In 1997, when Moore took a shortcut across the nearly windless North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. which ships rarely traverse, he and the crew found themselves cruising through a mass of plastic waste (since dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch). Moore now campaigns against environmental pollution, focusing on the dangers posed by plastic. For all environmental collections.
Firsthand account of how plastics pervade our oceans in unimaginable ways, killing marine life and causing wide-ranging environmental and health effects.
Capt. Moore, a lifelong seafarer, was spurred to activism when his catamaran stalled in a remote area of the northeast Pacific and he noticed a visible proliferation of plastic bits and other trash floating on the water's surface.Dubbed "The Great North Pacific Garbage Patch," it was an ominous indicator of thecavalier way in which humans dispose of tons of plastictrash. This initial discovery led the author on a decades-long investigation into plastic production, distribution and chemical makeup, which revealed a level of pollution--in the sea and otherwise--far more insidious than people realized. The rise of "disposable" products coupled with inexpensive mass-production processes resulted in an unprecedented number of plastic bottles, lighters, shopping bags, diapers and other detritus being thrown away each year. Too much of it winds up in the ocean, where cool saltwater drastically slows down decomposition rates. Growing numbers of vulnerable animals are ingesting these materials, and often suffering malnutrition, unhealthy offspring and death. Evidence suggests that the entire food chain may be affected, sincemillions ofmicro-plastic bits are consumed by tiny sea creatures, which are eaten by bigger fish or birds, and so on. This "toxic Trojan horse" effect extends to air and land, as well, since plastics pervade so much of our lives and often leave toxic traces behind. The author is an impassioned, fiercely inquisitive writer, detailing the many unorthodox ways he's managed to get these issues into the news and in peer-reviewed science journals. His account is chilling, but with an underlying message of optimism: If human behaviors change, we can still save the oceans, and ourselves.
Fast-paced and electrifying, Moore's story is "gonzo science" at its best.