Tag: oceans

An Altered Ocean

Caught this report earlier on the PBS News Hour site and then went searching for the report, given yesterday at the National Press Club. The press club still doesn’t have anything but the announcement for up at their site, but I did catch the report and it page with plenty of backlinks as well as audio to the press club presentation.

Another scathing report we’d better pay attention to and start what should have already been a couple of decades old advancing this country towards the innovations, we were once envied for, needed to move forward.  

BP, the government, or Phillippe Cousteau, Jr.? Who would you believe?

Phillippe Cousteau, Jr., the grandson of French explorer and ecologist Jacques-Yves Cousteau:

BP’s oil spill is humanity’s latest strike against against the World’s oceans, according to Phillippe Cousteau Jr., an explorer and host for Animal Planet and Planet Green.

Phillipe Cousteau, Jr., actually dove into the oil, dispersants of this BP soup mix.

Phillippe Cousteau, Jr. was on “Real Time with Bill Maher” this past Friday and spoke of what the country’s worst in oil spill in history will mean for oceans that are already suffering from pollution and overfishing.

This video is not embeddable — see it here.

Philippe Cousteau, Jr., the ecologist grandson of Jacques, joined Bill Maher on Real Time last night to give his assessment of the Gulf of Mexico, where he has been working to help clean up the oil washing ashore from the the open offshore oil well. While he seemed confident that there was a way to fix the problem, he stressed that the ocean ecosystem will not fix itself. . . . .

Maher asked about the situation in Louisiana, where Cousteau had been working for the past weeks- his answer was not incredibly optimistic. He did have a direct answer for people who believe the ocean is strong and healthy enough to fix itself:

“I could cut my leg off, I could cut my arm off, I could gouge my eye out, I’d still probably survive, but not very well, and that’s what we’re doing to the ocean. It’s the life support system of this planet. We’ve been dumping in it, we’ve been polluting it, we’ve been destroying it for decades, and we’re essentially maiming ourselves… ”

Speaking about massive annual dead zones just off the U.S. Coast, Cousteau lets us know that we have exceeded the tipping point:

Tell Obama: Offshore drilling means more spilling

The giant oil spill caused by an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico is wreaking ecological havoc on the Gulf Coast.

A Coast Guard report that the leak could be five times bigger than previously thought has sparked fears that this may become the “biggest oil spill in the world”, far worse than the Exxon Valdez spill. [1]

This heart-wrenching disaster highlights the danger of President Obama’s plan to open vast expanses of pristine ocean for the massively polluting oil industry.

Tell President Obama not to open 167 million acres of ocean to offshore drilling.

If you’ve already sent a letter, invite 5 friends to take action to protect our oceans.

President Obama’s plan to open the ocean to Big Oil will mean more emissions, more spills, and more pollution of our irreplaceable ecosystems.

It’s not just whales and birds that are threatened by offshore drilling expansion – it’s the entire planet.

Tell President Obama today: don’t open 167 million acres of ocean to offshore drilling!


1. “Gulf of Mexico oil slick said to be five times bigger.” BBC, April 29, 2010.

Big Oil and ocean don’t mix – Stop offshore drilling expansion!

Last week, President Obama announced a plan to open 167 million acres of ocean for offshore oil and gas drilling, a vast area that even George W. Bush — a former oil executive and great ally of the oil industry — didn’t open for drilling.

Obama’s plan will deepen our country’s addiction to oil, and open pristine oceans off America’s East and Alaskan coasts to the massively polluting oil industry.

Tell President Obama today: don’t expand offshore drilling!

Obama’s plan would allow the fossil fuel industry to drill in a great expanse of ocean that has been off-limits for two decades. [1]

This proposed giveaway of our ocean to Big Oil, an industry notorious for environmental devastation, was announced soon after we discovered that the Obama administration is considering a deal to loosen the international ban on commercial whaling.

Our planet does not need more oil drillin g and commercial whaling. We need more energy conservation and clean renewable energy like solar and wind power.

Tell President Obama now: don’t expand offshore drilling to another 167 million acres of ocean!


