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Letters: Oceans of trouble

October 09, 2012
  • Workers harvest oysters in Samish Bay, Wash., at low tide. Scientists have found that the rising acidity of the oceans is preventing the protective shells of some Pacific oysters from developing.
Workers harvest oysters in Samish Bay, Wash., at low tide. Scientists have… (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles…)

Re "A sea change in ocean chemistry," Oct. 7

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said in a 2009 interview with a Times reporter about climate change: "I don't think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen." But we will indeed feel the consequences of global warming in our gut.

We've become accustomed to the surplus from the seas and an abundance of food in general, so when our preferred food sources succumb to acidification of the oceans, drought and fire on land and loss of farmland from unprecedented flooding, we'll start to sense climate change in our guts.

Let's hope we have the wisdom to heed the warnings from scientists and de-carbonize society before it's too late.

Robert Haw


Though this article appeared on the front page, its headline is less prominent than the one next to it on the 2012 campaign. This belies the actual importance of the two issues. The change taking place in our oceans because of increased carbon dioxide emissions is far more important over the long term than who is elected president. We are losing coral reefs worldwide. By making the oceans more acidic, as this article notes, we are starting to lose shellfish because the needed materials to create shells — calcium carbonate — will stay in solution.

The loud voices of climate-change deniers who profit from the use of fossil fuels persist despite warnings from scientists. This article is yet another wake-up call that we need to change before it's too late.

Ray E. Williams

Lake Arrowhead


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