An August 2015 article in “Cascadia Weekly” reported that, because of the rise in ocean temperatures, Columbia River salmon are dead or dying on their yearly return from the open ocean. They predict that by the end of the season, 80 percent of this year’s run will die. Sockeye salmon thrive only in cold water and they are a “telltale” species, of great importance to many other species as well as soil vitality. Their decline portends further negative changes to life in the ocean, since the deeper colder waters of the oceans hold the most oxygen. Last year the sockeye had to swim north around the west side of Vancouver Island to enter the rivers of their birth, because the waters were too warm on their usual routes.
Industrialization began generations ago, with increased demand for power. In the 1800s the demand was so high we began extracting and burning ever-increasing fossil fuels (mostly coal) for power and heat. By the mid ’50s the CO2 content was already over the healthy limit (250 ppm) since it blocks earth’s heat from escaping, creating a “greenhouse” effect.
The unforeseen result of finding and burning more fossil fuels is global warming and change to the ocean’s chemistry. Some CO2 is absorbed on land by plants where sunlight separates the molecules into carbon and oxygen. Oceans comprise 75 percent of the earth’s surface and absorb about 93 percent of excess CO2. Phytoplankton, microscopic plants on warm surface waters, photosynthesize the CO2 into carbon, releasing oxygen into the air.
In the last century we’ve produced so much excess CO2 that heatwaves, fires, and droughts are everywhere, icecaps are melting and oceans are rising and becoming more acidic, making sea life less healthy. Both the atmosphere and the oceans could soon reach a saturation point, which will cause catastrophic climate disruption.
My generation (50s) inherited a polluted environment, while technology increased. We now have the capability to expand sustainable energy systems, decreasing the use of fossil fuels. Do we want to be trapped in a greenhouse, facing extinction in a dying world, or do we want to fight for an environment that is sustainable, with healthy food, water and air for everyone?
The Brad “Brose” Ambrose first annual golf tournament was a great local success. Over $3,500 will go toward Brad’s son Ryder’s future education. There will also be two scholarships of $500 given out annually at Blaine High School in Brad “Brose” Ambrose’s name. Next year’s event will be even bigger and better. A special thank you to all the hole sponsors and volunteers who made this possible.
Rick Freeman and Steve Miller
Geological history has shown that climate change is cyclic; over eons the ice has ebbed and flowed. There is no argument about this kind of climate change. In more modern times, there have been cycles of change due to el Niño and la Niña. These changes cannot be argued.
Since the industrial revolution, the content of carbon in deep ice samples has increased and the amount of oxygen has decreased. In the past Earth’s environment has been able to recover with natural regeneration through photosynthesis, tidal action along with ice reserves and the natural cleansing of waste to the bottom of the sea.
Earth’s ability to recover is now reduced due to deforestation, which reduces photosynthesis and oxygen production, the warming of the ocean by thousands of square miles of plastic particles that act as a thermal blanket, both keeping sunlight from organisms in the sea and raising water temperature. Add particles and chemicals in our air, resulting from the use of fossil fuels and overpopulation and its incumbent needs, and the earth’s shield of protection from radiation from space becomes an envelope that traps our filth.
Perhaps we are not suffering from “climate change,” but from “inability to recover.”