greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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"And it runs deeper than you dare to dream it could be..."

A couple of things I missed in this morning's monster of a post. First, Spooky's father, Dr. Richard Pollnac (Professor of Anthropology and Marine Affairs, University of Rhode Island) will be joining Chip Barber (Environmental Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development) for a live webcast entitled "Troubled Waters: Anticipating, Preventing, and Resolving Conflict Around Fisheries." It's being broadcast from Washington, DC, but you can watch it here (May 15, 2008, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m., EST). The talk will focus on "...the interactions between demographics, environmental stress, livelihoods, and conflict in the context of fisheries, with a particular focus on Southeast Asia." Spooky's dad has been conducting field studies of fisheries worldwide since the 1960s, from Lake Victoria (Uganda) to Alaska to Vietnam to Thailand to Indonesia to...well, all over.

On a somewhat related note, there's an article at the "ProTraveller" website, "20 Cities, Islands & Countries Threatened By Global Warming." On the one hand, well, it does call attention to particular treasures that are being and will be lost to global warming (the Galapagos Islands, Manhattan, London, Jakarta, Glacier National Park, the snows of Mount Kilimanjaro, etc.). On the other hand, I think that it somehow manages to miss the point. Yes, all these sites are indeed endangered, but that's only because the seas are rising worldwide, meaning all coastlines, everywhere, will experience drastic change during this century with even the lowest estimates of sea-level rise. Every inch of coastline, no exceptions. So, spotlighting these twenty sites, and lines like "You might want to book a trip to see some of them before it's too late!" just comes off a wee bit glib. I mean, species face extinction, hundreds of millions of people will be displaced, economies will tumble, and the very face of the globe will change...and we'll lose all these sweet vacation spots. Er...yeah.

Meanwhile, new figures published by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, based on ongoing studies at Hawaii's Mount Loa volcano, indicate that atmospheric CO2 levels have now risen to 387 parts per million, the highest in 650,000 years. To put that in perspective, the earliest-known fossils that can be referred to Homo sapiens sapiens only date back a paltry 195,000 years (Richard Leakey's "Omo remains" from the Omo National Park in Ethiopia). If we go back 650ka, we reach the Middle Pleistocene, a time when Homo sapiens sapiens had yet to evolve (though remains of another subspecies, Homo sapiens idaltu, the first recognizably "modern" humans, and possibly the direct ancestor of Homo sapiens sapiens, have been recovered from strata that old).
Tags: global warming, human evolution, spooky's dad

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