10 March 2015


Scientists have long been concerned about the changes in oceans caused by the burning of fossil fuels and the subsequent absorption of the CO2 by the oceans.  Ocean chemistry changes, oceans get warmer, sea levels rise, glaciers melt and flow into the oceans, fertiliser runoff causes algae blooms at deltas and leads to "dead zones"  due to lack of oxygen, while acidity bleaches out coral reefs and impacts the ocean food chain, to name some of the more significant effects.

A recent study has highlighted another practice having an adverse impact on oceans - the dumping of waste material from plastics.  The report from a team at the University  of Georgia, (USA)  estimates that people added 8 thousand million (8,000,000,000) kilograms of plastic to the ocean in 2010.” 

This is equivalent to the amount of tuna fished from the ocean in a year.  In other words we are taking out tuna, and putting in plastic.

One simple step we can all take to begin to address this problem is to cease the completely unnecessary (at least in the developed world) purchasing of water in plastic bottles. Currently 50 billion water bottles are produced each year with the production process to manufacture one bottle consuming three times the volume of water needed to fill it, and 17 million barrels of oil - enough to fuel one million cars each year! Click here for a video highlighting this problem.

Thanks to Br Kevin Cawley for the information for this article. Read his latest  Carbon Rangers newsletter for a more comprehensive discussion of this topic.

http://www.earthhour.org/You can also celebrate your commitment to the planet with your friends, family, community or at work - in your own way. A simple event can be to mark Earth Hour 2015 by just turning off all non-essential lights from 8.30pm-9:30 pm.

For one hour, focus on your commitment to our planet for the rest of this year. To celebrate, you can have a candle lit dinner, talk to your neighbours, stargaze, go camping, play board games, have a concert, screen an environmental documentary post the hour, create or join a community event - the possibilities are endless.

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