As I write this, I’m on my way to Copenhagen to attend the United Nations climate change treaty negotiations, otherwise known as COP15 (Conference of the Parties, 15th meeting). I have always been skeptical of global negotiations, but when I attended an event hosted by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in October, I heard the head of SIO declare that their scientists have documented a critical impact of climate change on the oceans that “could lead to the oceans having no fish.” That really stopped me. I mean think about it: no fish in the oceans.
Ocean acidification is where the ph balance of the water is begin driven to be so acid by excess carbon dioxide (due to human-based emissions) that it will dissolve the very nature of shells and bones such that they in essence, dissolve. And you’re left with a big, dead – well we don’t have a word for it – a big dead sludge of water without fish or vetebrate or coral or shell life as we know it. The ramifications of this – well it sounds like a bad science fiction plot – but it’s sadly and alarmingly – a science fact that we are being warned about (see also www.CopenhagenDiagnosis.org).
But what can a person do about this? Climate change, to begin with, is such a huge global phenomena that it’s hard to see where an individual can make a dent. But, indeed, individuals are required to deal with it. And not just by changing their personal choices at home, since that won’t indeed be enough to affect the global climate (yes, we will have to do individual things and we can start now). But most importantly, individuals must participate in their political processes and make climate change an issue for their elected representatives.
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