ABC News: To Hell with the facts
The photo below accompanies an ABC News report on an upcoming solo Pacific swim:
A Sydney man is hoping to draw attention to the problems of global warming and plastic pollution by swimming between Japan and the US in a giant plastic bottle.
Richard Pain's swim will take him through what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area of rubbish the size of Queensland floating in the ocean.
Placing the mouse pointer on the original photo produces an alternative caption:
The remains of a sea bird showing the plastic debris it had eaten.
Going by the photo the mid-Pacific is a filthy, deadly place indeed. But according to Wikipedia the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not nearly so "photogenic":
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also described as the Eastern Garbage Patch or the Pacific Trash Vortex, is a gyre of marine litter in the central North Pacific Ocean located roughly between 135° to 155°W and 35° to 42°N and estimated to be twice the size of Texas. The patch is characterized by exceptionally high concentrations of suspended plastic and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre. Despite its size and density, the patch is not visible from satellite photography because it consists of very, very small pieces, almost invisible to the naked eye and most of its contents are suspended beneath the surface of the ocean.
Which is why ABC News has chosen to attach a photo that has absolutely nothing to do with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This isn't news, it's inexcusable environmental sensationalism from Australia's publicly funded national broadcaster.