last way to do it is to collect it from every clown wandering around ready to chuck the can, bottle, polystyrene foam (my particular least favorite)after they have used it. This last way is home to any number of people who are either plain con artists or just like to have their ego's stroked by being applauded for "saving the plant". While other people do the doggy work of the cleanup, and still other make their money by treating the waste as an externality, something they do not pay for and are not concerned with. I wonder how much Coke they would sell if the price of every bottle had to include the reuse or recycling of the bottle or other packaging?

JayNola said...

You're exactly right as to this project being about optics. They are deploying river skimmers too though. They call them interceptors. Definitely closer to a working solution.

Will said...

Iron City:
The original sodas were in glass bottles that were collected and shipped back to the plant to be cleaned and refilled. The customer was certainly paying for that with the purchase. With the re-use portion of the container trail removed, that cost is not directly being billed, obviously. If plastic containers for drinks could be formulated to be refilled, how much would that process of transport/clean/inspection/refill add to the product cost? Actually, I would expect that Coke/Pepsi/etc have that info at their fingertips, just in case it got mandated.