The Great Barrier Reef is Dying

Big news day. Trump released a farsical budget nobody likes; the non-healthcare deal nobody likes is similarly falling apart; his awful travel ban has been blocked again; and the Dutch elections, with better than 80% turnout, closely matched polster predictions and did not hand power to white-power scum. None of which matters if the Earth becomes unihabitable for humans.

Therefore the most important news is: in 2016, at least 85% of the Great Barrier Reef bleached. That basically means “died.” Bleached coral can come back, given time to regrow. The reef will not have that time. Further bleaching in 2017 is already underway. This is the first time ever that bleaching has hit two years in a row. Also, the last most-worst time, it was only 56% of the reef that was affected.

Many of our hopeful hypotheses about resilience have already been proven wrong. The coral is absolutely not adapting to the new climate, with new strains coming in to prominence. Not happening. Cleaner water isn’t helping either.

It’s simple. The ocean gets too hot, coral dies. Therefore a lot of fish die. Optimistically, all that happens to humans is that this does billions of dollars of economic damage. Pessimistically, circle-of-life stuff kicks in and this is the end.

There is not a bigger, clearer “this is bad” tipping point siren I can think of.

So I know we all love PBS and remember that great talk by Mr. Rogers, but could we please be a little more focused on the deep cuts to the EPA, NOAA, and the Global Climate Change Initiative? Could we be more furious about the relaxing of fuel efficiency standards, and the cozy cozy with petro-oligarchs? I love the arts, and healthcare, and labor standards, and for God’s sake the State Department, but all that does not matter if we blow this – and we are out of time.


As long as I’m being dyspeptic, I’d also like to lodge a request with the universe that everybody stop trying to make Chelsea Clinton a thing. She’s Jeb Bush.


But I can’t be dyspeptic for long, so here is something nice: “In challenge to Trump, 17 Republicans join fight against global warming” by Emily Flitter, Reuters

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