How a Sea Captain's Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans
By Capt. Charles Moore
(Avery Trade, Paperback, 9781583335017, 368pp.)
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
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A prominent seafaring environmentalist and researcher shares his shocking discovery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and inspires a fundamental rethinking of the Plastic Age.
In the summer of 1997, Charles Moore set sail from Honolulu returning home after competing in a trans-Pacific race. To get to California, he and his crew took a shortcut through the seldom-traversed North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a vast “oceanic desert” where winds are slack and sailing ships languish. There, Moore realized his catamaran was surrounded by a “plastic soup.” He had stumbled upon the largest garbage dump on the planet—a spiral nebula where plastic outweighed zooplankton, the ocean’s food base, by a factor of six to one.
In Plastic Ocean, Moore recounts his ominous findings and unveils the secret life and hidden proper ties of plastics. From milk jugs to polymer molecules small enough to penetrate human skin or be unknowingly inhaled, plastic is now suspected of contributing to a host of ailments, including infertility, autism, thyroid dysfunction, and some cancers. An urgent call to action, Moore’s sobering revelations will be embraced by activists, concerned parents, and anyone concerned about the deadly impact and implications of this man-made blight.
Capt. Charles Moore is a researcher and speaker focusing on the environment. He lives in Long Beach, California.
Cassandra Phillips has worked as a newspaper reporter. She lives in Kamuela, Hawaii.
"A hero...Moore is the first person to have pursued serious scientific research by sampling the garbage patch."
—The New York Times
"The author is an impassioned, fiercely inquisitive writer, detailing the many unorthodox ways he's managed to get these issues into the news and in peer-reviewed science journals. His account is chilling, but with an underlying message of optimism: If human behaviors change, we can still save the oceans, and ourselves. Fast-paced and electrifying, Moore's story is "gonzo science" at its best."
"In Plastic Ocean, readers join Captain Moore on journeys through history, into science labs and to remote parts of the ocean - revealing information both fascinating and incredibly important. A must read for anyone who likes a good adventure and wants to tackle today's pressing environmental problems."
—Annie Leonard, author and host, The Story of Stuff
"An ocean’s hero's call to action."
"Highly readable, thoughtful, honest, and determined, Plastic Ocean is a book with staying power."