Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math

By Bill McKibben, July 19, 2012

If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the “largest temperature departure from average of any season on record.” The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet’s history. Continue reading

James Hansen speaks out about global climate change

“Top climate scientist James Hansen tells the story of his involvement in the science of and debate over global climate change. In doing so he outlines the overwhelming evidence that change is happening and why that makes him deeply worried about the future.” Source: TED Talks Continue reading

Oysters Vanishing

Oysters are disappearing from coastlines around the world because of overharvesting and disease, researchers said.

An estimated 85 percent of global wild oyster reefs and beds vanished in the past 20 to 130 years, according to a study led by Michael Beck, lead marine scientist at the University of California at Santa Cruz. His team examined oyster reefs in 144 bays across the world, historical records and national catch statistics in a study published in the February issue of the journal BioScience. The condition of oysters was rated as “poor” overall.

See Oysters Vanishing on Overharvesting, Disease, Researchers Say – Bloomberg.
Oysters at Risk: Gastronomes’ Delight Disappearing Globally

Message on a bottle…the Plastiki Expedition

Now I have that song going through my head, but I was a Police/Sting fanatic back in the day, so this is not a bad song-infection. But the reason it’s in my head is because of a message *on* a bottle. Check out the Plastiki: http://www.theplastiki.com/. I’m riveted by this concept and the design of the 60-foot catamaran. The website is fantastic. Continue reading

I’d like to ring their necks…

elephant seal slowly choking to deathThe fishermen, or whomever discarded what looks like fishing gear, into the marine environment, which is now permanently strangling this helpless elephant seal. Thanks to Denise Kocek for sharing this photo with us.

This elephant seal is a resident of a colony in Morro Bay, California near San Luis Obispo. Denise spoke with park service and marine mammal rescue service officials who are not able to help seals when the colony is well-populated, particularly with alpha males and new mothers around that will fiercely guard their young.

Despite  her horrific injury this seal recently gave birth to two seal pups, one of which survived. Denise is monitoring their progress and will keep us updated. Continue reading

US Congress working to protect the ocean?

OCEANS 21: Coming To Rescue An Ailing OceanA call to action from the Ocean Champions website:

OCEANS 21: Coming To Rescue An Ailing Ocean

We are entering a new era of ocean conservation. As Ocean Champions had hoped, the new 110th Congress is already off to a great start for protecting our oceans.

Representative Sam Farr (D-CA) one of our Ocean Champions in Congress, introduced the OCEANS-21 bill (HR-21) earlier this month, setting the stage for the establishment of a comprehensive national oceans policy with guiding principles for use and management of U.S. coasts, oceans and lakes. Ocean Champions, we have been working with members of Congress to adopt key recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission. The OCEANS-21 bill would make many of these recommendations into law. The bill adopts the key recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commision to develop a holistic ocean health plan. This bill, unlike past ocean legislation, treats the disease, not the symptom.

Please ask your member of Congress to co-sponsor this vital legislation and help us build a better future for our oceans.

OCEANS-21, if passed into law, would implement a comprehensive ecosystem-based management plan that addresses current and future ocean and coastal challlenges, such as overfishing, pollution and habitat destruction.

This is indeed a very exciting time for those who care about protecting our oceans because we are now seeing the positive results of our electoral victories from last November’s elections. The OCEANS-21 bill and the principles it carries are vital to the future of our oceans because it mandates that the government adopt a holistic ocean health plan, something that is long overdue. In the past, Congress has passed laws that addressed one or a few important ocean issues, but nothing this comprehensive.