Thursday, March 28, 2013

Drinking Ocean Acid

I’m going to the workshop in Bellingham this evening at the Cruise Terminal to hear local experts talk about ocean acidification. I don’t expect to come home feeling very cheerful.

I’ve read the guest editorial written by Northwest Straits Commission executive director Ginny Broadhurst and Bill Dewey of Taylor Shellfish Farms in the Bellingham Herald,  Threatened Puget Sound marine life shows global threat of ocean acidification.  The guest editorial a good primer on why the changing chemistry of the oceans and Puget Sound is a very serious matter for life as we know it.

A blue-ribbon Washington State Panel on Ocean Acidification last November issued its report and 42 recommended actions. Alas, the guest editorialists write: “The panel recognized that we can do little here in Washington to directly reduce the 70 million tons of carbon dioxide that the world pumps into the atmosphere every day.”

Saying that kind of stuff is exactly what will make me come home feeling glum— because there is at least one thing we can do here in Washington: disallow the shipping of U.S. coal to overseas markets. Here's a second: Stand with Oregon to close their ports to coal export as well. And a third: Work with British Columbia to limit their export capacity as well.

The 800-pound gorilla of proposed coal export facilities was staring the blue ribbon panel in the face when they made their recommendations— and they blinked. Maybe Governor Inslee in working with Governor Kitzhaber will go further with the White House on nixing coal exports.   The state Senate majority? If they want to drink climate change skeptic Don Easterbrook’s Kool-Aid, let ‘em.  I think they’ll find it filled with ocean acid.

See you at the Cruise Terminal at 6 pm.

--Mike Sato

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update and eye-opener. It helps remind me - if there is a BIG (money) problem in the environment that has any political overtones, then it will take the advocacy non-profits and the public to bring it out and mobilize the troops.

    The government forms panels and committees.