Saving deep water requires digging deep into our habits

Many of us Floridians don’t like to go too long without getting a whiff of salt air. Even those of us living inland are always within an hour or two of one coast or another. We take our lovely white-sand beaches, crystal clear blue water and clear skies dotted with fluffy white clouds for granted.

At least we took them for granted until April 20. On that day, the dire possibility of oiled wildlife and petroleum-covered beaches loomed as the explosion from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig reverberated through economic and environmental lines.

1. Now that the gushing oil well has been capped, we breathe a sigh of cautious celebration. But our dependence on fossil fuels still comes at a high cost.

The carbon dioxide emissions created from burning fossil fuels do more than change our climate. They also cause a phenomenon known as ocean acidification. While scientists debate the severity of climate change, most can look at the data and agree that the increase in the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide levels impacts ocean life.

“Ocean acidification and climate change share a common insidious influence,” said Bob Glazer, a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and a co-leader of the FWC’s climate change research and monitoring working group. “They are both caused by the increases in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

Patricia Behnke, Santa Rosa’s Press Gazette, 31 August 2010. Full article.


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