Raining fairly-hard this arrived-way-too-fast Monday morning on California’s north coast. Seemingly, time freaked me Friday afternoon; home after work, and without even a hint of a whisper, I’m like ‘Right here and now!.’
Clocks mark the movement, but actual time is really, really subjective. The old adage, “Times flies when you’re having fun,” appears no longer applicable within the context of this particular era, at least filtered through my sleep-deprived brain cells — time is whipping along, breakneck, whether you’re at home staring at the ceiling, or a party-hardy person, we’re all in the same time zone, experiencing that wild ride to yesterday’s future.
(Illustration found here).
Maybe it’s the 24/7/365 cycle of living nowadays. Right now, in the background is ABC News‘ version of the old CNN updates — a 30-minute news show played over and over. The same stories, and whatnot. All the networks have these ‘news for insomniacs‘ capsules.
And all those computer-enhanced devices — literal instanta-life.
In that context, situations once considered way-off in time, are actually, right here and now.
This weekend saw some news stories on the frightening, and mysterious star fish wasting syndrome, which is slaughtering the starfish (also, sea stars) population on the West Coast from Alaska to Mexico, and on some portions of the Atlantic coast.
Although science people haven’t yet to pinpoint an exact reason for the disease, researchers suggest a pathogen — either bacterial or viral — is responsible for the death toll, but no “absolute answer.”
This report Friday from San Luis Obispo, California, on the Central Coast — where I lived for many years — and the situation there:
Christy Bell, a marine biologist at UC Santa Cruz, monitors tide pools twice a year at eight locations along San Luis Obispo County’s coastline.
Bell and her team recently scoured a large section of tide pools at their Shell Beach monitoring site during low tide and found only two ochre sea stars.
“It’s really bad,” she said shaking her head.
“We were hoping we’d find more.”
This stands in stark contrast to 20 years ago, when monitoring at the site began.
At that time, the Shell Beach site had some of the highest densities of sea stars anywhere along the county coastline, Bell said.
Sea star numbers locally have dropped off dramatically in the six months since the last surveys were done.
Last fall, Bell and her team found 12 sea stars at the Shell Beach site with two of them showing signs of the wasting disease.
This spring, there were only two.
Star fish were all over when I lived there. First in Pismo Beach for nine years, and then in the town of San Luis Obispo, located a few miles inland, for eight more. Beautiful place, but way-rich — too rich for my financial red-blood, and moved here to Humboldt County in 2007.
And up here, the star fish are literally disintegrating.
Last week, from HSU’s newspaper, The Lumberjack:
All the starfish from HSU’s marine lab invertebrate touch tank were removed last Wednesday because they have a fatal disease, according to Yvonne Kugies, the office manager at the HSU’s marine laboratory.
“All the starfish were taken out of the touch tank,” Kugies said.
“The loss was so significant, they were disintegrating in the tank and Grant (Grant Eberle, a marine technician for HSU) had to take measures.”
Eberle, who has been the equipment technician at HSU’s marine laboratory in Trinidad since 1996, said whatever is affecting the starfish is in the water tanks at the marine laboratory.
“I was pulling four or five starfish out of the tank everyday,” Eberle said.
“First we noticed it with the ochre stars, then the leather stars and over the last two weeks we’ve lost every single sunflower star.”
The marine lab has groups come to visit, but when people interacted with the starfish in the touch tanks it caused problems.
“It’s not a good idea to have a tank full of diseased stars,” Eberle said.
“One of the guests pulled a leg off the starfish. It was disturbing for the tourists.”
“Whatever it is, we have it in our marine lab system,” Eberle said.
“It’s not getting filtered out by our sand filters.
Starfish are one of the easiest creatures to keep alive, they’re practically indestructible.”
Something is destructing them. Sea stars ain’t no canary-in-a-coal-mine is them?
Mankind has created a shit-hole out of the world’s oceans — and the seas are becoming more and more acidified, and more and more warm as we move quickly through the right here and now.
This coming week, climate change will at least hit the MSM airwaves with only the third National Climate Assessment since it became required by law nearly 25 years ago. Supposedly, the assessment, to be released Tuesday with great fanfare by President Obama, keeps up the warning that climate change is in the right here and now.
From yesterday’s Guardian:
“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” a draft version of the report says.
The evidence is visible everywhere from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean, it goes on.
“Americans are noticing changes all around them. Summers are longer and hotter, and periods of extreme heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced.
“Winters are generally shorter and warmer.
“Rain comes in heavier downpours, though in many regions there are longer dry spells in between.”
The draft report notes that average temperature in the US has increased by about 1.5F (0.8C) since 1895, with more than 80% of that rise since 1980.
The last decade was the hottest on record in the US.
Temperatures are projected to rise another 2F over the next few decades, the report says.
In northern latitudes such as Alaska, temperatures are rising even faster.
“There is no question our climate is changing,” said Don Wuebbles, a climate scientist at the University of Illinois and a lead author of the assessment.
“It is changing at a factor of 10 times more than naturally.”
Big fear factor, there.
And wouldn’t you asshole-know-it — last graph in the piece: Under an act of Congress the reports were supposed to be produced every four years, but no report was produced during George W Bush’s presidency.
What can you say?
Obama, though, is going to make hay out of it.
From the Washington Post and Obama’s environment:
“This is really real for him, in terms of what he’s leaving,” said Cecilia Muñoz, who directs the White House Domestic Policy Council and has helped coordinate federal investment in climate-resilient infrastructure projects.
“This is personal for him.”
And for another nine billion people, too.
(Illustration out front found here).