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Cullen calls out Harper govt over climate change, dead scallops

PostedFebruary 27, 2014 by in Canada

NDP House Leader Nathan Cullen challenges the Harper government in question period over its failure to act on climate change and 10 million scallops that died in BC recently from ocean acidification.

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    Miriam D

    We the public need to hear from the scientist the truths about all this problems related to the environment. On the other hand we see the huge profits that these industries bring to their owners, and they don’t want to stop the greed, in the meantime natural resources get destroyed, with irreversible consequences, then my gut tells me this is wrong.These owners-heads of big corporations belong to that select club that is going around the world taking over everything they can buy with their money.

    serious joe

    Cullen lies. First, he has no proof that CO2 caused the shellfish to die.
    Second, Cullen’s narrowly-defined version of “climate change” (which, by the way, has little to do with a changing climate – these are words defined by the UN’s IPCC to mean, “mankind’s production of carbon dioxide did this”). So Cullen lies, mankind’s production of carbon dioxide did not kill those shellfish. Furthermore, Cullen’s implication is that his government is at fault. Cullen, absolutely nothing Canada could do, in the past or in the future, could stop China and India and the United States and the whole rest of the world from putting additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Nothing. The amount of carbon dioxide from all of Canada’s actions, be it consumption of fuels or exporting of fuels, could make a difference larger that the ass of a single gnat. You are a pompous ass for implying that the government could.
    As for the conservatives “deny, dither, delay, and just pray it will all go away” – I pray YOU will just go away. I don’t pray that SOMETHING THAT IS NOT HAPPENING should go away, that is foolish. (Your narrowly defined version of climate change is false, it is not happening, so why should I pray it should go away? “it” hasn’t even happened. Mankind’s production of carbon dioxide has done nothing, except increase plant growth. On the other hand, deforestation causing erosion, dumping of fracking fluids in the ocean, well, there are some things that mankind has done that have had bad effects, but he production of carbon dioxide is not one of them). Deny – yes, I deny, many conservatives deny that your narrowly defined “climate change” is, in fact, NOT happening. Congrats, you got one right. Next – delay: Hell yes, we should delay. Delay spending any more money chasing our tails, tilting at windmills, and any other phrases you care to use that mean WASTING MONEY and EFFORT fighting something that DOES NOT EXIST. I’m not saying the earth hasn’t warmed, I expect it should, since Chicago was under a mile of ice not too long ago, hell yes it warmed, those glaciers retreated. What, would you want them to advance, to see most of Canada under a mile of ice? So, it warmed. It wasn’t that long ago (in geologic time) that the earth was warmer. Quite a while ago, in geologic time, the carbon dioxide levels were higher, so what? The “warming” effects of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere add a little bit of warming as the concentration goes from nothing to about 20 parts per million. Above 200 PPM, doubling to 400 PPM does nothing, nothing at all. Except for the fact that, at 200 PPM and below, no plants grow. That will kill your shellfish, eh? So above 200 PPM, all that happens is the plants grow, and grow better. Excess CO2 dissolved in seawater, well, mostly stays as dissolved CO2, but a small amount of it forms carbonic acid, which reduces the eternal alkalinity of the ocean, slightly and briefly. It isn’t long before that CO2 leaves or becomes locked in carbonates; the eternal alkalinity of the ocean, meanwhile, is assured by the incredibly massive amounts of pH-buffering chemicals in the ocean bottom, that non-chemists call ROCKS. Yes, ROCKS are chemicals, too. Fresh water from rivers, often made acidic by tannic acid (the tea-coloration that water picks up from decaying PLANTS) causes pH swings where it mixes with the ever-alkaline ocean waters; as others have pointed out, stuff gushing up from the deep earth (that isn’t crude oil) often forms plumes of pH-shifted water, which may linger and kill some things due to pH shock, until the ever-alkaline ocean waters dilute and buffer those intrusions into insignificance. Nothing to do with mankind’s production of carbon dioxide, nothing at all. Most likely those shellfish were killed by a low oxygen content, not a pH problem. You’re a politician, and a poor one at that, you’re no oceanographer, your no chemist, and you’ve been mislead or chose to believe the sky is falling. You are old enough to remember the story of Chicken Little, aren’t you?

    serious joe

    Judy Cross, you speak words of sanity. Thank you.

    Susan Eyre

    I have heard many schooled theories: the iron sulphate dumped off Haida Gwaii, upwellings, sewage back-flushing, radiation. Surely testing can tell us. I was wondering if acidification could interact with the naturally-occuring coal seams along that area. Why the die-off at this time of year,-does that have relevance? This is why we need scientists. What is the link with the star-fish die-off? What else died at the same time the scallops died – wild scallops as well, clams? oysters??? That is a clue. Look forward to hearing the cause. I hope this issue doesn’t disappear


    Has anyone investigated if there is a correlation between our lose of sea life and the dumping of fracking waste water off the coast of California?

    Maybe if fault can be found our native people could sue them under a class action suit for lose of their way of life.

    Judy Cross

    There is just no way sea water could change pH so drastically without an extra-atmospheric source of CO2. What is the mechanism for atmospheric CO2 to be so selective in location? I have a feeling the source is either an undersea volcanic vent or seasonal upwelling of anoxic CO2 laden water from the deep as happened last year which wiped out oyster spat in Oregon.

      Lucinda Knowlton

      It isn’t just happening in BC – it’s happening everywhere but this premiere is speaking up about it Why do you think fishermen EVERYWHERE have been complaining there is no fish anymore and whales are starving and changing migration patterns because of it if they don’t out and out die. Then of course there is our drowning and starving polar bears.. It does make sense if you looked into it before denying it because you are afraid to hear it !!!

      The ocean absorbs approximately 1/3rd of the CO2 emitted to the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels (1). However, this valuable service comes at a steep ecological cost – the acidification of the ocean. As CO2 dissolves in seawater, the pH of the water decreases, which is called “acidification”.

        Judy Cross

        Polar bears are in fine fettle, so what else do you “know” that isn’t true?

        CO2 is recycled in the oceans just as it is on land. It is also a trace gas at less than 4/100 of ONE PERCENT of the atmosphere, so plants both terrestrial and marine appreciate the few parts per million extra that humans make. We still account for only 3% of the total that is in the atmosphere.
        Get real!

        Serious Joe

        The oceans are buffered by enormous amounts of “rocks” and the pH of the ocean will not change significantly. “Acidification” is just one more “the sky is falling” (no really, the sky is falling) … (wait, hey you reading this, do you even know the story of chicken little?) …

        Hey, I have a wart on my hand, can I blame Harper for that? My car got a flat tire, certainly that was caused by CO2 in the atmosphere, most of which got there naturally, only a tiny fragment of the CO2 in the atmosphere today was put there by mankind, but certainly that must have caused my flat tire, eh?

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