Hawaii: Extinction Capital Of The World?

Simon Reeve finishes his journey around the Tropic of Cancer in Hawaii, where he discovers that the paradise islands are the extinction capital of the world, with more species dying-out than anywhere else on the planet. Several of Hawaii’s beaches are also covered in plastic rubbish washed-up from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (a vast accumulation of the world’s plastic debris floating in the Pacific Ocean). Hawaii is the world’s most isolated island-chain, and the only tropical region of the richest country on earth. But there are enormous quantities of plastic debris on many beaches, and the plastic is breaking-down into smaller and smaller fragments the size of sand granules, making it impossible to remove. As Simon finishes his journey he wonders: if the US government can’t protect the environment in Hawaii, what hope is there for poorer countries throughout the Tropics?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVzE5Cbz6dU&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

2 Responses

  1. Has there ever been a time when species aren’t going extinct? Isn’t extinction part of the endless circle of the world?
    Aloha,
    Keahi

  2. Excellent and highly readable book covering Hawaii species extinctions and introductions (the two are connected):
    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Song-of-the-Dodo/David-Quammen/e/9780684827124

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