Ocean tale

There are, as the saying goes, lots of fish in the sea.

Sven Huseby is in the fight of his life to keep it that way.

Huseby, remembered locally for the 30 years he spent as teacher, administrator and ultimately head of The Putney School, finds himself in the international spotlight, drawn there by a cause that grips him tightly — ocean acidification.

Never heard of it?

Neither had Huseby, until he read an article in the Nov. 22, 2006, New Yorker titled “The Darkening Sea.” In it, environmental writer Elizabeth Kolbert described a new ecological threat — the falling pH levels of ocean waters caused primarily by what happens when all the carbon dioxide we belch into atmosphere falls back into the sea. It is global warming’s frightening flipside, and reading about it scared hell out of him.

“I think my biggest shock is I think of myself as a somewhat informed environmentalist. When I read that article, I felt like I’d been blindsided,” said Huseby in a telephone interview from his home in Germantown, N.Y. “The idea that we were in a measurable way changing the chemistry of the ocean, and seeing it rapidly change That really made me sit back and ask: ‘Is this really true or is this some sort of melodrama?'”

As a teacher and a lifelong student, Huseby knew how to answer that question. Research. He talked to Kolbert, talked to people who knew Kolbert’s work to ascertain her credibility.

Jon Potter, Brattleboro Reformer, 15 May 2010. Full article.

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