Eco-Alert: De Rothschild's big, plastic disaster

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The latest issue of the New Yorker has a story about the young, tall, dark, and handsome eco-adventurer and heir to the Rothschild banking fortune. He's using these God-given resources to draw attention to global warming and his latest venture: building a boat out of plastic bottles to sail across the Pacific Ocean to draw attention to the giant vortex of plastic debris in the middle of the Pacific.

Yes, there's a sea of garbage twice the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean and is also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.


Good intentions aside, David de Rothschild's plan to build a ship out of plastic bottles is an ego-driven misuse of money and human resources that could go instead to building clean-water drinking wells in Africa, something more urgent and practical. He could simply draw attention to the plastic sea of debris by talking about it in a media blitz, inviting his rich and famous friends to weigh in. His book, The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook, was the gift bag item of the Live Earth concerts and other celebrated eco-events. He has the publicity network to make this story really huge!

But that would be too easy. The eco-hero, Captain Charles Moore, who first shouted for public attention of the great plastic sea, is already doing that. Instead, Rothschild is justifying such an expensive, risky, time-consuming venture as a way to draw attention to recycling, because boats cannot be recycled, but his plastic-bottle-boat, the Plastiki, which is still being built, can.

Will it hold up against the thousand-mile high cyclones of the pacific, or will it get crushed to pieces, adding millions of more pieces of plastic confetti to the ocean? This is a stupid project. Maybe that's why the chief boat builder, Mike Rose, quit. It has playboy judgment written all over it, and unfortunately only Mother Nature can strike de Rothschild's ego down to size. Maybe then he'll focus on being part of the solution and not risk adding to the problem.

For more on the building of de Rothschild's stupid, plastic boat, check out the video above from the New Yorker.
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