13/03/2021

Governing (dominating) the climate

Whilst carbon dioxide levels are the highest they have been in human history, trust in institutional regimes to solve this global issue is at the lowest. Recent climate change models have warned that an increase of 1.5°C may already result by 2030. Solving the problem simply through mitigation strategies —changing habits, adopting renewable energy, etc— seems infeasible; we probably need stronger interventions.

Scientists started to investigate other means, besides mitigation approaches, to stabilize the climate and stay within the 2°C. Two solutions gained much attention: the production of bioenergy combined with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and sulphate aerosol geoengineering (SAG). Should we favor one of the two? It might help to answer this question first: would you be the slave of a nice slave-owner?

Firstly, we need a basic understanding of the technologies. BECCS combines carbon capture and storage technology with an electric plant fuelled with biomass, including crops and forests; biomass is both used to absorb carbon and replace the use of fossil fuels. In particular, this approach allows the reuse of the land where the biomass is grown and the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere as long as the biomass is harvested sustainably. The captured CO2 can be stored under the soil, for instance in the deep ocean.

BECCS diagram —Image PNA
SAG diagram —Image China Dialogue

SAG, on the other hand, works by introducing sulphate in the atmosphere. These injections will reflect a part of the radiation coming from the sun back to space and counterbalance the warming influence of greenhouse gasses (GHG). This approach mimics the effects of volcanic eruptions whose fine dust and sulphuric droplets help cooling the planet. Sulfate aerosol could be delivered by high-altitude balloons, artillery guns, high-level aircraft, tall towers, or space elevators. The cost of this technology is very limited compared to mitigation approaches and the results could be seen in a matter of decades. At first glance these technologies look promising, but a closer look shows their shortcomings.

Both technologies could cause enormous damage to humans and the environment in case they would not work. BECCS could lead to food and freshwater shortages since it will use portions of the land devoted to agriculture. SAG might disrupt precipitation patterns. Therefore, a great deal of discussion has accompanied the emergence of these technologies. Most of the concerns around these technologies focus upon implementation and technical issues: Many scientists judge these technologies morally impermissible due to the detrimental consequences that can derive from them. These judgments are important, but they might neglect an even more important aspect of the story.


Is technology neutral?

In this article, I want to assume that these technical and implementation issues had been solved and ask whether there is an inherent feature of the technology itself that should lead policymakers to prefer the adaption of either SAG or BEECS. Simply, if there were no issues with these technologies, is there some intrinsic aspect of the technology itself that should make us favor one over the other?

First of all, we need to understand how some aspects of technology could lead us to choose one over the other. Technology, differently from what you might believe is not neutral. In fact, certain technologies, in virtue of their design, uphold certain values. Technology can hold a specific value if, in its widespread usages, it tends to promote rather than violate that value. For instance, a gas-engine car can be used in many ways, but its central uses remain transportation. Consequently, when a gas-engine car is utilized certain consequences —for instance pollution— occur, which promotes or deters certain values —i.e. sustainability—. Every technology, thus, has certain embedded consequences manifested in their central uses. Apart from economic values, technology can systematically promote or deter cultural and moral values —democracy, justice, cultural practices, etc—. Does SAG or BECCS uphold or deter certain specific value due to their specific design/implementation mechanisms?

Some parts of the world are warmed the most by human action —Image NASA

The capacity to yield power

Under the assumption that both SAG and BECCS work fine, the latter is praised for its capacity to capture carbon and store it under the terrain with the possibility of reusing the captured carbon. On the other hand, SAG does not allow to capture CO2 from the air but only reflect solar radiation. Once SAG is employed the process should be continuous and accompanied by mitigation strategies. Halting the process of injection will lead to sudden warming of the climate, known as the ‘termination shock’. We cannot see SAG as a one-off strategy but rather as a temporally extended process. SAG imposes its long-term adaption. In this sense, it can be said that SAG has an inherent tendency to be dominating.

When we use the word domination, we generally refer to its descriptive meaning: someone who dominates someone else. Domination can have a normative meaning. In this sense, domination is not simply associated with superior power but rather with the capacity to exercise one’s superior power without any external constraints. To put it simply, a slave-owner, no matter how nice he treats his slaves remains still a slave-owner. The slaves have to live with the fear that one day he might change his mind and has the capacity to threaten them. With this meaning, domination inevitably clashes with the concept of freedom: the ability to choose one’s path. Specifically, how and towards who is SAG more dominating than BEECS in virtue of its design?


