Wednesday October 22, 2014
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Wednesday October 22, 2014

Under Current

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    Under Current - Tuesday Apr 29, 2014 | 8:47 am

    Plastic can’t take the heat

    When I started studying ocean plastics four years ago, I was a gung-ho recycler. I had lobbied to have recycling bins brought to our condominium. I was excited for all the different plastics I could put into the bins. I loved the very idea of “closed loop” recycling, bottle-to-bottle, reusing plastic endlessly. All the hype the plastics industry has heaped on us for years. The trouble is, it’s bunk. Plastic […]

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    Under Current - Tuesday Apr 22, 2014 | 8:22 am

    Every day is Earth Day – II

    On a day like Earth Day, it’s usual to see lists here, there, & everywhere — things to do to save the planet. I’ve never been a big fan. Cutting the top off a plastic bottle to make a bird feeder is nice, and kind of a fun craft. But for planet-saving it’s just a gimmick. Unless you want to add 300 bird feeders to your yard. Every year. And […]

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  • Under Current - Tuesday Apr 01, 2014 | 1:07 am

    Amazement in an “ordinary” world

    Looking back on a year of posts, two themes weave their way throughout “Undercurrents.” First, the only species capable of flat-out destroying the beautiful & vital places on earth is man. But second, the only species that can actually appreciate and value the beautiful places of the world is man. As a writer, and a dad, my moods tug me toward the one theme and then the other. I’ve studied […]

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    Under Current - Monday Mar 24, 2014 | 8:24 am

    Spring Blooms to Life

    12-degree dawn aside, spring really is here. The hopping sugar house at Harris Farm’s Maple Sunday was proof of that. But spring is happening offshore too. In the coming weeks, something magical — and completely ordinary — will start happening. Spring phytoplankton blooms will begin all along the shallow coastal waters of the North Atlantic. These two stock NASA images show blooms in the Atlantic, the first off Newfoundland, the […]

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    Under Current - Tuesday Mar 18, 2014 | 8:43 am

    “We didn’t know”

    After a short break to catch up on a laundry list of other responsibilities, a return here to the blogosphere. I’ve been reflecting on four years of flotsam fighting. I picked up my first bag of beach debris in early March 2010. My then-toddler daughter and I had visited Ocean Park just after some big storms. The beach was littered up and down with shells, wrack, and a shocking amount […]

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    Under Current - Monday Feb 24, 2014 | 8:59 am

    The Persistence of Pollution

    The Press Herald broke news last week that seven square miles of the Penobscot River were being closed immediately to lobster fishing thanks to mercury poisoning. Arms were raised, people were shocked, accusations of coverups flew. The usual. What else is “the usual”? Fishery closures in Maine because of pollution. If you’ve visited beaches in Maine, you’ve almost certainly seen one of these: If you’d like to drop your jaw, […]

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    Under Current - Tuesday Feb 18, 2014 | 9:49 am

    History and mystery under the waves

    Today’s Press Herald has a fascinating story of the wreck of the RMS Bohemian off Cape Elizabeth 150 years ago. It’s a poignant reminder of the turbulent history of Maine’s rocky coast. And it’s also a window into the mystery and lure of shipwrecks. According to the article, $1 million (in 1864 value) worth of goods went down with the ship — pottery, cloth, buttons, pewter, gold-embroidered silk. As well […]

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    Under Current - Tuesday Feb 11, 2014 | 9:22 am

    Ancient footprints in the sand

    The story of humanity was turned upside-down last week by a report out of England. Storms late last year along England’s east coast (the county of Norfolk) eroded back a ton of sediment, revealing ancient footprints. Human footprints. Found in layers dated to some 900,000 years ago! They probably belonged to an early human known as Homo antecessor, and are by far the oldest ever discovered outside Africa. And there […]

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    Under Current - Wednesday Feb 05, 2014 | 10:55 am

    Backing the tax on bags

    As the Press Herald reported on January 28, the city of Portland is considering a 10-cent fee on disposable shopping bags. No surprise, the issue is contentious. The plastic bag industry and its supporters have rolled out the usual bromides about “government intrusion,” “education,” and “recycling.” These arguments are all baseless, in this writer’s opinion. Education? Who needs to be educated not to toss a plastic bag on the ground? […]

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