I wake from a few hours’ sleep accepting my place in life.
Gone is my youth, in which I wildly chased whatever I was supposed to be in life, disappointed, judging myself at every turn. Gone is woeful self-measuring against media models of success and failure in material terms. Now I wake nightly to burn in hell.
It isn’t all bad. I can read uninterrupted.
Recently I’ve burned through Alanna Mitchell’s “Sea Sick – The Global Ocean in Crisis.” It’s a club sandwich of global scientific research from her travels around the planet, cataloging the Ocean’s vital signs.
As a child living in the Souris Valley, I examined fossils often, understanding where I lived was once sea. Today coal, oil and gas developments there continue to alter the planet significantly. During the past 40-some years, Ocean has absorbed directly related revolutions in function, temperature, salinity and pH.
Mitchell travels to the Great Barrier Reef, which is dying out at such a rate my grandchildren won’t see it alive. Above-mentioned changes are killing this nursery of the planet, ensuring Ocean ecosystems will not feed the world.
Overfishing and pollution are also huge factors stemming from human development adversely affecting coral reefs globally. Reefs face extinction long before scientists discover most of the life cycles within them.
Ocean is dying (five times faster than rain forests). Fish are over-harvested, water acidified, becoming void of aquatic life in about 407 dead zones.
C02 emissions are rising at alarming rates and Ocean, our greatest carbon absorber, has nearly absorbed all the carbon she can take.
Australia also burns. Erratic, destructive climate change happens as C02 levels rise in the atmosphere (now 387 parts per million). As temperatures climb, plankton feeding Ocean creatures and producing half the world’s oxygen, are affected.
When C02 levels reach 450, Mitchell reports, scientists estimate one quarter of all living things will be extinct. Given current industrial progress; perhaps by mid century.
At 550 p.p.m. C02 “we will have caused the genetic extermination of up to 70 per cent of living things.” Remember the dinosaurs?
Instinctually, we know we’re in trouble. Protesting extinction, Canadian protestors currently light fires of change under our leaders.
Let’s stay up all night building an economic system that supports life by reducing our C02 levels. Other industrialized countries are, by employing renewable energies.
Presently, Ocean vitals indicate plankton won’t continue to help us.