Monday, July 11, 2011

Whacky environmental headlines

Browsing through my news sources, I was struck by several headlines that relate to global warming  and the environment and the species that live on our planet in a new way. Like this one:  "Jellyfish, With Numbers Increasing From Warming Waters and Pollution, Force Shutdown of Power Plants"

So the story is that because the planet is warming, we have jellyfish in unsustainable numbers in the ocean and they are now choking the filters nuclear reactors along the coasts of the oceans. At the Orot Rabin Electric Power Station,on Israel's west coast, several tonnes of jellyfish clogged the filters, then last month the Torness Power station on the south-east coast of Scotland, the reactors were shut down after jellyfish were found in the seawater filters. And about the same time, the cooling system at one nuclear reactor in western Japan was blocked by a jellyfish invasion! See the whole story here.  Then from Mother Jones this headline: "Are Cats Bad for the Environment?" According to this story, our harmless little house friends ("kittehs" as one of my favorite bloggers 'Why Evolution is True' calls them) kats 
 kill at least a hundred million birds in the US every year—dwarfing the number killed by wind turbines. (See "Apocalypse Meow," below.) They're also responsible for at least 33 avian extinctions worldwide. A recent Smithsonian Institution study found that cats caused 79 percent of deaths of juvenile catbirds in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Bad news, since birds are key to protecting ecosystems from the stresses of climate change—a 2010 study found that they save plants from marauding insects that proliferate as the world warms.


The article goes on to talk about feral cats which is an even bigger problem because they are protected by many cat advocacy groups. The idea is to neuter feral cats then release them with the idea being that they will eventually go away. unfortunately there are simply too many cats and too little money. It ain't happening. We are not being responsible pet owners. 

And then this is not so whacky as it is a reminder of what we have coming at us from Al Gore's blog 

Evidence of the damage the climate crisis is causing continues to mount:
“The sea-level is now rising faster along the U.S. Atlantic coast than at any time in the past 2,100 years, and this surge is linked to increasing global temperatures, an international research team reports.”
"Sea-level rise is a potentially disastrous outcome of climate change, as rising temperatures melt land-based ice and warm ocean waters," said study co-author Benjamin Horton of the University of Pennsylvania. The study was published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.” 

  This is from USAtoday folks. Be afraid. Be very afraid. On the upside, maybe I'll be able to have one of these here in Denver!

1 comment:

Misha said...

Hmm... sad thing is that at the basis of all these problems, its our own faults, because we humans aren't being responsible.