Sunday, July 30, 2006


Man marks the earth with ruin – his control
Stops with the shore


1. From the LA Times, this weekend:

A Primeval Tide of Toxins
William Dennison, then director of the University of Queensland botany lab, couldn't believe it at first."We checked this 20 times. It was mind-boggling. It was like 'The Blob,' " Dennison said, recalling the 1950s horror movie about an alien life form that consumed everything in its path.
2. From the Toronto Globe and Mail, this weekend:

Acid waters, dissolving shellfish
Ocean researchers have found that the huge influx of carbon dioxide since 1800 is making oceans more acidic than they have been for millions of years. If not reversed, this trend could destabilize -- or even threaten --much of the world's marine life, particularly animals that can't adapt to living in a more corrosive environment.

So far, the ocean's pH (the commonly used scale of whether something is acidic or lkaline) has become about 30 per cent more acidic over the past 200 years because humans have added so much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Scientists say this change has never occurred in the recent history of the planet -- either in such a massive way, or so quickly.

"The pH changes that are occurring in the ocean today are truly extraordinary," says Joan Kleypas, a scientist at the U.S. National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., and the lead author of a report issued this month that rang alarm bells about the trend. "Unfortunately, this is not an environmental problem that we've had to deal with in the past, and so we really don't have a very good grasp of what this means for ocean biology."
No, they're not making it up. Meanwhile, in Lebanon, among much else:

What would the world be, once bereft

Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,

O let them be left, wildness and wet;

Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

- 1918.

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