Now that the campaign to stop global warming is losing steam (pun intended) the protect the environment crowd is moving the struggle to the seas. We now hear that carbon dioxide, you know, the evil stuff you spew into the air when you exhale, is raising the level of acid in the oceans. A stark warning has been issued that the oceans are 30 percent more acidic than they were before the Industrial Revolution, roughly 200 years ago. And if we don’t stop exhaling, this acidity could increase by 200 percent by the end of this century.
Conveniently left unstated is the exact level of acidity of the oceans and thus there is no benchmark against which to measure these increases. In other words is it 0.05 percent that will rise to 0.2 percent by the year 2100 or what?
Of course there are the predictable arguments on both sides of the argument with those warning about the catastrophes that this increase in acidity will cause and those saying the acid level is nothing to worry about. The most dire predictions are that the increased acidity will alter the life forms in the seas, from coral to fish to whales. On the other side, one spokesman says that rainwater, that collects carbon dioxide from the air, is 100 times more acidic than ocean water, and we live on rainwater.
Once more the subject is change, this time in the seas, instead of the air. But the battle remains the same, those who want to stop changes that are caused in part by human beings, and those who insist that the only constant is change and we should continue to adapt to it. I go with the latter crowd.