In Their Shell

The Duck and Cover propaganda has worked maybe. There’s an entire generation prone to thinking they can protect themselves from massive danger by covering their head with their arms until they feel safe again.

Here’s Percy, a climate change denier, responding to Purple Library Guy’s comment in 2011 about ocean acidification.

PLG: “researchers have found using tanks with sea water only acidified to levels we’re predicted to reach in 20 years or so if current emission trends continue,”

Percy: Predicted by secretive computer models which fail to predict the past. I think it’s time for everyone to panic. I’ll tell you what. Let’s not worry about this impending doom which we are facing and, in twenty years, you can tell me that you told me so. Get a grip. The sky is not falling, Chicken Little. The apocalypse is not nigh. I’ve lived long enough to have heard a great deal of caterwauling about one crisis or another and I know enough about politics to recognize that this is just the latest attempt at a power grab.

Here’s a news report. Ask a clam digger.

Ocean acidification, as scientists call this pickling of the seas, is, like climate change, a result of the enormous amount of carbon dioxide humans have pumped into the atmosphere. Oceans have absorbed about a quarter of that output, and ocean chemistry has changed as a result. Surface water pH has long been an alkaline 8.2, not far from the pH of baking soda, but it now averages about 8.1. That doesn’t look like much, but since pH is a logarithmic scale, that means a 30 percent increase in the acidity.

The industry finally pulled out of its tailspin in 2010, when NOAA scientists determined that what was killing the oyster larvae was corrosive water that entered the hatchery at certain times of the year — usually in summer, and specifically on days when winds from the northwest caused upwelling of deeper water, which is more acidic than surface water. With federal money, hatcheries were able to install sophisticated pH monitors and CO2 monitors. When waters are becoming too corrosive, hatchery operators can now close off the seawater intake, and, Dewey says, “pray that the winds change soon.”

Here’s what’s important to remember also:

Unlike other problems caused by CO2, ocean acidification is spurring some action, possibly because the effects are so visibly tied to the cause. “With climate change there’s often a schism between scientists and those who flat out don’t want to believe it,” says Green. “It’s hard to get a man to believe something if his job depends on not believing it.”But in this case, he says, it’s the people in the industry who are leading awareness. “Talk to shellfish clammers — the guys who dig — and every one of them is on board, especially the old timers. They have seen over the years the populations go from incredibly productive to virtually disappearing in many cases.” One bit of anecdotal evidence diggers have reported is clams with thinner shells — so thin, they say, that sometimes it’s not possible to fill bushel baskets to the top because the fragile shells at the bottom will be crushed.

(emphasis added)

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19 responses to “In Their Shell

  1. They have found acid in the ocean, right up to the shores of BC. The coral is turning white, with very little new growth. The Great Barrier Reef, could be gone within 20 years. When the oceans O.D. on Carbon Dioxide? Well, if the oceans die, we die.

    Same with cutting down the Boreal Forest and The Great Bear Rain Forests. Forests make it possible, for very stupid humans to breathe.

    It’s as they say. Man is the most destructive animals on earth and, the most stupid ones at that.

    • Aaah, all the other animals would wreck the ecosystem if they could. They’re only stopped by not being tough enough to pull it off. Look at all the invasive species busy doing their best to do just that. Sure, it’s our fault most of them got introduced where they are, but they’re the ones breeding and eating until everything else dies.
      We’re not stupider than other animals. Our drives are just the same. It’s just we’re in a position to abuse them and most of the others aren’t. It’s unfortunate that evolution threw up a monkey that was clever but not wise, but there you go. We’re not separate and above nature, but we’re not separate and below nature either; it’s just, nature screws up sometimes–it’s just a bunch of random processes after all. The equilibria that mostly work are just the result of a lot of trial and error in a very broad way over very long time frames selecting to maximize biomass and diversity. But that error ain’t over, evolution keeps tossing things that are new under the sun. Grasses screwed up the ecosystem for ages when they first came along–nothing could eat the damn things. We’re just another thing like grass, a destabilizing factor that’s gonna take a lot of time and a lot of extinctions before a new equilibrium is found.

    • “They have found acid in the ocean, right up to the shores of BC”.

