Year 2, Month 8, Day 8: Here’s Hoping My Kid Likes To Eat Jellyfish

The Boston Globe has a good editorial on a terrifying subject. The threatened oceans:

THE WORLD’S oceans provide a crucial environmental safety valve: The blue territory that covers 70 percent of the globe absorbs 80 percent of the heat we are adding to our climate, and about a third of carbon dioxide we are emitting into the atmosphere. A recent report by the International Program on the State of the Ocean, however, has found that the oceans may not be able to sustain these burdens much longer.

The report highlights a combination of factors that put us at high risk for, as the report puts it, “entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history.’’ The combined effects of overfishing, marine pollution, and carbon emissions are responsible for this basic fact: Our oceans are degenerating far more quickly than previously predicted. This has consequences not just for marine ecosystems and species, but also for humans.

Sent July 22, gloomily:

Considering that we lived in close interaction with the natural world for countless thousands of years, modern homo sapiens shows a disturbing level of ignorance of the environmental systems of which it is a part. The possibility that the planet’s oceans are entering a death spiral barely seems to be registering on most people’s radar; instead, we are preoccupied with gossip, trivialities, and short-term threats to our comfort. Attention, everyone! A collapse of oceanic ecosystems would not just be a temporary inconvenience, but a world-changing event of a magnitude far beyond our ken! Between oceanic acidification, overfishing, and pollution, we humans have inflicted enormous damage on the seas; if we don’t change our ways voluntarily, we will be forced to change them whether we like it or not. With a civilization struggling in the aftermath of catastrophic ecological implosions, we will have no alternative but to adapt or die.

Warren Senders

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