Apocalyptic bullshit

Humans love miserable apocalyptic predictions, even when they are bullshit.

Lately a paper from Nature did the rounds on social media with headlines like

    Pacific plastic dump
    garbage dump
    more than twice the size of France
    Dumped Plastic Defiles Nature
    a future in which they will not be able to eat any seafood because all of it will in fact be contaminated by microscopic and even smaller bits of plastic

uncredited

The numbers in the paper work out to fifty kilos per square kilometre ("79 thousand tonnes of ocean plastic are floating inside an area of 1.6 million km2"), in the "garbage patch" area. Nothing like the photo.
Half the mass is made up of fishing nets. Those are relatively easily recovered.
Visualise a square kilometre of ocean. Chuck in a couple of garbage bags of plastic rubbish and a 4kg bag of tiny bits, and one fishing net. That's a "garbage patch" apparently.
It's not economic to trawl for the plastic in order to research it because you get too little in each pass.
A passing boat wouldn't notice.
Of course they don't explain that in the paper or in any of the thousands of posts circulating it.

Also according to the numbers in the paper, 2% of plastic production enters the oceans, at a rate of 1kg per person per year (8 million tonnes, 8 billion people).

This is emotive econutter bullshit again. The world has some serious problems. This ain't one of them.

It is just getting worse, thanks to social media. People uncritically circulate emotive distortions and fabrications, i.e. bullshit.

Please please: Stop spreading bullshit. Think first.

Here is a presentation I gave recently