Definition Argument -Kingoflizards

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a stain on the Earth. While it is not the only garbage patch, or “trash vortex” in the world, it is the largest. Being twice the size of Texas,  it is a massive danger to the surrounding fish and wildlife. Attempts to clean up the patch have been made, but none have been fully successful.

The trash from Great Pacific Garbage Patch floats just below the surface, this makes it impossible for scientists to calculate how big the patch actually is. One theory is that it is like an iceberg, where the majority of the mass lies below, stretching down. This is one reason why it is so hard to clean up, the fact that its size is incalculable means that its price is incalculable as well.

A garbage patch is not like a dump or a landfill in the way that all of the trash is in-tact. Most of the debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made up of small splinter-bits of plastic called microplastics. Because plastic is completely non biodegradable, it can only break down into smaller and smaller pieces. This process is called photodegradation.

Microplastics are detrimental to the wildlife of the ocean. Animals of every kind consume these plastic pieces, mistaking them for food. The plastic then stays in the system of the animal, and eventually lead to death. Fish eat the plastics, mistaking them for plankton or smaller fish. Sea birds will often feed the microplastics to their hatchlings, thinking they are fish eggs. Microplastics are the cause of millions of cases of punctured organs, and death in millions of animals.

Microplastics cause a bigger problem than a few birds and fish. Microplastics are a threat to the entire marine ecosystem. By blocking out the light from above, clouds of microplastics and marine debris pose a threat to the plankton species that live below the patch. These plankton are the base for the entire food chain in the ocean. If the plankton are at risk, the entire ocean is at risk. For anybody wondering how this will effect them personally, the fish in the ocean will be killed. This means no more tuna sandwiches, or at the very least very expensive tuna sandwiches.

One solution that I am proposing, is a modified version of the Trash Wheel. Now, as it is, the trash wheel is not capable of cleaning up the garbage patch. It is simply a water wheel/solar powered barge that was implemented into the Joans Falls River in Baltimore Maryland. As of today, the trash wheel has collected 367,930 plastic bottles, 459,927 polystyrene containers, 8,905,600 cigarette butts, 6,394 glass bottles, 251,217 plastic bags, 338,079 chip bags. The garbage patch is then incinerated to help produce electricity for the city of baltimore.

Those numbers are impressive, but the trash wheel is still no match for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The trash wheel works by harnessing the power of the current. It funnels the trash onto a conveyer belt, and empties it into a dumpster. This mechanism would have to be tweaked in order to work on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, because the current is very different in the ocean than it is in the Joans Falls River.

The garbage patch is an unorthodox problem. It lies between Japan and the United States of America, and so neither country wants to take responsibility for it. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas, and it is ever growing. Due to oceanic currents, virtually any bottle tossed in the ocean from Mexico to Canada to Japan will end up in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The fact of the matter is that no country wants to clean it up, because it would be too expensive, and too time consuming.

The garbage patch needs to be a Global Effort. What this means is that the world needs to handle this issue together. No one country has taken responsibility for it, but frankly no country should take responsibility for it. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the result of human neglect. Human neglect is not strictly a Japanese problem or an American problem, it is a human problem.

Yes the patch is too big a problem for one country, yes the patch would be very expensive to deal with, and yes the patch would be extremely time consuming, but it is a problem that needs to be dealt with. It is an unorthodox problem, so obviously the solution to it has to be unorthodox as well. Giant nets will not work on a garbage patch the way that they might in a harbor. The answer to the garbage patch problem is not an easy one to find, but it is one that we need to find as a planet.

The ocean effects every single living thing on this planet. There would be no life without the ocean. If the ocean is in jeopardy, the human race is in jeopardy. The world is blind to the real threats to society, or in this case, to existence as a whole.

There are some things that should be agreed upon worldwide. The Geneva Convention was invented, because we decided that rules were necessary even for war. How is it that war has rules, and the ocean that we all need to survive does not? If war can be harmful enough to mankind that it requires rules, the mass extinction of millions of species of plankton and fish should have some rules as well.

The world needs to come together as one human race to solve certain issues, and the Great Pacific Garbage patch is one of them. We cannot afford to mistreat our environment any more than we already have. Human beings have been the most harmful species to the environment in the history of the world. Human beings are the cause of 100% of the Earths pollution, and it is time for something to be done about it. If something is not done soon to clean up the pollution on this planet, life as we know it will be at stake.

Works Cited:

Society, National Geographic. “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” National Geographic Society. N.p., 09 Oct. 2012. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

“Baltimore Waterfront.” Waterfront Partnership. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

“Baltimore Waterfront.” Waterfront Partnership. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.

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3 Responses to Definition Argument -Kingoflizards

  1. davidbdale says:

    You haven’t asked for feedback on this essay, King, but now you have received your preliminary grade. Feedback is always available, but it requires a dialog.

    • kingoflizards says:

      Understood. I have uploaded it to the “feedback Please” category

      • davidbdale says:

        If you’re comfortable with the content and the nature of your argument, we can focus on refining your sentences, rhetoric, language use.

        On the other hand, much of that effort would be wasted if you’re planning to make significant changes to your material.

        So . . . this is what I meant by dialog. Where would you like to begin?

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