The subjects of domination

Firstly, SAG is dominating towards future generations. It is normal that humans dominate future generations since they are not present yet. SAG, however, increases the magnitude of current domination over future generations because its deployment will inevitably impact the entire globe. Furthermore, SAG changes the nature of this domination. SAG makes it possible for the current generation to escape external checks on their power over future generations. Whilst the deployment of BECCS is constrained by the fact that its implementation will forcedly harm the interests of the present generations, for instance by driving the price of food up or diminishing reserves of freshwater, the deployment of SAG will just benefit the current generation by lowering global temperatures. SAG, thus, lacks any intra-generational checks. Finally, SAG results inherently dominating toward future generations since it forces them in a specific direction. As we have said, in contrast to BECCS, SAG does not eliminate GHG from the atmosphere, it simply halts the process. This, thereby, imposes future generations to comply with the technology. But SAG is not only more dominating than BECCS towards future generations.

SAG, indeed, is even more dominating towards the natural environment and non-human species than BECCS. The implementation of SAG does not meet external constraints since, up to now, there is no evidence that there is an upper limit of sulphate that can be injected in the atmosphere. On the other hand, nature presents clear limits on where the biomass can be cultivated; besides, carbon can be stored safely only in particular conditions. Similar to the case of intergenerational domination, SAG does not seem to have external checks and thus it enlarges the scope of domination over the natural environment —we have to remember that domination is not simply associated with complete control but the capacity to yield greater power—. This, in turn, could raise the bar of artificial solutions humans can adopt to shape the environment. Furthermore, as we have seen, SAG cannot be a single-shot strategy but has to perennially maintained. This means that SAG would expand the timeframe of domination over nature.

It is clear that we are warming the planet. Can we do something to avoid it? The answer is yes, of course, we can —Image Unknown Author

Ye shall not dominate

As we have seen certain technologies hold specific political, cultural, and/or moral values that make it clear that once chosen certain consequences will be more likely to happen. Certain technologies, specifically, might change the way we see the world and/or change our cultural practices. For instance, when using the gas-fueled car we experience the world in a different way than when we walk or use the bike; we see the world proceeding fast. Seemingly, technologies can change our relationship with the environment. When trying to solve climate change, choosing among the current designs of SAG and BECCS may signify choosing a particular relationship we want to have with the natural world. Still, this does not mean that the current design of SAG must be a definite one. In considering future designs, however, we must be aware that specific designs embody different values, and that satisfying all of them at the same time is not feasible. When designing we inevitably make trade-offs between the values we find most important. In order to make an accurate choice, we must make sure that the value of non-domination enters into the dialogue; because no one wants to be a slave, of not even a nice slave owner.