      Surprise!!!!! They can find acid in any aqueous solution. The ocean, a lake, a river, a cup of coffee, a glass of milk, tapiocca…. the list is endless. It’s a fundamental property of virtually all liquids. It’s what allows alarmists to talk about ‘ocean acidification’ when everyone knows the ocean is alkaline.

      I have to agree with you, “Man is… the most stupid ones at that.”.

      PS… 20 years????? Better check the math on that.

  2. It’s worth noting that while “computer models” is a stupid pseudo-rebuttal that basically means “it’s complicated so I can not believe it”, even that doesn’t apply at all to ocean acidification. Ocean acidification is high school chemistry and simple observable facts.
    That is, it’s a fact that humans have added lots of CO2 to the atmosphere. Even quasi-sane denialists don’t pretend that isn’t true, they just say that it isn’t causing any warming. Apparently in our particular case this CO2 is somehow failing to act as a greenhouse gas. But, you know, they can argue about graphs that go up and down a lot, seek refuge in the complexity of air currents and climate models, cherry-pick time intervals, yadda yadda.
    But with the oceans, it’s just water + CO2 –> acid. More CO2, more acid . . . and lookie! Measure the air, there’s more CO2! Measure the oceans, there’s more acid! Plus it doesn’t fluctuate rapidly giving you a lot of noise with which to attempt to confound the signal.
    I can just barely imagine how someone could manage to be a global warming denier. But it takes a degree of learned stupidity and intellectual dishonesty that just blows my mind to deny the acidification of the oceans.

    • “I can just barely imagine how someone could manage to be a global warming denier.”… well hang on to your imagination, it’s gonna’ be a bumpy ride!!! ;)

      First, observation. There aren’t any. Simple as that. There are no continuous historical observations covering the oceans. There are no ‘pH stations’, no consistancy of measure, no reliability of equipment. It has been calculated that, given our limited knowledge, the oceanic pH has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1. Not observed.

      Second, despite your, obviously self taught, chemistry prowess you’ve made a glaring mistake. You said “it (pH) doesn’t fluctuate rapidly giving you a lot of noise with which to attempt to confound the signal”. Here are real observations… A) “In distinct contrast to the stability of the open ocean and Antarctic sites, sensors at the other five site classifications (upwelling, estuarine/near-shore, coral reef, kelp forest, and extreme) captured much greater variability (pH fluctuations ranging between 0.121 to 1.430) dubya dubya dubya dot plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0028983 B) Monterey Aquarium has reported records for a variability of 7.75-8.15 from 1999-2009 dubya dubya dubya dot sanctuarymonitoring.org/regional_docs/monitoring_projects/100240_167.pdf

      Now the math… even alarmists can only say the pH has gone from 8.2-8.1 in the last 150 years. Here is what that means… pH= -log10[H+] or the negative log of the hydrogen ion concentration.
      pH(8.2)=6.31x10exp-9
      pH(8.1)=7.94x10exp-9 an increase of 26%
      pH(7.0)neutral=1x10exp-7 an increase of???????
      ANS= 1584%!!!!!!! See how percentage has no meaning regarding pH?

      How long @ [(7.94-6.31)x10exp-9]/150years will it take to become neutral????? Get this…. an amazing 9,200 years!!!!!

      Wowzee wowzee woozer!!!!!!!!!

      As you say, “high school chemistry”… and math too!!!! ;)

      • Yes, yes, we should have known you’d have to come in and comment 4 times with no prompting, being condescending and rude. Then you complain when people swear at you.

        It’s also obvious you spend your days sucking up denial talking points, which I could bother to refute by surfing for others with more time who’ve debunked them.

        Or I could just point out that your neutral point above is meaningless, because the food web of the ocean will collapse at a critical point before it gets that much more acidic. Your exaggeration to 7.0 is a Red Jefff Herring.

      • Chortle chortle chortle… it makes it hard to be “denial talking points” when the source alarmist article sez the same thing from the same report!!!!

        Makes it twice as hard to be a “denial talking point(s)” when the site e360.yale is referenced and a comment from a member of the Washington Toxics Coalition (Washington State) is quoted!!!! (see ignored pesticide comment below!!! ;)

        As for pH 7, with the exception of the time frame, the math is accurate. More accurate than the “Great Barrier Reef dying out in 20 years”… which you ignore. Is it because “20 years” is convenient for you politically?

