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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 18, 2013 at 7:19 AM

Sea Change

Commendation

This pteropod, also known as a sea butterfly, comes from Puget Sound. The tiny shelled creatures are an important food source for many fish and seabirds. The shells of pteropods already are eroding in Antarctica, where the water chemistry isn’t as bad as it is in parts of the Pacific Northwest. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times.]

This pteropod, also known as a sea butterfly, comes from Puget Sound. The tiny shelled creatures are an important food source for many fish and seabirds. The shells of pteropods already are eroding in Antarctica, where the water chemistry isn’t as bad as it is in parts of the Pacific Northwest. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times.]

The Seattle Times is to be commended for its series on sea change. [“Sea Change,” page one, Sept. 15-17.]

Far too few citizens and world leaders are aware of the disastrous effects of climate change and ocean acidification on our planet.

Only by recognizing what is happening and taking necessary, corrective actions can we reverse these man-made catastrophes.

Jeremy Mattox, publisher of the Environmental Services Directory for Washington State, Seattle

Wake-up call

Katharina Fabricius swims through carbon-dioxide bubbles off Papua New Guinea. The waters here offer a glimpse of how acidification is likely to transform the seas. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times.]

Katharina Fabricius swims through carbon-dioxide bubbles off Papua New Guinea. The waters here offer a glimpse of how acidification is likely to transform the seas. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times.]

Every American seems to have an opinion about greenhouse gases and climate change, aka “global warming.” The Seattle Times’ report on ocean acidification due to carbon dioxide was a timely addition to our understanding of the damage caused to aquatic life by atmospheric carbon emissions.

Clownfish swim through an anemone near Dobu Island, Papua New Guinea. Carbon dioxide can alter how clownfish see, hear and smell, which increases the chance of death. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times.]

Clownfish swim through an anemone near Dobu Island, Papua New Guinea. Carbon dioxide can alter how clownfish see, hear and smell, which increases the chance of death. [Steve Ringman, The Seattle Times.]

Environmental Protection Agency figures show that every year, the US emits about 5,630 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and yet we not only persist in burning huge amounts coal, we are engaged in a debate about building coal-port terminals to ship more of this stuff to China, which will inevitably poison the air and the oceans even further.

Your article should be a wake-up call to legislators and government regulators. I suspect, though, that the ‘deniers’ will simply hit the snooze button and continue to ignore the dangers.

Readers, send copies of this report to your congressional representatives, urging them to take action now. Your grandchildren will thank you.

Richard Hodsdon, Seattle

Comments | More in Environment | Topics: carbon dioxide, climate change, global warming

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