Where does all this plastic go? • Python climbing a tree (VIDEO) • Put in the energy and lead

Where does all this plastic go? • Python climbing a tree (VIDEO) • Put in the energy and lead
Photo by Naja Bertolt Jensen
  1. Where does all this plastic go?
  2. Just a python climbing a tree (VIDEO)
  3. We need you to put in the energy and lead

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Thing 1 - Where does all this plastic go?

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) - that's where

I know you're using paper straws so you wouldn't contribute to it...

Most of our plastics end up halfway between Hawaii and California. It's the largest of the 5 offshore plastic accumulation zones.

The Ocean Cleanup did a mega expedition in 2015 and an aerial expedition in 2016 to get a better idea of what we're dealing with.

In numbers

  • $6-19bn economic cost per year (tourism, fishing, clean-up)
  • 1.8 trillion pieces (~250 pieces for every human alive)
  • about 700 species have encountered marine debris
  • 1.6 million km² (2x the Texas or 3x the France)
  • 4x to 16x more than previously estimated
  • 180x more plastic than marine life
  • 80,000 tonnes of plastic

And there are 4 other large garbage patches...

The Ocean Cleanup

Boyan and the gang didn't do all this research for fun.

They are building systems that intercept the plastics at the rivers and collect them from the oceans.

System 002 in the GPGP, August 2021 (theoceancleanup.com)

They made sunglasses from the first batch and will partner with companies to make other stuff in the future.

Big milestone - 100.000 kg of plastic removed

That's more than the weight of two and a half Boeing 737-800s.

It's also ~0.1% of the whole GPGP... So about 999x this much left and at this rate...

Of course, the next capture system should be better and have 10x better capture capacity, so there's hope 😜

This is one of the biggest problems of our time. And The Ocean Cleanup story started with a 16-year-old seeing plastic bags floating around and thinking "Why can't we clean this up?".

Thing 2 - Just a python climbing a tree (VIDEO)

In case you need an extra reason to be terrified of large snakes...

...and impressed with their technique that got me exhaling "Doh!"

This title could've been about programming, algorithms, and data structures, but here we are. 🐍

Reticulated Python Climbs a Tree (19s)

Thing 3 - We need you to put in the energy and lead

Progress doesn't just happen on its own. You need to put in the energy and lead the charge.

Effective organizations are unnatural. The natural state of organizations is bureaucracy and turf wars, and once deprived of effective leadership they revert to their natural state with shocking speed.

- Paul Graham

I don't think people enjoy bureaucracy and turf wars.

Creating something from nothing requires vision. Building big things requires (large) systems.

Systems need guard rails to keep working.

You put them in place to execute a vision. Then you tweak them to adjust the direction.

Take away the vision and you take away the foresight and sense of surroundings.

The system then self-optimizes to keep the direction it's heading.

And what's a good way to do that? Take away the ability to steer. Bureaucracy and turf wars do just that.

Fighting the inertia,

see you next week, Zvonimir