        PS… can you cite the “critical point” you talk of? I’d be interested in reading it. Thanks ;)

      • Nice trick, asking for an un-knowable, specific critical point, then claiming it must not exist when a precise answer cannot be given in advance. Then, if a prediction is made, you’ll launch into how computer models are only a guess.

        Tell me RedJefff, when will you pass away? Don’t tell me 20 years, that would only be politically convenient. And you can’t say because you can’t give a certain date (critical point) in advance, that you’ll just never die.

      • If it’s “un-knowable” then it is belief. No different from any other religion. Sort’a like the Second Coming. When did you renounce, convert?

        There is no claim that “it must not exist” (that’s what is called a strawman arguement) but you can’t fear-monger a number either. 20 years an’ all.

        As for “when will you pass away?”, no one knows, however, through observed empirical evidence it is known that it will happen. It has been seen to happen. We know there are no observable exceptions.

        Not so for the theory of globull warming.

        In essence you confuse “critical point”, oxygen to the brain, with “certain date”, when it will happen.

        Forest, trees an’ all.

  3. The causes of the oyster demise was already well known in 2009. “Since 2003, however, higher than normal upwelling increased the extent and intensity of intrusions of deep acidic, hypoxic water off the Oregon and Washington coasts, and contributed to the formation of persistent dead zones.” Oyster larvae are indeed sensetive to pH level but the hypoxia suffocates them.

    “Because this hypoxic and relatively acidic up-welled water is coming from deep basins and is cold (8 – 10 oC), it is saturated with dissolved gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen while at the same time being low in oxygen as a result of biological decomposition in the benthic zone. When hatcheries heat this gas-saturated seawater to 25 – 28 oC in order to meet the temperature requirements of young shellfish, the seawater becomes super-saturated. Preliminary experiments indicate that oyster larvae are very sensitive to gas super-saturation under these conditions.” Yup, the cold.

    “High levels of mortality in shellfish hatcheries and in the wild have been associated with high levels of Vibrio tubiashii in 2006, 2007, and intermittently in previous years” A bacterium.

    Reference: Emergency Plan to Save Oyster Production on the West Coast
    January, 2009

    So how on earth does globull warming come into all of this? “With federal money”

    PS… I had to laugh out loud at the grist article… “Other possibilities being studied include lowering pH by adding sodium carbonate”. Sodium carbonate INCREASES pH. No editor caught this? No commenter? Thats what happens when science is written by activists.

      • And your guess would be wrong. Sodium bicarbonate is baking soda with a pH about 8ish. Sodium carbonate has a pH of about 11.

        [ADMIN note: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/bases-ph-d_402.html Seawater has an upper limit of about 8.4, and sodium bicarbonate is about 8.4, so adding it to acidic seawater would still have the intended effect.]

        The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14 with 7 being neutral. pH below 7 is acidic. Lower the Ph and you raise the acid concentration. pH above 7 is alkaline, or basic. Raise the pH and it becomes less acidic but more basic.

        Acids and bases are always present in a solution irrespective of the pH of the solution. (concentration acid)x(concentration base)= 1x10exp-14

        But herein lies the problem of science reporting. When people speak out about subjects they know little about. They recite “talking points” without the basic understanding of the information. Just think, if someone can missinform of something easily verified, what about ideas more subjective.

        It’s not hard to learn the facts, I’ve spent years doing it myself! Concerning globull warming, I’ve been told relentlessly that it’s “simple physics” or “high school chemistry” or “basic science”… all from people who wouldn’t know physics, chemistry or science if it slapped them in the head.

        Sad but true.