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array(2) { [0]=> int(899) [1]=> int(105) }
array(4) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#1626 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5872) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2044" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2014-05-19 00:01:04" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-05-18 22:01:04" ["post_content"]=> string(8795) "Es bastante común encontrar en lecturas etnográficas sobre pueblos indígenas cómo estos establecen relaciones y vínculos estrechos con su entorno o territorio. En el número 34 de la revista de la AETG (Asociación Española de Terapia Gestalt), dedicado a la Madre, hay un artículo del antropólogo Peter Rawitscher de Berkeley que describe la relación que mantienen los pueblos de Sierra Nueva, en Colombia, con su territorio y entorno. Para estos pueblos —Kogui, Arhuaco, Wiwa y Kankuamo— el territorio y entorno es la Madre, trabajan para sanar y cuidar a la Madre —la Naturaleza— y, a la vez, el cuerpo humano es el mismo cuerpo material y espiritual del territorio. Así, la gestión del territorio y el bienestar personal o del cuerpo forman parte de este mismo orden espiritual. Toda acción, pensamiento y emoción de la persona afecta el territorio, y, viceversa, cualquier característica del territorio afecta a la persona. En un momento dado cuenta que en una reunión de los Wiwa se debatía qué hacer con unos campesinos vecinos: estaban pescando y realizando actividades de minería ilegal en los ríos, amenazando tanto al territorio indígena como a las comunidades. Mientras algunos indígenas proponían denunciarles, el chamán consideró, y cito textualmente: 'Nosotros somos los responsables. Estamos atrayendo el problema, pensando mal entre nosotros mismos, sin respetar la ley de origen. Estamos afectando a la Madre, y ella nos está cobrando en la forma de robo de nuestro territorio. Tenemos que confesarnos y limpiar esto'. Según el autor, decidieron realizar algunos trabajos de sanación personal siguiendo las instrucciones del chamán y consiguieron que desapareciera el problema externo generado por los campesinos vecinos. W_howareyou
Habitantes de Vanuatu, cerca de Nueva Guinea —Foto Jimmy Nelson
Este tipo de mirada, una que comparte un sentido de lo común, una vivencia de ser afectado por y estar afectando a un entorno —que incluye a las personas—, una mirada de cuidado y respeto, contrasta radicalmente con la mirada occidental. No quiero caer en el mito del buen salvaje y las supercherías que le acompañan sobre que viven más cerca de la Naturaleza —una manera de decir que viven más cerca de lo instintivo—, que viven mejor con poco y son más felices que nosotros. Quizás en algunos aspectos sí, y en otros no. Quizás el peso de lo grupal a veces pueda ser desbordante para las personas que componen este tipo de sociedades. Hace muchos años me contaron, y espero que no sea una leyenda urbana, que los indios norteamericanos —no sé concretar cuáles— se planteaban cómo una decisión que pudieran tomar podía llegar a afectar hasta la séptima generación de descendientes. En nuestras sociedades occidentales, donde lo que impera y se ensalza es el individuo y lo inmediato, estamos en el otro polo, enfrascados en nosotros mismos, perdidos en lo que me pasa a mí en particular. Perdidos también en lo mental y en explicárnoslo todo de una manera lógica y racional, huimos de cualquier situación que suene o huela a emocional. También nos perdemos en la cosa de aparentar, de crear una imagen incuestionable e inquebrantable de mí: desde la obsesión por nuestra presencia física —con una concepción monoteísta de la belleza— a dar la impresión de que lo tenemos todo controlado o que las cosas nos van muy bien. Lo que importa es lo que me pasa a mí, que salga bien parado yo, que tenga éxito yo. No vemos ni miramos más allá de nuestros ombligos. Muchas veces me llama la atención lo poco que nos preguntamos los unos a los otros cómo estamos, no por quedar bien, sino con un interés real por el otro. Parece que los otros acaban estando para compararnos con ellos, o para pretender que me resuelvan a mí mis necesidades. Irónicamente nos sentimos muy solos y una de las enfermedades que más se diagnostican es la depresión. Nosotros los occidentales podríamos recuperar algo de ese sentido grupal, de lo cuidadoso y lo respetuoso, y tener en cuenta cómo nuestras actitudes, decisiones y acciones individuales, sí repercuten en los otros y en nosotros mismos. También en nuestro entorno. Lo paradójico es que para empezar a ver a los otros, hay que empezar a mirarse a uno mismo. Aunque con otros ojos.It is quite common to find in ethnographic readings on indigenous peoples how they establish links close with their environment or territory. In issue 34 of the AETG (Spanish Association of Gestalt Therapy) magazine, dedicated to the Mother, there is an article by anthropologist Peter Rawitscher from Berkeley describing the relationship of the people of Sierra Nueva, in Colombia, with their territory and environment. For these peoples —Kogi, Arhuaco, Wiwa and Kankuamo— territory and environment is the Mother, they work to heal and care for Mother —Nature— and, simultaneously, the human body is the same material and spiritual body of the territory. Thus, land