Gareth Hughes

Our oceans are dying

by Gareth Hughes

I’ve been reading some interesting ocean articles this week. First up is the harrowing tale of an Australian sailors recent journey “The Ocean is broken”, second is Tim Flannery’s exceptional must-read “They’re taking over!” and lastly this crucial study investigating the impact of climate change on our oceans:

“It was very sad to see all the responses were negative. We were hoping there might be some safe havens….The study found that carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels are overheating the oceans, turning them acidic and reducing the amount of oxygen in seawater. This is happening too fast for most marine species to adapt and ocean ecosystems around the world will collapse. By 2100, no corner of the oceans that cover 70 percent of the Earth’s surface will be untouched. The impacts of climate change will be felt from the ocean surface to the seafloor. It is truly scary to consider how vast these impacts will be,” said Andrew Sweetman of the International Research Institute of Stavanger, Norway.

New Zealand is a marine nation, heavily dependent on, and with a deep and significant relationship to our waters. Yet with the International Energy Agency saying we cannot afford to burn 70-80% of fossil fuels already discovered if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change, the National-led Government’s plan to drill farther, deeper for some of the riskiest oil is total folly. The Government can’t negotiate with the physics of climate change and needs to take it seriously and act accordingly. This starts with an oil reduction plan, not National’s oil production and dependency plan.

Thankfully, the Greens know that we can protect our marine environment and build a richer New Zealand, selling the world clean energy technology.

Published in Environment & Resource Management by Gareth Hughes on Mon, October 21st, 2013   

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