The Patch That Ate Oahu

Regular followers of this blog, both of you, will recall my diatribe against the word “Patch” to describe the whirring gyre of plastic in the north central Pacific Ocean.  I was recently reminded of my exchange with the owners of this name as I read, with sadness, the report of the failure of the contraption aimed at cleaning it up. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a misnomer of existential proportions.  A patch by definition is small; an elbow patch, a cabbage patch, a patch of land. But the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas consisting of 80 bazzilion metrics tonnes of pure shite.  Like the Holy Roman Empire of yore, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is neither great, nor a patch. While no doubt addressing it will require an engineering feat of monumental effort, there is an easy thing to do that will begin to turn more public attention – and money – to it and that is to call it what it is; the Monstrous Garbage Dump Disaster.  Much harder to ignore than a patch, I’d say.