management and well being of the body are part of the same spiritual order. Every action, thought and emotion of the person affects the territory, and, conversely, any characteristic of the territory affects the person. At one point, he says that at a meeting of the Wiwa was discussed what to do with neighboring peasants that were fishing and carrying out illegal mining activities in the rivers, threatening both the indigenous territory and communities. While some indigenous proposed a denounce, the shaman said, and I quote: 'We are responsible. We are attracting the problem, thinking evil among ourselves, without respecting the law of origin. We are affecting the Mother, and She is taking us in the form of theft of our territory. We must confess and clean this'. According to the author, they decided to make some personal healing work following the shaman's instructions and achieved to disappear external problem generated by neighboring farmers. W_howareyou
Inhabitants of Vanuatu, near New Guinea —Photo Jimmy Nelson
This type of look, which shares a common sense of the experience of being affected and be affecting an environment —including people—, a look of care and respect, contrasts sharply with the western look. I do not want to fall into the myth of the noble savage and superstitions that accompany about living closer to nature —a way of saying they live closer than instinctive—, living better with little and be happier than us. Maybe in some ways yes, in others no. Maybe the weight of the group can sometimes be overwhelming for people who compose this type of societies. Many years ago I was told, and I hope not an urban legend, that the American —I do not know which one concretely— were posed how their decisions could potentially affect the seventh generation of descendants. In our Western societies, where what it prevails and exalts is the individual and the immediate, we are at the other pole, engrossed in ourselves, lost in what happens to me in particular. Lost also mentally, explaining it all in a logical and rational way, running away from any situation that sounds or smells emotional. We are also lost in the game of appear, creating an unquestionable and unwavering picture of me: from the obsession with our physical presence —a monotheistic conception of beauty—, giving the impression that we have everything under control or that things are going very well. What matters is what happens to me, what matters is success. We not see or look beyond our navels. Often strikes me how little we ask each other how we are, not to look good, but with a real interest in the other. It seems the other exists just to compare us with him, or to solve the own needs. Ironically we feel very alone and one of the diseases most diagnosed is depression. We Westerners might regain some of that group sense, careful and respectful, and consider how our attitudes, decisions and individual actions affect others and ourselves. Also in our environment. The paradox is that to begin to see the other, we must begin to look at our inside. Although with different eyes." ["post_title"]=> string(63) "¿Cómo estás?How are you?" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(11) "how-are-you" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-02-19 00:08:03" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-02-18 23:08:03" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=5872" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#1661 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2256) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-06-04 00:03:43" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-06-03 22:03:43" ["post_content"]=> string(1342) "'El futuro será sostenible o no será'. Experto en sostenibilidad energética y crecimiento económico, Marcel Coderch es ingeniero de telecomunicaciones por la Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya y doctor en ingeniería eléctrica y ciencias informáticas por el MIT —Instituto Tecnológico de Massachusetts—. Actualmente es profesor en la Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya y en la Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, y desde el año 2006 vicepresidente de la Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Telecomunicaciones, organismo público e independiente que regula los mercados españoles de comunicaciones electrónicas y de servicios audiovisuales.'The future will be sustainable or it won’t be'. Energy sustainability and economic growth expert, Marcel Coderch is a Telecommunications Engineer from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT —Massachussetts Institute of Technology—. He currently teaches at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, and since 2006 vice president of the CMT —National Commission of the Telecommunications Market—, an independent public agency which regulates the Spanish markets for electronic communications and audiovisual services." ["post_title"]=> string(116) "WHAT ABOUT: El futuro por Marcel CoderchWHAT ABOUT: The future by Marcel Coderch" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(39) "what-about-the-future-by-marcel-coderch" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 18:00:22" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 