  4. Here is what a commenter said on the original Elizabeth Grossman article http://e360.yale.edu/feature/northwest_oyster_die-offs_show_ocean_acidification_has_arrived/2466/

    “As a small oysterfarmer on willapa bay washington, I am always amazed at how Taylor Industries et al always omit a very iimportant aspect of how they treat the water. The oystergrowers in Willapa Bay have been spraying carbaryl at least since 1964 to kill a native ghost shrimp which oxygenates the mudflats, and according to the commercial shellfish growers who dredge, their oysters fall in the mud and suffocate. Because a court order has said that carbaryl can no longer be used after 2012, the growers have been experimenting with imadicloprid as a replacement. In addition they have managed to get japanese eelgrass listed as a noxious weed and will be using another pesticide (in the imazapyr family) when ecology allows them to.
    “French studies are showing that oysters exposed to pesticides are more vulnerable to vibrio…
    “The shellfish growers have also been cheerleaders for the eradication of spartina which has meant thousands of tons of glyphosate and imazapyr have been poured into the bay and elsewhere in Washington State.
    “I am not a scientist, just an observer of the most horrendous stewardship the shellfish growers display in Willapa Bay and elsewhere and the silence of the scientists and journalists who are aware of this. Fritzi Cohen Washington Toxics Coalition (Washington State).

    Globull warming… uh-huh.

    • please sally forth and save the world..
      n let us know when yer done
      or want sum help …

      Us lower life forms n mollusks aint gonna get er done in time
      Jeesus F man.. or mebbe you’re a woman.. I dunno
      Red Jeff aint much different than The Salamander
      all just ideas n opinions attached to a ‘name’

      I don’t know you.. aint got no hate on neither
      but I swear you’d be a sweet euchre pardner
      got a real combative edge ..

      and some damn day I would like to buy you a drink
      sit n yak with you a spell .. hope you feel the sameways

      For posterity n documentary accuracy
      I’d insist or hope Purple dude n Sask attended ..
      Value their stance.. just like yours

      I recall my dayz working in Triple Max Security
      at age 19 n listening to juves.. who ‘didn’t do it’

      Tho wuz a passle of dead folks what owned a candy story
      or a shiny Chevy ..
      was witness.. that somebody done it..

      At some point society determines right n wrong
      murder, theft.. threats n all in between

      Work with all of us .. protect th country .. its yours too y’know

      .. and I know damn well you know this … ya told me so once’d

      Respect all creatures .. even the ones Stevie’s abandoned
      Honor and defend our environment … from th likes o Peter Kent
      Surrender dick to sellout pricks like Joe Oliver ..

      What the F is so damn hard fer you about these concepts …. ?

      • Hi Diamond! “and some damn day I would like to buy you a drink
        sit n yak with you a spell”… so would I! ;) I’m partial to 18yr Glenlivet if interested!!! I’ll bet we’d find we agree on a lot more than we disagreed on.

        “What the F is so damn hard fer you about these concepts …. ?” Answer- nothing, nothing at all. We both want the same things we just have a difference in the path of achievement.

        At this point in time the left wing looks upon the right as evil, illegitimate, police state… all the while not having the remotest idea of what a society under those conditions looks like. They self- aggrandize their ‘suffering’ to imagine a state of legitimacy to their endeavours. They think the government is watching them (we used to call this paranoia). They look at Canada as a “racist state”. THAT MEANS YOU. IT MEANS YOUR NEIGHBOURS. IT MEANS YOUR FRIENDS. Are they? Are they the people you meet every day? Your children? Doesn’t matter… they’ve been branded.

        I don’t think lefties are evil, stupid yes, but not evil. If a left wing government was elected would I respect the wishes of the Canadian people? Absolutely. Would I be happy? No. Would the government be illegitimate? Absolutely not, it was the peoples will.

        Some lefties have to grow up and realize that.

  5. I’m a farm kid.. n mostly growed up .. most would say
    as I hit 60 a ways back ..
    lifted a few bales of hay ..
    drove a few combines here n there
    a tractor or two …
    dun some ploughing too

    Look forward to that drink .. dude
    be a fine thing

    Where ya wanna meet?

    I’m thinkin Fort Chip
    or Kitimaat
    mebbe in the rain forest
    with sum real Injuns ..
    can’t insure they is friendly in the least
    as they kinda stick to their own feelings
    n I don’t blame em for that
    or got any say in th matter

    How bout where the Ottawalberta bullshit meter is peaking
    in a manner o speaking.. the rain forest north o Vancouver

    Ya .. Let’s have a drink.. on th coast
    where the last Orca will be chased off
    or run down by a Chinese LNG tanker

    th Glenlivet is way OK ..
    aint much that compares ..
    less its canajun whisky ..

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