Year 2, Month 7, Day 12: Where Is The Sub-Mariner When You Really Need Him?

The ocean is changing, much faster than anyone expected. The SkyValley Chronicle (WA) brings the news:

(NATIONAL) — What does a large gray whale found in the water off an the Israeli town last year have to do with microscopic plankton found recently in the North Atlantic where it had not existed for at least 800,000 years?

Everything, say scientists who now think the whale and the plankton are linked harbingers of a massive migration of species through the Northwest Passage, and a clear and troubling signal of how global warming is affecting animals and plants in the oceans as well as on land.

A new report in MSNBC quotes a scientist in Great Britain as saying the implications of this migration are “enormous,” because a threshold has been crossed — and that alone is an indication of the speed of change that is taking place across the planet because of climate change.

I had no idea it was going to happen this fast.

Sent June 26:

Seen in isolation, each one of these reports seems almost inconsequential. One whale more or less; a few billion plankton where they have no business being — it’s hardly enough to attract our attention, distracted as we are by the latest celebrities du jour. Perhaps that’s a good thing for our short-term mental health; watching the catastrophic breakdown of planetary ecosystems is going to be very stressful. And the most important thing our media can do is to keep us free from any but the most transitory stresses, right?

Ecologies hundreds of thousands of years old are destroyed in a geological eye-blink by the encroachments of our civilization and its waste. Those anomalous whales and plankton are climate refugees, desperately seeking survival in an ocean whose condition is daily more parlous. And they are harbingers of humanity’s future, unless we find the will and the wit to change our ways.

Warren Senders

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