The Climate Crisis and the Ocean

by on December 14, 2018 · 1 comment

in California, Environment

By David Helvarg / Blue Frontier Campaign / December 10, 2018

Between the devastation of Mexico Beach, Florida and Paradise California plus the 4th National Climate Assessment Report, the year 2018 may become known as the point of no denial, an acknowledgement of what Governor Jerry Brown calls, “the new abnormal.” At this point climate deniers are being recognized as little more than the willing tools of the fossil fuel industry such as the coal lobbyist now running the EPA.

The best available science reflected in the federal report prepared by 13 government agencies including NASA, NOAA and the National Science Foundation, suggests the worst possible scenarios if we continue on our present course (which we appear to be with 16 of the 17 hottest years on record occurring since 2001).

It’s worth quoting most of the Summary Findings on the Ocean & Coastal sections of the report: “Rising water temperatures, ocean acidification, retreating arctic sea ice, sea level rise, high tide flooding, coastal erosion, higher storm surge, and heavier precipitation events threaten our oceans and coasts. These effects are projected to continue, putting ocean and marine species at risk, decreasing the productivity of certain fisheries, and threatening communities that rely on marine ecosystems for livelihoods and recreation, with particular impacts on fishing communities in Hawai‘i and the U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands, the U.S. Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Lasting damage to coastal property and infrastructure driven by sea level rise and storm surge is expected to lead to financial losses for individuals, businesses, and communities, with the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts facing above-average risks. Impacts on coastal energy and transportation infrastructure driven by sea level rise and storm surge have the potential for cascading costs and disruptions across the country. Even if significant emissions reductions occur, many of the effects from sea level rise over this century and particularly through mid-century are already locked in due to historical emissions, and many communities are already dealing with the consequences.”

The Trump administration’s response to their own legally mandated report has been to try and bury it (releasing it the Friday after Thanksgiving) deny it (“I don’t believe it” said Trump) and misrepresent it as “not based on facts.”

Seismic Blasting

Meanwhile, like aliens wanting to terra-form a hotter planet for their own comfort (see Charlie Sheen’s 1996 film ‘The Arrival’) they continue to promote fossil fuel development.  The latest example of this is NOAA approval for “incidental takes” (harming or killing) of marine mammals during planned seismic testing for oil and gas off the Atlantic coast between Delaware and Florida.

Sound is the light of the sea, the means by which whales and other creatures feed and breed.  The massive and constant sonic blasts used for oil surveying, along with some of the Navy’s active sonar and other sources of marine noise pollution, have been associated with the deaths of thousands of whales and other marine mammals and disruption of both fish and commercial fisheries.

For more on ocean noise pollution check out the work done by Ocean Conservation Research.

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sealintheSelkirks December 18, 2018 at 2:14 pm

No, as far as I can tell the first point of no denial happened with a book I read in 1976 by a man named Stephen Schneider. The title was: Genesis Strategy, Climate and Global Survival. It wasn’t a national best seller obviously…

Funny that about the same time Exxon was busy censoring its own scientists’ studies that said the same thing but we only found out the Board of Directors did this a couple of years ago…

Then another came out in 1983 by John Gibbon titled: Future Weather and Greenhouse. I was running my ding shop on Sunset Cliffs Blvd. and my ex said I really needed to lighten up about the science because it was so depressing.

Sadly, again nobody was paying much attention. This was five years before NASA’s Dr. Hansen stood in front of Congress in 1988 to say the same thing.

Nobody paid any attention to Hansen, either. It’s been forty years since he did that and we are off the CO2 cliff and the greedy fossil fuel idiots are still calling it ‘a debate.’ Too bad our species attention spans are so short, eh?



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