Year 3, Month 10, Day 1: Driver, How Can I Get Scrod In This Town?

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports on the parlous condition of the ocean:

SANTA CRUZ – A new study shows that increasingly acidic seawater threatens the food supply in developing countries, particularly island nations dependent on fish for protein.

Released today, the report is the first to rank the threat to countries from the phenomenon, which researchers say is related to climate change. Researchers factored in nations’ exposure to acidification, their dependency on seafood as a food source and their ability to adapt.

“You’re potentially going to have a lot of people that will lose a significant source of protein, something that they sustainably harvested for thousands of years,” said report author Matthew Huelsenbeck, a marine scientist with the conservation group Oceana. “Their way of life is threatened.”

Seafood is an important source of protein, particularly in the developing world, where it supplies 15 percent of the protein for 3 billion people. But oceans are also a key absorbent of carbon dioxide, taking in 300 tons per second – about a quarter of all carbon dioxide produced worldwide.

That has taken a toll, with ocean acidity up 30 percent since the mid-18th century. The change recently has led fish populations to seek out cooler, less acidic waters, and the resulting carbonic acid threatens coral reefs and shellfish.

But I don’t eat fish, so I’m okay, right? Ha ha ha ha ha…

Sent September 24:

While climate change has been largely ignored by politicians and media alike — or else subjected to ludicrous false-equivalency reportage — the lack of attention given to ocean acidification is incomprehensible. As the seas absorb CO2, their pH levels change, disrupting the ecological balance upon which much of the planetary food chain rests.

Less than a decade ago, the Bush administration raised the possibility that terrorists would contaminate our food supply — perhaps poisoning hundreds of citizens. That’s a scary thought — but as fodder for nightmares, it’s dwarfed by the fact that since literally billions of people rely either directly or indirectly on the sea for their food, collapsing oceanic ecosystems could trigger starvation on a level almost impossible to imagine.

In their inability to address the consequences of the burgeoning greenhouse effect, our political and media establishments demonstrate a tragic, and inexcusable, indifference to America’s future.

Warren Senders

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