15 October 2009

Blog Action Day 2009 | Climate Change

Climate Change.

These days those two little words can cause a myriad of reactions, a multitude of emotions. Whether you believe in global warming or you think former Vice President Al Gore is full of it, no one can argue that our climate IS changing.

For the past two days, I struggled with what to write about for my Blog Action Day 2009 post. Maybe it was the 8+ hour drive through the Allegheny foothills and mountains of Ohio and Pennsylvania in the rain or perhaps the visit today to the National Aquarium in Baltimore; whatever it was, through the rain this afternoon I came up with an idea for my blog: the effect of climate change on our oceans.

Jellyfish are an indicator of global warming and the effects are becoming disastrous. In previous ecological cycles, fish eggs were laid and would hatch prior to the warm season which would allow the baby fish ample time to hatch and grow before the jellyfish moved in to feed. With the indisputable warming of the Earth's oceans, the jellyfish have been moving into fish hatching grounds earlier and earlier which means that the fish don't have the chance to hatch and grow before they are eaten by the jellies. Big deal? Well, if you like seafood, YES!

Approximately 75% of the Earth is water and yet only 1% of that is potable or drinkable. This, in and of itself, is a staggering statistic. When you factor in the rate at which the human race is destroying the biodiversity of our oceans and impeding the cycle by which water is created, it's a sobering thought. The more CO2 we release into the atmosphere, the more contaminated the rain that falls and feeds the Earth's freshwater sources. We are quickly running out of water as our populations swell.

So what can we do? Think, for one. It's amazing to me that change can come with such a small effort and most people are unaware and/or unwilling to make a change. What can you do?

1. Buy less Plastic. Every molecule of plastic ever created is still in existence and much of is is floating in our oceans and waterways. For every plastic bag you turn down, every pop bottle you recycle, every metal water bottle you carry rather than buy bottled water, a sea creature is saved.

2. Carry your own shopping bags. This goes along with #1 but is worth repeating.

3. Buy and eat sustainably fished seafood. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch website to download handy pocket guides to sustainable seafood - hell, download them for your friends! You can even visit them via your blackberry or iPhone at mobile.seafoodwatch.org to have a pocket guide wherever you go!

4. BE INFORMED. Knowledge is power and the more you know, the more you can do. Pay attention and think before you act. Remember, one person CAN change the world. All it takes is the first step!

Note: pictures to go along with this post soon - sorry!

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