Tsunami trash

Effects of Japan Tsunami still to come

It is about that time of year when we all wish we could quit school and go on a cruise without a care in the world. Am I right or am I right?

Now pretend you are sitting on this cruise ship working on your tan, hanging out with your friends and having a drink in your hand. Sounds pretty amazing and a lot more entertaining than the research paper you’ve been holding off on.

Now imagine the cruise ship comes to a slow stop. The sun is shining without a cloud in the sky and you are miles away from any college dilemmas or drama. But suddenly everyone seems to be in a panic and you can’t figure out why.

You look at the horizon and realize there is part of a house floating in the water. Then you see refrigerators, piles of furniture, busted fishing boats, debris and piles among piles of trash slowly surrounding the ship you wish you were no longer on.

Five to 20 million pounds of trash is estimated to be floating toward the Pacific coastline nearly 2,000 miles away from where the Japan tsunami, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, took place March 11 of this year. The long trail of debris is moving at 20 miles a day and some debris is expected to find its way back to Japan over the next six years. Going on a cruise does not seem as much fun as it once did.

I can barely stand to have a few bags of garbage in my apartment before taking out the trash. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to see belongings someone once treasured now turned to trash and arriving on United States soil. The aftermath of the natural disaster which affected people around the world is heading toward our country piece by piece. According to the Herald-Review, heavy pieces from the tsunami wreckage have already sunk to the ocean floor. Paper products and biodegradable materials have also disappeared, but millions of pounds of debris are still floating in the middle of the ocean.

This massive amount of trash will be finding its way to our beaches along the west coast and Hawaii by 2013. The beaches will not suddenly be covered with millions of pounds of trash all at once, but there will be an increase of debris appearing on the coastline for the next couple years.

Thinking about going on a cruise to get away from all of my college problems will not be a cure by any means. It may just be an eye-opener to the problems the world around us may be encountering. I can’t picture five million or more pounds of trash floating in the ocean right now. It is devastating to me how many lives were taken in March and how the aftermath of such an event will continue for years to come, when all I am trying to do is survive college like you.

So I am encouraging you all to remember those whose lives and belongings were taken in this horrific disaster. Some of us may not have been directly affected, while others have not gone a single day without remembering the tsunami on March 11. We are very fortunate to live the life we have at Ferris. Do your part to keep the world clean and possibly help restore the coastline by simply picking up trash or donating money to a foundation that will.

This debris could be the largest amount of marine trash to ever reach North American shores. We will be able to say we were alive during this disaster, as this tsunami will go down in history. But will you be able to say what difference you made in the aftermath or will you be one to just walk on by?

Update November 10, 2011: Author’s name corrected after being misattributed to a past writer for the Torch.


  Excellent! I was waiting for this one. I was trying to quit, but you simply make this too easy. Let’s get started. I apologize if this turns out to be a double post. I was having some connection trouble. 

  First of all, Torch, I commend your efforts to pretend that your
Opinions Editor does not exist, but it is hardly fair to blame Brandy for her mistakes. Unfortunately for Angela, this article both reeks
of her incompetence as a writer and the author name was correct in the printed
edition. I do love that you tried, Torch. Kudos for that.


  Now, Angela, let’s start in on this article, shall we? It was tactless of you
to complain about how much the trash would ruin the imaginary cruise you were
enjoying. This rather highfalutin attitude of your makes me picture
you as a rather spoiled woman. Just for good measure, I
took the pleasure of submitting this article to White Whine. (www.whitewhine.com) I’m sure Streeter
Siedell would be happy to receive it from the university he visited only a
month ago. 


You neglected to point out that the tsunami was actually a bad thing until the ninth paragraph, at least for the Japanese. You made sure to take the time to whine about their trash contaminating the coastlines of America in the previous eight. A personal favorite of mine is paragraph seven. I’ll admit that eight is a close second. I took the liberty of rewriting your article to my interpretation. I recommend you read this with a Boston Brahmin accent. It makes it far more accurate, dahling.


  “As I sat in my generic and rather
crudely decorated classroom, I realized that I needed a vacation from the
education that my father is paying for. I do not understand why I need to
perform these plebian tasks. Ugh, these fools. Look at them run about and
do the work given to them by these professionals. I decided a cruise would be best. It
was not the trip to Paris I had originally planned, but I do suppose that
beggars cannot be choosers.  

  I had finally become comfortable in the common chair I was provided, but then I heard the commotion. ‘Charles, do see
what is going on, would you?’ I said to the young man accompanying me.  To my dismay, he reported that common TRASH
was floating in the ocean! How in the world could the travel company imagine
that this would be relaxing?! My god, there are entire iceboxes floating about!
I shall have to recoup my losses on this trip and try to recover once I arrive back at my home. ”


  I really do wish you would quietly resign. Your writing style is
hardly that of a journalist. Just because it is in the opinions
section, that doesn’t mean you can simply pour words onto the paper without
purpose. I’ll have you know, I tried very hard to restrain myself, as I was
rather offended at your callous attitude. I’ll admit, you tried to regain
yourself in the final 2 ½ paragraphs, but even then it came off as a bit…superior.

  TL;DR, please quit your job and go back
to being an oblivious socialite. I would very much appreciate being able to go back to
reading the paper and being angry at all of your attempts at writing. Please
consult an AP Stylebook. Thank you.

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