Tsunami Trash Wake Up Call
A gigantic pile of trash floating in the Pacific Ocean is headed towards Hawaii and the West Coast of Canada and the U.S. This heap of trash consists of all the stuff of our modern civilization: Houses, building materials, cars, boats, computers, plastics, hazardous materials and toxic waste – all poised to wash up on the sandy shores of the beaches of the Pacific.
Over a square mile of debris
The debris area has been estimated to be 3,200 kilometers long and 1,600 kilometers wide. Its arrival onto the shores of Hawaii is estimated to be 2013, followed by the west coast of Canada and California between 2013 and 2014. The debris is the result of the 9.0 magnitude-earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan’s east coast last spring.
While this poses to some as an inconvenience, a monumental environmental disaster is beckoning, and it is a wake up call. Just consider all the hazardous materials used to manufacture our cars, houses, boats and other goodies. These become toxins when they end up mixed with our environment.
Meanwhile, environmental alternatives do exist. Every toxic and hazardous building material can be replaced with natural building materials. Currently the world is suffering from two crises that can be solved together: The first is an economic crisis with broad scale unemployment and lack of productivity. The second is an environmental crisis that will destroy the very environment that keeps us alive.
Debris from a disaster is like taking a cross section in what our human environment looks like. This reminds us of the toxic debris from the World Trade Center destruction on 9/11. Here we found an avalanche of toxins such as asbestos, benzene and other toxins used to erect that building. The first responders to the 9/11 ground zero site are still suffering from cancers and lung disorders as a result.
What if humanity’s new focus changed from a chase to make more synthetic goodies to making natural alternatives that did not harm the environment? This would challenge legions of innovative inventors, designers, manufacturers and workers all around the world to design and make environmentally-friendly products. It would also employ legions of architects, engineers, productivity experts and health workers, all focused on retrofitting our buildings, cars and other goods in order to reduce the load of synthetic chemicals upon our bodies and our planet.