In response to Kenneth Gunther’s offer to buy a meal for anyone who can explain climate change in practical terms, I’d like to set a date with him. And I’d like to preorder my meal: shellfish, please.
Burning fossil fuels warms the planet by pumping carbon dioxide into the air. Much of that CO2 is absorbed by the seas. All seas, everywhere. It’s called ocean acidification.
Young shellfish can’t form their shells in such corrosive waters. Instead, they die. A PBS video titled “Acidifying Waters Corrode Northwest Shellfish” provides a six-minute overview of the situation.
Although I may not have explained climate change to Mr. Gunther’s satisfaction, I hope I have explained enough to imply how burning fossil fuels at our present rate will cause the seafood industry to tank, people who depend on seafood to starve and entire marine ecosystems to collapse.
I’ll meet you at the Freeland Cafe to take you up on that offer, Mr. Gunther. But let’s do it soon, before a meal of lobster, clams, oysters and mussels becomes a meal we, and future generations, never get to eat.
And maybe we could toast to smarter solutions now and better times ahead.