16:00:22" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=2256" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#1625 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2785) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-07-02 00:04:22" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-07-01 22:04:22" ["post_content"]=> string(4126) "La Transición es un movimiento de carácter socioambiental, cuyo principal interés es la aplicación de un modo de vida responsable, solidario y sostenible, su difusión y el desarrollo de su resiliencia para el futuro. Partiendo de cuestiones como el pico petrolero, el cambio climático y la crisis alimentaria mundial, se anima a cualquier tipo de comunidad a buscar métodos para reducir el uso de energía y a aumentar su propia autosuficiencia. El concepto de 'transición' surgió de un trabajo que el permacultor Rob Hopkins realizó con estudiantes del centro de formación profesional de Kinsale, Irlanda. Una de sus estudiantes, Louise Rooney, se dedicó a desarrollar el concepto y diseñar su aplicación a comunidades humanas. Después presentó su propuesta al Ayuntamiento, que decidió aplicarla y convertir así a Kinsale en la primera Transition Town —Comunidad de Transición—. La iniciativa fue posteriormente ampliada y adaptada en 2006 por el propio Hopkins a su pueblo, Totnes, en Inglaterra. Se esparció rápidamente y en septiembre de 2008 cientos de pueblos y ciudades de Reino Unido, Irlanda, Canadá, Australia, Nueva Zelanda, Estados Unidos, Italia y Chile fueron reconocidos oficialmente como comunidades de transición. Hoy se han unido muchos más lugares en Brasil, México, Japón, Sudáfrica, Polonia, Portugal, España o Alemania, y si bien el proyecto se dirigió en un primer momento a pueblos pequeños, actualmente las comunidades implicadas van desde aldeas como Kinsale y distritos como Penwith hasta municipios como Brixton o ciudades como Nottingham, con varios cientos de miles de habitantes. Satish Kumar, editor de la revista Resurgence y firme defensor de la idea de que el respeto a la naturaleza debería estar en el centro de cualquier debate social o político, nos explica en este vídeo la vertiente más filosófica del movimiento.Transition is a socio-environmental movement, whose main interest is the application of a responsible, supportive and sustainable lifestyle, its dissemination and development of its resilience for the future. From issues such as peak oil, climate change and the global food crisis, he encourages any community to seek ways to reduce energy use and increase their own self-sufficiency. The concept of 'transition' emerged from an assigment that permacultor Rob Hopkins performed with students of the vocational training center in Kinsale, Ireland. One of his students, Louise Rooney, developped the design concept and its application to human communities. Afterwards, she submitted her proposal to the council, which decided to turn Kinsale into the first Transition Town. The initiative was expanded and adapted in 2006 by Hopkins himself to his people, in Totnes, England. It spread rapidly and, in September 2008, hundreds of towns and cities in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Italy and Chile were officially recognized as transitional communities. Today, many other places from Brazil, Mexico, Japan, South Africa, Poland, Portugal, Spain or Germany have joined, and while the project was directed at first to small towns, communities currently involve villages and districts as Kinsale as Penwith to Brixton or municipalities as cities like Nottingham, with several hundred thousand people. Satish Kumar, editor of Resurgence magazine and strong advocate of the idea that respect for nature should be at the center of any social or political discussion, explains in this video the more philosophical side of the movement." ["post_title"]=> string(80) "Otra vida es posibleAnother life is possible" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(24) "another-life-is-possible" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-03-09 15:36:02" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-09 14:36:02" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=2785" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#1818 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(5854) ["post_author"]=> string(3) "390" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2014-04-28 00:01:42" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2014-04-27 22:01:42" ["post_content"]=> string(13314) "Los orígenes del plástico se remontan a finales del siglo XIX, pero no fue hasta 1909 el momento en que se inventó la baquelita, el primer plástico totalmente sintético de la historia. Posteriormente fueron avanzando químicamente y a partir de la segunda mitad del siglo XX, el plástico ha colonizado todas las esferas de nuestra vida, y nuestra cotidianidad está a nivel de consumo marcada por los objetos de un solo uso, en especial en la industria del envase para la alimentación humana. Hay decenas de miles de tipos específicos de plásticos, agrupados dentro de poco más de una decena de sus tipos. Tienen una vida que va de 400 a 700 años hasta degradarse y desaparecer totalmente. Sin embargo, la mayoría de ellos, son usados y fabricados para un solo uso, esto incluye a envases de todo tipo y de uso cotidiano. Es una paradoja que a nivel medioambiental está haciendo estragos y que supone un gran reto para la humanidad. W_plastico_oso
