Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another Red Flag Flutters So Briefly

Australian scientists recently described the deadly effects of rising ocean temperatures, due to the combustion of fossil fuels, on economically important seaweeds.

"Without these seaweeds, grazing species of fish and invertebrates would lose a vital food source. These same creatures — along with encrusting animals that must anchor themselves onto a surface for survival, such as barnacles, sea sponges and corals — would also lose their habitat," according to Reuters.

"These...organisms are probably much more ecologically and socioeconomically important for the marine environment on a global scale," said Thomas Wernberg, a marine biologist at the University of Western Australia's Oceans Institute.

"We are now starting to see the effects of historic fossil-fuel combustion and cannot prevent the outcome," said Sandra Brooke, a marine biologist. 

It's more grim news about how human activity slowly, steadily undermines the natural world while many fossil fuel burning companies throw millions of dollars at keeping the status quo, and their wallets stuffed.

This is how it happens. We hear a little bit about it, maybe we skim the story, another red flag for the health of the oceans flutters ever so briefly. Few people can really be bothered. It's really, really far away, you know? How can I be responsible for that? It is almost too much to ask, isn't it? 

This is usually where I try to inject some optimism but I'm all out today.

Read the full story by Katherine Bagley here.

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