Defining Sustainability

There are a lot of terms being bandied about these days, Green words.  Sustainable is one of those most often used, and seldom defined.  Some people feel that biodiesel is sustainable, for example.  They reason that since it is grown, it is not finite, and therefore it’s renewable, sustainable.  You know, Sustainable… right?  No, not really.
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Recycling Crashes, But Waste Management Inc. Pushes On

The commercial Recycling market has crashed — HARD. Earlier this year, recycled tin was bringing as much as $327 a ton. Today it hovers at $5 a ton. Read more

Our Ocean on Acid

Pacific Ocean Turning To Acid at Alarming Rate – Ocean Acidification

When Al Gore put out “An Inconvenient Truth,” naysayers claimed that he was exaggerating, or even outright lying, about the shape our ecology is in. They were swift to decry the film’s predictions of an impending global disaster as Gloom And Doom false prophecy. Would that they were right. But as the facts and independent data keep coming in, it seems that Al Gore’s timeframe predictions may have been too generous, and that the scientists who said we needed to stop polluting RIGHT NOW, TODAY, THIS VERY MINUTE, were right all along.

Ecologists from the University of Chicago have been tracking the acidity of the Pacific Ocean over the past eight years, monitoring the status from an island near Washington state. The results? The waters of the Pacific Ocean are turning acidic TEN TIMES more rapidly than expected. Further, they reveal that mussels, which are a pivotal creature in such ecosystems, are dying off rapidly as the ocean becomes acidic.

The ocean itself acts as a buffer, slows down changes in the climate caused by CO2 by absorbing that deadly gas. Unlike trees, though, the ocean cannot turn CO2 into oxygen. Instead, as it is absorbed into the ocean, it becomes carbonic acid, a substance strong enough to dissolve seashells. Obviously, shellfish are at huge risks from this, but so are all the other creatures which depend upon those shellfish for food. Everything from ducks and platypus and otters right on to us humans, we’re all on the losing end of this bargain.

One of the key factors to remember is that even though shorelines only constitute a relatively small portion of the total ocean areas, those coasts are also where most human beings congregate. Moreover, Scientific American has already stated that colder waters will be the first to feel the effects of CO2 pollution, and so they (along with coral reefs in warmer waters,) serve as an early indicator, a sort of miner’s canary for the sea. Between the bleaching of the coral reefs in the South Pacific and the decline of these mussels to acidity in the Pacific Northwest, it is becoming very clear that we have no time to lose in protecting the ocean. The predicted changes aren’t coming — they’re already here, and the time is now to do something about it!

VIDEO: Ocean Acidification