lunes, 17 de junio de 2013


By Gundhramns Hammer

June 17, 2013

Source: NOAA


We human beings are the biggest predators and enemy of all of the Earth´s ecosystems including the oceans. We are literally scraping the sea bottoms and beds throughout the world to extract metals and catch fish. 

Whales are starving in Antarctica because of our recent fad for chewing patties made up of krill (Euphausia superba), the source food for these marine mammals.

We are literally stealing away the whale´s food, for we are not only nasty top predators everywhere but also the biggest robbers and pirates on this planet.

Krill is in high demand by commercial fisheries for feeding farmed fish, dietary supplements for humans, cosmetics and other products that we could do without.

There is a lot of talk about the sustainable management of krill, but this is really nonsense. Sustainable is a euphemism for sophisticated exploitation of animals. The best thing is to leave krill alone. 

We have no business in interfering in the life of whales, penguins or any other Antarctic animal species unless our help is required after we have stuck our noses where we should have not been in the first place.

Antarctic krill already has it tough with the rising temperatures as a result of the climate change.

Many marine species are at the brink of extinction because of our greediness and squandering habits. And despite the numerous campaigns done by advocate groups with guts to remind us that we are failing in the upkeep of our only home, Earth, we still continue and insist on trampling on the same track as if nothing has ever happened. 

We have got to be real idiots not to change our course! Some people affirm we are indeed so. We concur and do not question that at all!

And to top it all off, we now have another problem in our hands. This is quite serious. It has come about as a result of our addiction to oil, our love affair with cars and other gas machines, our habit of cruising around and breezing up our faces, riding cars and chasing imaginary wild geese in our delusions of power and grandeur.

And what is this new problem? It is call "Ocean Acidification". But we will let others speak about this environmental isssue:

Source: NRDC

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Earth’s atmosphere isn’t the only victim of burning fossil fuels. About a quarter of all carbon dioxide emissions are absorbed by the earth’s oceans, where they’re having an impact that’s just starting to be understood.

Over the last decade, scientists have discovered that this excess CO2 is actually changing the chemistry of the sea and proving harmful for many forms of marine life. This process is known as ocean acidification.

A more acidic ocean could wipe out species, disrupt the food web and impact fishing, tourism and any other human endeavor that relies on the sea.

The change is happening fast -- and it will take fast action to slow or stop it. Over the last 250 years, oceans have absorbed 530 billion tons of CO2, triggering a 30 percent increase in ocean acidity.

Before people started burning coal and oil, ocean pH had been relatively stable for the previous 20 million years. But researchers predict that if carbon emissions continue at their current rate, ocean acidity will more than double by 2100.

The polar regions will be the first to experience changes. Projections show that the Southern Ocean around Antarctica will actually become corrosive by 2050.

Click the photo above to view a slideshow of corals and learn more about the impact of ocean acidification.

Corrosive Impacts on Sealife

The new chemical composition of our oceans is expected to harm a wide range of ocean life -- particularly creatures with shells. The resulting disruption to the ocean ecosystem could have a widespread ripple effect and further deplete already struggling fisheries worldwide.

Increased acidity reduces carbonate -- the mineral used to form the shells and skeletons of many shellfish and corals. The effect is similar to osteoporosis, slowing growth and making shells weaker. If pH levels drop enough, the shells will literally dissolve.

This process will not only harm some of our favorite seafood, such as lobster and mussels, but will also injure some species of smaller marine organisms -- things such as pteropods and coccolithophores.

You’ve probably never heard of them, but they form a vital part of the food web. If those smaller organisms are wiped out, the larger animals that feed on them could suffer, as well.

Disappearing Coral Reefs

Delicate corals may face an even greater risk than shellfish because they require very high levels of carbonate to build their skeletons.

Acidity slows reef-building, which could lower the resiliency of corals and lead to their erosion and eventual extinction. The “tipping point” for coral reefs could happen as soon as 2050.
Coral reefs serve as the home for many other forms of ocean life. Their disappearance would be akin to rainforests being wiped out worldwide. Such losses would reverberate throughout the marine environment and have profound social impacts, as well -- especially on the fishing and tourism industries.

The loss of coral reefs would also reduce the protection that they offer coastal communities against storms surges and hurricanes -- which might become more severe with warmer air and sea surface temperatures due to global warming.

What Can We Do About It?

Combating acidification requires reducing CO2 emissions and improving the health of the oceans. Creating marine protected areas (essentially national parks for the sea) and stopping destructive fishing practices would increase the resiliency of marine ecosystems and help them withstand acidification.

Evidence suggests that coral reefs in protected ocean reserves are less affected by global threats such as global warming and ocean acidification, demonstrating the power of ecosystem protection.

Ultimately, though, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed into the oceans may be the only way to halt acidification. The same strategies needed to fight global warming on land can also help in the seas.

The acidification of our oceans is the hidden side of the world’s carbon crisis, says Lisa Suatoni, an NRDC ocean scientist, and only reinforces that we need to make changes in how we fuel our world -- and we need to do it quickly.

Citations and links to scientific articles behind this problem are available here.



Although the above article falls short when it comes to suggestions to help solve this ocean acidification problem, we suggest the following:

What can you do?

For one thing, stop using the car for useless trips. Quit jacking around too much! 

Walk more! Your body will be happy for it! And the planet and its inhabitants will thank you for it!!!

A lot of people use the car just to go shopping for a bag of potato chips, a pack of cigarettes or a beer at the convenient store around the corner. This is ridiculous!! It is totally antibiospheric!! Just in case you are wondering, we do not have a car and travel very little. 

Stop eating any type of ocean fish, especially tuna and shark or any fish grown in commercial fisheries because fish grown under crowded conditions in pens is pumped with antibiotics and growth hormones. Otherwise the farmed fish would die. Besides they are usually GM animals. You will not die if you do not eat any fish anyway.

And remember, the Omega-3 business is just another band wagon scam. It serves as an excuse to sell more fish and grow salmon in floating pens in the sea. It is business as usual. 

Aquaculture is not what they are telling us to be. It is not green. Its ecological footprint is high.

This industry uses raw materials such as soybean as ingredient for fish feed. Soybean usually comes from Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil where rain forests are replaced by plantations of this crop. Poor people are kicked out of their land to plant this crop as well.

Moreover, aquaculture is often used by the mafia for money laundering. Transnational crime has gone green.

In case you are into this new fad and you wish to stuff up your body with Omega-3 fatty acids, buy some chia seeds (Salvia hispanica), which are amongst the richest sources of these  lipids on Earth.

Also, keep in mind that a single leaf of grass in your garden is infinite. So is a "grain of sand" as William Blake once said.

Travel abroad should be reduced unless you have to. There is no need for exotourism, by this we mean travelling to other lands. This can be classified as narcissism. Instead, try to do more endotourism, meaning travelling and exploring your subconscious, your inner self, getting to know yourself. Endotourism can be done at home.

The workings of our inner space is terra incognita for the vast majority of Humans and most people will pass away without ever knowing a tiny part of themselves. An entire life without ever achieving a chink into themselves.

And do not forget, whatever you are searching for, it is already within you! 


National Research Council of the National Academies (2010). Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean. Committee on the Development of an Integrated Science Strategy for Ocean Acidification Monitoring, Research, and Impacts Assessment. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, USA. 175 p.

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