Friday, May 23, 2008
I woke up this morning with the clear intention to not think about all that's wrong, to not worry about things that are completely out of my control and that I can do nothing about.
I opened the front door and reached for the morning newspaper. Fourth straight day of really chilly, dark grey skies and drizzle. Not too auspicious for a Memorial Day weekend which should be summery and barbequey, but whatever. The front page of the paper has a huge article on how new tests are showing that the acidifying of the oceans are way ahead of schedule.
I shouldn't read it. Nope, not today. But I had to. So here's the deal. The oceans have been absorbing some of the carbon dioxide we've been spewing into the atmosphere, helping cut back on some of the climate change we should have been experiencing sooner. It's the deep, middle of the oceans that take it in, the acidity level rises, but the cold water sinks and takes it down deep. About 50 years later, the currents brings that acidified water closer to shore. They've been doing new tests on the acidity levels and have found huge swaths of this acid water as close as 4 miles from the LA shore. It's up to the Continental Shelf all along the coast. This is bad, why? Because it kills all the marine life in it, dissolves their shells and skeletons right off them.
What's worse is that prediction models done by scientists, even recently, said this wouldn't occur until about the year 2100. What's even worse than that? This water is already 50 years in the making. "A network of currents shuffles ocean water around the globe. The acidified water upwelling along the coast today was last exposed to the atmosphere about 50 years ago, when carbon-dioxide levels were much lower than they are now. That means the water that will rise from the depths over the coming decades will have absorbed more carbon dioxide and will be even more acidic."
As Burke Hales (an oceanographer at Oregon State University, and one of the co-authors of this study) puts it: ""We've got 50 years worth of water that's already left the station and is on its way to us. Each one of those years is going to be a little bit more corrosive than the one before."
So head out and eat a clam this weekend, while you still can.
I know I'm not supposed to fret about stuff that I have absolutely no control over and can do nothing about. It's not healthy. No amount of changing my 10 light bulbs and washing my puny laundry in cold water is going to help here. Um, so I'm going to try to froth up some excitement about filling a few orders and making a little batch of soap today. And not read any more current news. Maybe until Monday.
ETA: Oops, I meant to add that it's Folklife Festival weekend. I'm not going to be there like I was last year. Frankly, my spot was lousy, my sales were lousy and I lost four days of my life.
I'm going to mow the lawn instead. And maybe have that most famous of Memorial Day meals - hot soup. Well, maybe not in other parts of the country, but it's Seattle. It's flippin' cold here again today. Anyway, I'm going to just enjoy a little time off - hope you all get a chance to do that too.