Ever since I was introduced to landfills, I have been more aware of what I do with my trash and waste. People don't really think about where there trash goes when they throw it away. Recently, I was introduced to The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I was shocked, it looked absolutely revolting. We should stop polluting the Pacific Ocean with our trash.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest landfill in the world. The landfill is two times the size of Texas. According to Dr. Hideshige Takada, a professor from Tokyo University, the patch has been mainly been comprised with trash from the land rather than from the ocean and cruise ships. The percentage comparison is 80 percent to 20 percent. The landfill also weighs about 100 million tons.

Nothing good is coming from this garbage patch. They animals living the Pacific Ocean are being affected. They will either die from the toxins or they will become very ill Think about if the pile separates, or if it increases to become too large. If all that disgusting material relocates to other places, more animals will extract diseases, and possibly die. We only have a limited amount of water we can drink. What if it comes to a point were it becomes contaminated with our mess?

To save the environment as whole, we should stop polluting the Pacific Ocean. There are many simple solutions to this very big problem. People should recycle as often as possible. That benefits pretty much everyone. We should also ponder about what we throw away. There's a difference between trash and waste. Waste is an object we can't use. Trash is an item we don't want. Americans must start to reconsider what is trash and what is waste.

Oliver Chaffee

Of Boulder; 8th grade Casey Middle School student

Gas prices

Last month, Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, was evidently upset that President Barack Obama had misgivings about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that will transport highly abrasive "tar sands" oil over the Ogallala aquifer (using substandard foreign-made pipeline with a history of failure) to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, where it will be refined and shipped out to primarily Asian markets.

The decision to approve the pipeline was put on hold, pending further safety and environmental study.

The oil industry has launched an aggressive campaign backing the pipeline. Gerard, in a speech earlier this month, said Obama will face "huge political consequences" if he rejects the project.

The price of gasoline to Americans has since risen, and oil industry spokespersons have said that the price may up to $5 a gallon .....Or higher.

When a corporate fat-cat attempts to blackmail the President of the United States, and threatens to undermine the national security of all Americans by holding our wallets and bank accounts hostage, it's time to say " enough!"

Multi-national oil corporations have had the luxury of American non-regulation for too long, and must be held accountable.

Mexico nationalized their oil industry back in 1938, and Shell Oil (a Dutch corporation) wasn't too happy about it, as they proved to be the biggest losers. Also, following the OPEC oil embargo in the early 1970s, Canada took initiative to control its oil supplies. The result of these initiatives was Petro-Canada, a state-owned oil company.

Does Mr. Gerard really want to take that chance with the American Petroleum Institute and all it's dues-paying members?

I think not.

Tommy Holeman

Of Niwot; 8th grade Casey Middle School student