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There is Something in the Water

Jeff Campbell

Posted on April 29, 2018 08:15

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From off-shore drilling to plastics in the oceans, it would seem our lack of care for the waters of the earth may come back to haunt humankind.

According to the Bible, in the beginning, everything started with water, and God hovered over the water beginning all creation. How the Earth became covered with so much water remains a much-debated topic of scientific discussion, but all agree that it is essential to our survival and to sustaining life on our planet. It also makes sense then, that taking care of our waters would be mission critical.

With a casual read through the top news stories since the first of the year, one wouldn’t think so. In January, the Trump administration said that it would reverse the ban on off-shore drilling signed by President Obama, opening just about all the United States coastal waters to oil and gas drilling. The move united Republicans and Democrats alike, from coastal states anyway, who vowed to fight off-shore drilling in their respective states.

The “not off our coast” opposition is of an economic one focused on tourism more than it is directly environmental, but the two are inextricably linked. Bringing on further condemnation, was the Trump administration’s Florida exemption from the drilling decision, who’s governor, is a close political ally.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster serves as a very public reminder of the risks of off-shore drilling, which can have catastrophic results for the environment and marine life that we also depend on. Further, exploration for oil using seismic testing threatens marine mammals such as whales and dolphins. Simple logic would suggest that more emphasis on developing cleaner energy to replace fossil fuels would be a better alternative for us all.

Another big problem that we have been ignoring for too long can be summed up in just one word, as Mr. McGuire said in the classic film The Graduate, “Plastics.” The Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean is more than twice the size of Texas and contains an estimated 79,000 tons of plastic.

Now, news is coming out of a record amount of plastic being discovered in the arctic sea. Our careless disposal of plastics into the oceans is coming back to haunt us, as fish and birds mistake it for food and ingest it. This not only causes damage to the wildlife, but ultimately introduces plastics back into our food chain.

Overall, there is reportedly more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the world’s oceans weighing in at almost 300,000 tons. The potential ingestion of micro-plastics and other plastics among varying marine life and the eventual consumption of these plastic particles by humans through seafood consumption is alarming.

Other threats to our oceans include methodic over-fishing at a rate that prevents species from being able to replenish naturally, and pollution of the waters through the rivers, from industrial agriculture. Reactive nitrogen and phosphorous is being poured into the oceans through the world’s rivers creating ocean dead-zones. It’s time to wake up to our ocean’s titanic plight, and take corrective action, before we ourselves are included in a dead-zone.

Jeff Campbell

Posted on April 29, 2018 08:15

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Source: Phys.org

Humans are poisoning their environment and themselves at an alarming rate, with pollution of the oceans, soil and air now...

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