Alrededor de un 75% del plástico europeo y un 93% del estadounidense se desechan indebidamente en el entorno o se exportan a países en vías de desarrollo —Imagen Unknown Author
W_plastico_cabeza
Si bien es cierto que adelantándose a una ley a punto de entrar en vigor, en 2011 el gigante de la alimentación Carrefour decidió dejar de repartir bolsas de plástico 'porque solo se reciclan un 10%, porque tardan más de 400 años en descomponerse y porque así muchos animales podremos respirar más tranquilos' —Foto Cecilia Duarte
En el año 2012, a nivel mundial, se produjeron 280 millones de toneladas de plástico. En Estados Unidos, el porcentaje de plásticos que se recupera frente al producido es de un 7%, en Europa del 25 %. El resto o no es reciclable, se desecha indebidamente en el entorno o se exporta a países en vías de desarrollo. Se calcula que solamente en Estados Unidos, cada cinco minutos se usan y se desechan dos millones de botellas de agua, de las cuales solo un 10% son recicladas. Cada año, más de seis millones de toneladas de basura acaban en los océanos, en su mayor parte plásticos. Y se calcula que en total puede haber más de 100 millones de toneladas de basura en suspensión en los mares y océanos de todo el mundo. La isla de la basura En el año 1997, Charles Moore, un navegante y oceanógrafo británico, descubrió una gran mancha de basura en el norte del océano Pacífico. Posteriormente se ha llamado la Isla de Basura o el séptimo continente, dado que a día de hoy tiene la superficie de tres veces España, aproximadamente 1.400.000 km2, y se estima que puede contener decenas de millones de toneladas de desechos, y sigue creciendo. Esta superficie se ha creado dada la confluencia en ese punto de dos corrientes que al arremolinarse llevan toda la basura y cuerpos flotantes tóxicos a un mismo lugar. El 80% de esta basura proviene de las costas de Japón y Estados Unidos y también de embarcaciones y puestos flotantes —como bases de extracción de petróleo— en estos océanos. Existen cuatro manchas similares, aunque de menor tamaño, en otros puntos oceánicos del mundo que provienen de otros países, pero todos los mares y océanos del mundo están contaminados por este material. La mayoría de los plásticos que se concentran en estas manchas son de tipo fotodegradables, su propia degradación hace que se transformen en minúsculas partículas hasta un nivel molecular y viajan por las corrientes marinas de todo el globo. Dado su minúsculo tamaño, se confunde con el zooplancton, siendo ingerido por las medusas y otros pequeños seres invertebrados y ellos a su vez ingeridos por otros animales marinos. En la superficie marina de estas zonas contaminadas, según diversas investigaciones, hay más partículas de este tipo que zooplancton. También peces, grandes cetáceos y sobre todo aves ingieren plásticos de larga duración, algunos muriendo a causa de su ingesta, otros siendo ingeridos por otros animales con dichos materiales dentro de sus cuerpos. De este modo, el plástico entra —ha entrado ya— en la cadena alimentaria de todo el ecosistema, incluida por supuesto la del ser humano, teniendo esto incalculables impactos para nuestra salud. Nuestro propio modo de vida y de consumo afecta a nuestra salud, y comemos lo que tiramos. Inverosímil pero real paradoja. W_usarytirar
Increíble pero cierto —Foto Chris Jordan
Cada año un millón de aves marinas y 100.000 animales marinos, entre ellos delfines, tortugas, peces y grandes cetáceos mueren por la contaminación de plásticos. Y a nivel ecosistémico es incalculable la cantidad de especies que están afectadas por la contaminación marina de residuos plásticos y químicos humanos. Todo esto sin sumar el impacto de la pesca marina realizada de manera no sostenible. Por otra parte, recientemente, en 2013, la OMS (Organización Mundial de la Salud) y la UNEP (Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente) publicaron un informe donde alertaron de los peligros de algunas sustancias químicas —cosmética y protección solar sobre todo, parabenos y otros—, entre ellas el Bisfenol A, presente en objetos, envases y muchos plásticos de envase alimentario de un solo uso. Estas sustancias funcionan como disruptores endocrinos y se vinculan a trastornos endocrinos propiamente, algunos tipos de tumores, funcionamiento cerebral y de fertilidad. En animales concluyen que los disruptores pueden estar vinculados a caídas demográficas que se han apreciado en los últimos años en algunas especies. Los han definido como amenaza global para todas las especies y para el medio ambiente. Por todos los motivos descritos son muchas las organizaciones, como la Environmental Cleanup Coalition, o la Plastic Pollution Coalition, que se ocupan de la misión de difundir ideas y desarrollar acciones para solucionar el problema que ha generado el invento del siglo XX. La alimentación de proximidad y local, la reducción de envases y bolsas y la participación en proyectos de limpieza son algunas de las claves que plantean. Sin embargo, el reto como Humanidad para con nuestro medio y para con todos los que lo habitamos es, a día de hoy, oceánico.The origins of the plastic back to the late nineteenth century, but it was not until 1909 that bakelite, the first completely synthetic plastic invented of the history. They were advancing chemically and since the second half of the twentieth century the plastic has colonized all areas of our lives and our everyday and is conditioned  the objects of single use, especially in the packaging industry for food. There are tens of thousands of specific types of plastics grouped into little more than a dozen types. They have a life that goes from 400 to 700 years to degrade and disappear completely. However, most of them are used and manufactured for single use, this includes all packaging and all kinds of daily use. It is a paradox that is ravaging environmental level and is a great challenge for Humanity. W_plastico_oso
