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.
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.