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Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 25, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Sea change: ocean acidification due to carbon dioxide

Champion a cleaner tomorrow

LEFT: One of the plates taken from the control site away from the CO2 vents off of Normanby Island, a healthy reef.  The baby corals and coralline algae on the tile provide a glimpse of the next-generation reef. RIGHT: Algae and seaweed crowd out reef growth. The more corrosive water mirrors what’s expected throughout the world’s oceans near the end of this century. [Photo by Steve Ringman.]

LEFT: One of the plates taken from the control site away from the CO2 vents off of Normanby Island, a healthy reef. The baby corals and coralline algae on the tile provide a glimpse of the next-generation reef.
RIGHT: Algae and seaweed crowd out reef growth. The more corrosive water mirrors what’s expected throughout the world’s oceans near the end of this century. [Photo by Steve Ringman.]

The ocean is dying, but we’re making progress. [“Sea Change,” page one, Sept. 15-17.]

The Solomon Sea has already reached levels of acidity that aren’t expected in the rest of the oceans for 80 years, thanks to the copious amounts of carbon pollution streaming from coal plants, among other places.

Craig Welch’s piece makes mention of the fact that since the Industrial Revolution, our oceans have become 30 percent more acidic. That’s terrible. What’s worse is that it has increased by 15 percent since the 1990s. This can’t keep going. The glorious life-soup of our ocean is dying.

Good news: The message has made it to the Environmental Protection Agency. As of Sept. 20, for the first time, the EPA has proposed rules to limit carbon pollution from power plants built in the future. We’re inching toward making this happen. We should be sprinting.

Advancements toward stopping this massacre of ocean species are happening. But we need to keep pushing, and we need to be pushing now.

Our policymakers have an opportunity to champion a cleaner tomorrow. I urge them to seize that opportunity.

Brina DeBrown, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Environment, Politics | Topics: carbon dioxide, environmental protection agency, ocean acidification

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