Around 75% of European and 93% of American plastic are improperly discarded in the environment or exported to developing countries —Photo Unknown Author
In 2012, worldwide, there were 280 milions of tons of plastic. In the United States the percentage of recovered plastics produced is compared with a 7%, 25% in Europe. The rest or is not recyclable, is improperly disposed of in the environment or is exported to developing countries. It is estimated that in the US alone, every five minutes are used and two million water bottles are discarded, of which only 10% are recycled. Each year more than six million tons of trash end up in the oceans, most plastics part. And it is estimated that in total may be more than 100 million tons of waste suspended in the seas. In 1997, Charles Moore, a British oceanographer and navigator, discovered a big garbage patch in the North Pacific Ocean. Later called Garbage Island or The Seventh Continent, since today is three times the area of ​​Spain, approximately 1.400.000 km2, and is estimated to contain tens of millions of tons of waste and growing. This area was created by the collision of two streams that create a vortex that concentrates all the garbage floating toxic bodies at one place. 80% of this garbage comes from the coast of Japan and the United States as well as boats and floating positions —as base oil extraction— in these oceans. There are four similar spots in other parts of the world ocean smaller, and come from other countries, but all the seas and oceans of the world are contaminated by this material. Most plastics are concentrated in these spots are photodegradable type, its own degradation causes it to turn into tiny particles to a molecular level and the particles travel by sea currents around the globe. Given its small size, is mistaken for zooplankton, being eaten by jellyfish and other small invertebrates and they in turn ingested by marine creatures. Sea surface from these polluted areas, according to research there are more particles of this type that zooplankton. Also the fishes, especially large cetaceans and birds ingest plastic long lasting, some die because eat plástics and others don't die but are eaten by other animals with this materials inside. For this reason, the plastic has entered —and has started— in the food chain of the entire ecosystem, including of course the human being, with this incalculable impacts on our health. Our own way of living and consumption affects our health, and we eat what we throw away. Unlikely but true paradox. W_usarytirar
Unbelievable but true —Photo Chris Jordan
Each year , one million seabirds and 100.000 marine animals including dolphins, turtles, fish and large whales die from plastic pollution. And untold numbers of species at the ecosystem level are affected by marine pollution and human waste plastics and chemicals. All this without adding the impact of marine fisheries unsustainably. Moreover, recently in 2013, the WHO (World Health Organization) and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) published a report in which they warned of the dangers of some chemicals —cosmetics and sunscreen especially parabens and others—, including Bisfenol A, present in many plastic containers and food packaging single use. These substances act as endocrine disruptors, and the investigations link this to endocrine disorders, certain types of tumors, brain function and fertility. In the case of animals, the investigation conclude the disruptors its probably the cause of the demographic problems in some species in recent times. They have been defined as a global threat to all species and the environment. For all the reasons described many organizations such as the Environmental Cleanup Coalition or Coalition Plastic Pollution, dealing with the mission of spreading ideas and develop actions to the problem that generated the invention of the twentieth century. The power of proximity and local reduction of packaging and bags and participation in cleanup projects are some of the key posed, however the challenge as humanity to our environment and to all those who inhabit is actually, oceanic." ["post_title"]=> string(104) "Nos comemos el plástico que tiramosWe eat the plastic we throw away" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(32) "we-eat-the-plastic-we-throw-away" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-03-09 15:33:55" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-09 14:33:55" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=5854" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } }