Saturday, July 29, 2006

How fitting, somehow.

"The rise of slime:" "A Primeval Tide of Toxins"

In many places — the atolls of the Pacific, the shrimp beds of the Eastern Seaboard, the fiords of Norway — some of the most advanced forms of ocean life are struggling to survive while the most primitive are thriving and spreading.

Fish, corals and marine mammals are dying while algae, bacteria and jellyfish are growing unchecked.

Where this pattern is most pronounced, scientists evoke a scenario of evolution running in reverse, returning to the primeval seas of hundreds of millions of years ago.

Jeremy B.C. Jackson, a marine ecologist and paleontologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, says we are witnessing "the rise of slime."

For many years, it was assumed that the oceans were too vast for humanity to damage in any lasting way. "Man marks the Earth with ruin," wrote the 19th century poet Lord Byron. "His control stops with the shore."

Even in modern times, when oil spills, chemical discharges and other industrial accidents heightened awareness of man's capacity to injure sea life, the damage was often regarded as temporary.

But over time, the accumulation of environmental pressures has altered the basic chemistry of the seas...

Many of the same forces have wiped out 80% of the corals in the Caribbean, despoiled two-thirds of the estuaries in the United States and destroyed 75% of California's kelp forests, once prime habitat for fish.

Jackson uses a homespun analogy to illustrate what is happening. The world's 6 billion inhabitants, he says, have failed to follow a homeowner's rule of thumb: Be careful what you dump in the swimming pool, and make sure the filter is working.

"We're pushing the oceans back to the dawn of evolution," Jackson said, "a half-billion years ago when the oceans were ruled by jellyfish and bacteria."



spotted elephant said...

I admit, I was too depressed to read the entire article. I bookmarked it for when I feel better, and came back to your site, only to read that the vile Mel Gibson is continuing his anti-Semitic spewings.

I'm off to sit on the floor, and rock back and forth. Maybe when I open my eyes, the world will be better.

OR-maybe fireweed will cover Gibson's face! :D

belledame222 said...

Sorry! I know the feeling...

the Mel Gibson business just made me laugh, at least.

>maybe fireweed will cover Gibson's face!

ooh, new torture for him to suffer grimly through! I like it! for his next pic!

I see...Gibson as a rugged intrepid sea captain who gets captured by dirty traders from barbaric lands. They lash him firmly to the mast. And then just they lash him firmly.

then, the fireweed; and then, the infamous scene with Freddie the Lobster, who finally does indeed get those fucking rubber bands off.

spotted elephant said...


The funniest comment I saw on gibson's movies was when his Jesus torture movie was coming out, and a reviewer said he was so shocked that gibson wasn't playing christ.

belledame222 said...

"Get off the crucifix, someone needs the wood..."

I have a lot of ambivalence toward South Park, but their "Passion of the Jew" episode earns them at least a small permanent corner in my garden of slack.

"Mel Gibson, Kyle. Mel. Gibson."