Friday, January 22, 2010


I found this article about ocean acidification at the EPOCA blog, a comprehensive resource for links to research and news on that topic. Scientists are quickly detecting and reporting evidence of the danger of ocean acidification from CO2 absorption. Of course I care very much about the ocean. For a small part of my life I was lucky to live close enough to the beach to go to sleep listening to the surf. Snorkeling was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. And I like to eat oysters, and I appreciate the critical role played by life in the sea, in creating oxygen and food and transport, for terrestrial life.

But, I didn't grow up snorkeling in the coral reefs, I grew up climbing and admiring trees.

So this saga of failing seas is of even more interest to me because I see it mirrored in our failing forests. One of the scientists quoted in the article said this: "If you see these changes across an entire ocean basin, you can be assured it's happening on a global scale in other ocean basins around the world."
I would quite expect this common sense statement to apply to trees being affected by toxic emissions - invisible poisons which are mixing all over earth's atmosphere just as acidification is mixing in the seas, thusly: "If you see changes across an entire forest range, you can be assured it's happening on a global scale in other forest ranges around the world."
Because, Why Not? This boxwood hedge is typical of their deteriorating condition. Even in winter, they should be deep glossy green, and thick with leaves.
EPOCA also reports that the Center for Biological Diversity is suing the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to respond to their petition to protect coral reefs. How I wish I could persuade somebody to sue the EPA, DEP, Forestry Dept., US Geological Service, NASA and the Dept. of Agriculture for ignoring the damage being done to vegetation from burning fossil and biofuels.

All of these government agencies and not a one of them is engaged in a serious investigation. Damn them!
All of the coniferous trees are now thin, if not bare and dead, and all around them on the ground are broken branches.
Here is a perfect example of a dead, decaying, venerably ancient trunk right next to a young, fallen sapling.
It is smooth, and has no bark.
Whether in cultivated landscapes like the boxwood and pine above, or in wild indigenous settings, every single tree has damage that is sufficient to kill it in short order.
This view of a wood reminds me of the images from reports from Haiti, where the dead are so crowded in mass graves that bare limbs protrude from the burial sites.

1 comment:

  1. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have tremendously mild weather. Now short term climate predictions are for unseasonably warm and dry weather for February.

    I should be taking pictures of trees and other foliage right now.


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