1. David Usbourne, “Drill, Barack, Drill: Obama to open up US East Coast for oil exploration.” Independent (UK), April 1, 2010.

Don’t let the Obama administration overturn the ban on whaling

Since 1986, the International Whaling Commission’s moratorium on commercial whaling has helped threatened whale populations to recover.

Now, the whaling ban itself is threatened.

The Obama administration is considering a deal to allow some commercial whaling to resume — even while some species of whales are still struggling to survive. [1]

Tell President Obama today: keep the ban on commercial whaling in place.

Whales are gentle, sociable creatures, thought by many researchers to be highly intelligent and empathic.

In 1986, environmentalists won a major victory when the International Whaling Commission decreed a moratorium on commercial whaling.

The whaling ban has protected endangered species of whales, like the Blue Whale, from being hunted to extinction.

But endangered whales still face threats to their survival, including unexplained die-offs and ecological disruptions caused by climate change, ocean noise, and offshore energy development.

If the United States agrees to allow hunting of whales for profit, the results could be devastating for vulnerable whale populations.

Tell President Obama now: don’t loosen the ban on commercial whaling!

1. Juliet Eilperin, “With some species rebounding, commission weighs loosening of ban.” Washington Post, March 29, 2010.

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water


A Lionfish

Some bad news from underwater in the Caribbean.  Indo-Pacific Lionfish have apparently been spotted on the Mayan Riviera, the stretch of coast from Cancun in the north to Tulum in the south, of Quintana Roo, Mexico, and throughout much of the rest of the Caribbean.  These fish don’t belong there.  It’s not their natural habitat, and they’re predators to most other reef species.  They are voracious.  And to top it off, their spines are also toxic to humans.

Let’s go for a swim.

4 Inches Deeper

The 1976 Viking lander would have likely found water ice on Mars if it had probed just 4 inches deeper.

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed frozen water hiding just below the surface of mid-latitude Mars. The spacecraft’s observations were obtained from orbit after meteorites excavated fresh craters on the Red Planet.

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By FishOutofWater

Water ice, never seen before in Mars’ “temperate” zone, was discovered in a shallow crater that was made in 2008. The ice reveals that Mars was warmer and wetter in the relatively recent past.

The finds indicate water-ice occurs beneath Mars’ surface halfway between the north pole and the equator, a lower latitude than expected in the Martian climate.

This ice is a relic of a more humid climate from perhaps just several thousand years ago.

said Shane Byrne of the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Mars has large variations in its tilt that cause its climate to change even more strongly that the changes from glacial to interglacial on earth. However, Mars lost most of its atmosphere to space because Mars lacks the mass (size) to hold on to its upper atmosphere when it interacts with energetic particles in the solar wind. With only 1% of the atmospheric pressure of the earth, the Martian surface is uninhabitable to humans.

Reefer Sadness: “The future is horrific”


We are killing the world’s coral reefs and their situation is virtually hopeless.

The future is horrific,” says Charlie Veron, an Australian marine biologist who is widely regarded as the world’s foremost expert on coral reefs.

“There is no hope of reefs surviving to even mid-century in any form that we now recognise. If, and when, they go, they will take with them about one-third of the world’s marine biodiversity. Then there is a domino effect, as reefs fail so will other ecosystems. This is the path of a mass extinction event, when most life, especially tropical marine life, goes extinct.”

Or, as David Adam explains in his Guardian article about Why coral reefs face a catastrophic future:

Within just a few decades, experts are warning, the tropical reefs strung around the middle of our planet like a jewelled corset will reduce to rubble. Giant piles of slime-covered rubbish will litter the sea bed and spell in large distressing letters for the rest of foreseeable time: Humans Were Here.

They are not alone in their bleak outlook for the future of the world’s coral reefs.

Flood Will Cause Huge Gulf Kill Zone, Seas Suffocating Globally

Since 1995 the number of oceanic dead zones, masses of oxygen depleted water deadly to most marine life, has grown from 44 to 169. The International Whaling Commission reported that dead zones are killing the world’s coastlines, increasing by a third in the last two years.  

Mississippi flood waters, fouled with run off of sewage and fertilizer, are forecast to cause a record dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico later this summer.

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