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March 27th, 2014
01:15 PM ET

Expert: Roughly 20 million tons of trash in Indian Ocean

Malaysian officials announced Wednesday that new satellite images show 122 objects scattered across a remote stretch of water southwest of Australia. The objects range in size from about 3 feet to 75 feet.

The discovery comes days after similar findings in the same general area, all part of the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The plane vanished on March 8 with 239 people aboard.

This possible debris field covers an area the size of Denver. It's rapidly moving target, that investigators acknowledge could be debris of Flight 370 or garbage.

Charles Moore is merchant marine captain. He's spent a lot of time researching the amount of garbage that's in the oceans. He's OutFront.

Moore tells CNN's Erin Burnett that the amount of garbage in the Indian Ocean can fool investigators into thinking they found something significant.

"The ocean is a kind of a plastic soup," said Moore. "The larger objects could be from container ships, they could be from Banda Aceh Tsunami docks, boats, all those things could be part of this confounding litter in the ocean."

soundoff (One Response)
  1. ConservationMatters

    At the end of the day, it's all about Energy.
    Yet, AMERICA continues to WASTE over 70% of the energy it consumes. Our horrendous Energy Waste is everywhere!
    Municipalities, businesses, industry, offices, and SCHOOLS are the worst offenders.
    (1) 100's of millions of lights burn unnecessarily every day and night.
    (2) We OverLight, OverHeat, OverCool, and OverDRIVE as if it doesn't matter.
    (3) Over packaging is the norm, and recycling is inadequate. Our landfills are busier than ever. (Plastics are the cause of most cancers and therefore our most heinous polluter.)
    (4) Very few Americans minimize their driving; road congestion is commonplace. America's incessant obsession with driving and road construction is the ultimate contradiction to sustainable living. Mass transit needs to be made FREE (we subsidize all kinds of 'projects, why not one that helps everybody ! ), SAFE (have cops ride whenever needed. They can still be utilized elsewhere when needed.), CLEAN, & CONVENIENT(this is the hard part; requires intelligence.)

    Solar, Wind, Hydroelectric can only succeed when energy conservation is also utilized. Only our dwindling fossil fuel supply has the energy potential to support our waste and overuse. Fracking, Off-shore Drilling, Tar Sands, Nuclear Power; it's OUR own dumb fault.
    The way to eliminate waste and reduce demand for energy is by using the economic impact of taxing energy. Crude oil must be Federally taxed at $160 per barrel(42 gal) and this 'energy consumption tax' be OFFSET by making Federal Income Tax begin at $60k. Only with a tangible and substantial dollar$$ consequence/reward will there be a plausible incentive to conserve energy. (Reward the 'Prius drivers, cyclists, walkers, & mass transit riders. Let the Hummers and other gas guzzlers pay a fair price for their high energy consumption.)

    Global warming continues to rapidly increase with our persistent waste and overuse of fossil fuels.
    Our hedonist energy waste is culturally pervasive, flagrant, irresponsible, disgraceful, abominable, sinful, and suicidal !
    Human extinction will be the reward for our failure to quickly and broadly implement renewable energy supplies and genuine conservation.

    June 24, 2014 at 7:42 am | Reply

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