I like seafood. I particularly like eating seafood that is produced locally. Sadly, the Maine fishing industry is under increasing strain from climate change.
This threat is underlined in a Washington Post story published by the Press Herald on Aug. 5: “Key ocean system may be heading for collapse from climate change, story finds” (Page A6).
In brief, global warming is affecting oceanic circulation. Cold water-loving Maine shrimp, lobsters and other species are migrating to deeper waters or further north. Pursuing these species leads our fisherfolk further from shore, into deeper waters, raising both their expenses and their risks.
Ocean warming also affects the ocean’s affinity for CO2 absorption, increasing the acidity. These circumstances are less hospitable for plankton, which are at the base of sea creatures’ food chain. Fifty to 80 percent of the world’s oxygen comes from the ocean, and plankton produce most of it.
The Press Herald on Monday cited the U.N. report on global warming, which warns that Earth’s temperatures in about a decade will probably blow past a level of warming that world leaders have sought to prevent.
Perhaps the fastest-acting intervention is to impose a price on fossil fuels, a so-called carbon fee. A bill proposing that has more than 70 House sponsors: the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, HR 2307.
Please contact our senators and representatives, and ask them to please vociferously support this legislation. A very easy place to go is the Citizens Climate Lobby, which has phone and letter-writing scripts that can easily be customized and sent in a matter of a few minutes.
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